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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Should i use a radar reflector
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Thread: Should i use a radar reflector Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-27-2012 02:07 AM
PeterSailer
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Would you need a radar reflector on a steel sailboat? or is the steel hull good enough?
Or maybe the hull it self is too low in the water to get picked up properly?

In the older days they used to fill up their wooden mast with aluminium foil and this was supposingly better than the radar reflecter that existed in that time, I would guess that it's still better than the modern reflectors.

Pierre

Pierre
09-27-2012 01:48 AM
Halberdier
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

I miss-spoke - I should have studied the UK tests first. Hell does reduce efficiency.
09-27-2012 01:31 AM
Halberdier
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Does Heeling affect the efficiency of a radar reflector.

I would say no, the cells are 90 degrees and symmetrical and designed to reflect the signal back no matter the angle.

If heel affected efficiency, then one could also say the angle of the boat with the radar to the sailboat's heading would also affect the efficiency. And that's not the case.

Where's the input form civilian and military radar engineer experts on the effect of heeling?
04-28-2012 07:53 AM
Ilenart
Why I do not bother with a radar reflector

After reading the report of the sinking of the yacht Ouzo I have never bothered with a radar reflector. There are plenty of other reports of collisions where ships' watchofficers were not looking at the radar (ie Ella Pink Lady collision with Silver Yang in 2009).

I assume that you are invisible to these ships and you need to avoid them.

Ilenart

NB: in my area these is no legal requirement

Ouzo report
04-27-2012 05:55 PM
travlineasy
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

The new 3G and 4G radar systems are absolutely awesome. Take a look at Broadband 3G

Gary
04-27-2012 04:43 PM
meuritt
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

I've got an 80's era Fruno aboard. I am learning to use it by using it in the day time with good visibility. The canal to my dock is more than a mile long. One day I was watching the radar, looking up to see what the radar was showing me and I noticed one particularly bright target. Turned out to be the one sailboat with a cheap type reflector, the other boats around it were not particularly noticeable.

New radar maybe, and probably are, capable of discerning the target better, as Main's posting clearly shows, but what percentage of boats out there have got the latest and greatest?

A nav class I was in made the point that the best radar reflector aboard a boat from the factory is the engine in the bilge, mostly shielded by the water.
04-27-2012 06:40 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Quote:
Originally Posted by old-sailer View Post
...... I put on the long plastic tube reflector just above the spreader. It's neat, tidy and out of the way and meets the legal requirement. ......
If your goal is strictly to meet a legal requirement, that's fine. However, I believe the tubular deigns must be nearly perpendicular to the signal to work at all. Even the angle of a shroud degrades their performance, let alone heeling.
04-27-2012 12:46 AM
Captain milos
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

A question I have not seen asked is what type of sailing do you do? Do you make long overnight passages? Do you sail in bad weather? Do you sail at night in crowded shipping lanes? If so, then a radar reflector is a good idea. If not, then you probably don't need one.

Lastly, while I want other boats to be able to see me, my primary goal is to see THEM, and then stay out of the way.

Barry
I do sail overnight and in bad weather, although I dont sail very often in crowded shipping lanes. So I think, from the information I have recieved, i will try to get a Sea-Me-Electronic-Radar-Deflector.
04-27-2012 12:21 AM
Frogwatch
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

I don't get it. Why worry about angle of heel unless your reflector is at a fixed angle? I suspend mine from a halyard with a heavy weight below it to always maintain the proper orientation regardless of the boats angle of heel.

BTW, I did see the sorta-tubular inflatable reflectors from Echomax but I interpreted the shape as being NOT an octahedral. If it is an octahedral and not a "Luneberg Lens" then I accept it.

I always thought that someone ought to make radar reflectors from aluminized mylar inside a clear mylar balloon. Attach it to a life vest with an auto-inflate helium cartridge and 100' of monofilament line. Pull the lanyard, it inflates the balloon that rises to 100'. It would be very lightweight and tiny.
04-26-2012 11:56 PM
BarryL
Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Hey,

A question I have not seen asked is what type of sailing do you do? Do you make long overnight passages? Do you sail in bad weather? Do you sail at night in crowded shipping lanes? If so, then a radar reflector is a good idea. If not, then you probably don't need one.

Lastly, while I want other boats to be able to see me, my primary goal is to see THEM, and then stay out of the way.

Barry
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