Do I need radar reflector in my situation? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 44 Old 08-23-2006
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You can always crush all your beer cans, put them in a publix grocery bag and haul em up the flag halyard.
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post #12 of 44 Old 08-23-2006
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Aren't Tinfoil Vikings on the endangered species list?

I would get one and then, in fog, rain, night, etc, you can hoist it up a flag halyard, to the lower spreaders.

BTW, don't think about mast mounting most of the radar reflectors on the market, as the mast causes a shadow in their ability to reflect, and you get a fairly significant gap in your coverage.

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post #13 of 44 Old 08-24-2006
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We passed by a ferry one night a couple of weeks ago in our J/36. We called him on the radio to confirm that he was passing behind us (channel 13 around here, for commercial traffic) and also asked him if we showed on his radar. The weather was clear (though it was dark), with waves 1-2 ft, and he was about a half mile off our stern. Our radar reflector was not deployed. After looking carefully for a bit, he replied "yes". In busy waters, with ferries popping out from behind islands and points, along with possibly less careful non-professional sailors around, a reflector sounds like cheap insurance and prudent seamanship.
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post #14 of 44 Old 08-24-2006
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I work on a 110' motor yacht (honest, I'm really a sailor... it's just a job!)with two radars and on a run up the west coast today I noticed that 30 something foot GRP sailboats with no reflector up do show up at very close range < 1nm. I would say that's not great since we and the ferries you mention run at 18knots. We keep a good lookout all of the time but commercial vessels I have been on don't necessarily. Night, fog and high seas make you invisible until you are way too close. Please spend the money.
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post #15 of 44 Old 08-24-2006
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You never should have left SBYC!

Frank: Now see what you got yourself into?! Now you need radar?! -- didn't need that on the Lake Wabuman. :-)))

Sounds like you are having a great time, but sounds like your blood pressure is a bit higher too with those ferries buzzing about.

How does the boat go? Let's have a report.

Take care and regards,
Marvin

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankLanger
I have bought an Ericson 30+ and do day sailing for up to a week at a time, but never sail at night or in fog. The boat doesn't have a radar reflector (the eight-sided thing like they put on backstays).

I sail in the Strait of Georgia and Gulf Islands in BC, Canada, where there are large ferries, tug boats towing barges and sailboats and motor boats of all sizes. I always keep a fairly sharp lookout, leave others lots of room, and never leave the cockpit while sailing. I always have my VHF radio on channel 16 if a boat wants to hail me to determine my course/intentions. I am aware that ferries go about 18 knots, and cover alot of water in a short time, so I do give them lots of room.

Therefore, it seems to me that a radar reflector is not really a useful addition in my case (there are already too many things I need to spend money on!). Am I overlooking something?

Thanks for any comments or opinions.

Frank.
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post #16 of 44 Old 08-24-2006
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BTW, a good radar reflector, like the Davis Echomaster is less than $60, even for the deluxe version.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #17 of 44 Old 08-25-2006
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Frank: If you would have never left SBYC, you wouldn't have to ask the question!

Regards,
Marvin
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post #18 of 44 Old 08-26-2006
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Some good reading

"ussailing.org/safety/Studies/radar_reflector_test"
http://www.ussailing.org/safety/Stud...ector_test.htm


excerpt:
Conclusions
The first conclusion is that there is no substitute for size when it comes to radar reflectors. The devices that offer smaller size and lower windage simply don’t work as well. With regard to the Firdell Blipper, it is a well packaged and clever device, but the models tested were not large enough to have much real value aboard a vessel. Larger versions would accomplish what GEC Marconi claims, but are not practical on small vessels.

The Davis Echomaster (in the "Double Catch Rain" position) and the Lensref performed the best of all of the devices tested. The Lensref has no nulls, which is a tremendous advantage in terms of being seen, but the overall reflectance is marginal. If a Lensref is fitted on a sailing vessel, it should be gimbaled or made adjustable. The Davis Echomaster had stronger peak reflectance, but also large holes, which means that a large target would not consistently be presented on a ship’s radar.

None of the reflectors would be more than marginally useful in offshore situations where only S-band were being used, except perhaps in calm sea conditions.

The marginal performance of radar reflectors in general does not mean that they should not be carried. On the contrary, anything that improves a vessels radar visibility is worthwhile, particularly short-handed vessels and those without radar themselves.

Beyond that, it needs to be again pointed out that the best defense where shipping is concerned is a good offense. A ship’s radar may only see a sailboat three or four miles away, but that same sailboat can typically see the ship 12 miles away by radar, and visually at least 8 miles away in clear weather. The small boat is both better equipped and more highly motivated to avoid the potential collision.
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post #19 of 44 Old 08-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailandoar
"ussailing.org/safety/Studies/radar_reflector_test"
http://www.ussailing.org/safety/Stud...ector_test.htm


excerpt:
Conclusions.....Beyond that, it needs to be again pointed out that the best defense where shipping is concerned is a good offense. A ship’s radar may only see a sailboat three or four miles away, but that same sailboat can typically see the ship 12 miles away by radar, and visually at least 8 miles away in clear weather. The small boat is both better equipped and more highly motivated to avoid the potential collision.
But many smaller sailing vessels do not have the power or space requirements to fit even a 2KW radome. Also, many sailors do not want to spend the money on a radar reflector, so what is the chance that they will spring for a much more expensive radar installation... almost none.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #20 of 44 Old 09-09-2006
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Quote: ..but never sail at night or in fog...

Sooner or later you'll get caught out after dark or in the fog. I'll echo the comments on the inexpensive Davis reflector. Practical Sailor found them to be inexpensive and effective - a best buy.

My two cents worth of opinion...

Jeff
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