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Old 13-02-2013, 04:34   #16
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
I took ours down after doing a little maths. Offered it for free on the morning net in Portobelo for 3 days. There were about 50 yachts and no one wanted it.

So we gave it the flotation test!
(it failed that too)
I also have the Davis EchoMaster and it seems to work very well- Its likly those 50 yachts had one already, !
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:10   #17
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

thanks for all the input,
in my experiance of entering bouyed channels in the fog using radar,and picking up strings of crab pots which use the octohederal type reflector,at 2-4 miles the reflector gives a good clear return on a radar screen.

at greater distance the returns can look like "sea clutter/waves" on the screen as i experinced once whilst fishing ,coming up on the fastnet race,and a fleet of about 50 yachts! lucky for them we had reasonable visability at about 1 mile and could make out the many masts!
otherwise the signal could have easily been disregarded as tidal overfalls!
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:12   #18
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

passive reflectors are ineffective.

Without doubt.

A waste of money and its been proved.

An outboard engine on the rail will do much more.
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:26   #19
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
passive reflectors are ineffective.

Without doubt.

A waste of money and its been proved.

An outboard engine on the rail will do much more.
possibly at anything over 3 miles!

but i'm not that worried about a vessel that is 3 miles away, its the one that is less than a mile.

you have obviously not done much sailing in fog to recognise the value of any type of reflector
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:31   #20
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
passive reflectors are ineffective.

Without doubt.

A waste of money and its been proved.

An outboard engine on the rail will do much more.
Hoist your outboard to the top of your mast for better performance. Or make a proper radar reflector, whichever is more convenient.
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Old 13-02-2013, 06:08   #21
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
passive reflectors are ineffective.

Without doubt.

A waste of money and its been proved.

An outboard engine on the rail will do much more.
Really? They do work I see it everyday up here in Maine where they invented fog. I can compare boats with reflectors vs. no reflector all day long every day because people often leave them up all season even in clear weather. The differences are VERY REAL.

Morris 28 W/Reflector vs. Catalina 30 Without


There really is a boat here a few hundred feet off my stern. No radar, no reflector, no running lights, no horn signals and not even a VHF response. [I][B]


Here's a radar shot of that boat when it was actually showing up. It's the LITTLE red spec just above the 18 foot spot off my stbd stern quarter.

The two targets ahead and to port and stbd were two J Boats traveling together both of which had reflectors. SOME BOATS JUST DO NOT SHOW UP ON RADAR... The guy behind me in the above shot owns one!




I'll let my radar tell me what works and what does not....
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Old 13-02-2013, 06:42   #22
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

The biggest danger We have encountered is boats running at high speed in fog, or at night, These boats typically dont use radar, Ais, vhf, common sense, or anything else that would prevent a collision, . That is why we bought radar. not a radar reflector.
Guess it depends on where your at, and when you sail, and who the threat is.
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Old 13-02-2013, 07:41   #23
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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Bottom line is that it can't make things worse and probably improves radar returns and for the money it's a no-brainer.
Agree completely. This is the bottom line. I have one of the Davis Echomaster reflectors that I bought about 30 years ago. I consider it cheap insurance that may or may not help a lot, but it certainly can't hurt and it is quick and easy to assemble and hang.

Get one. Keep it. Use it when you run into someone who thinks his boat, and your life, are not worth the $60 that they go for on Amazon these days.
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Old 13-02-2013, 07:53   #24
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

i have wood masts.
i have been told i am very visible.
yes i have a radar reflector--davis kind, i guess, on masthead.
i only use radar when i am drifting in shipping channels then only sparingly, as it uses a lot of electricity. when i am being advised i am visible, is when i have no radar in use.
therefore, they work with boats having wood masts to make a larger signal....
with aluminum masts, the masts work well as radar reflectors.
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Old 13-02-2013, 07:53   #25
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

Buzzard's Bay where we spend a lot of time is frequently covered with thick fog. I clearly remember once being out in it with my sailboat when we heard a loud, rapid horn blowing warning that someone saw us on their radar. Yes, a radar reflector is an essential even with a radar. Oh, and yes, we were frequently blowing our canned air horn but a large fishing boat with all its onboard noise may not have heard it although we heard him. We quickly changed course away from the horn's source.
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:08   #26
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
passive reflectors are ineffective.

Without doubt.

A waste of money and its been proved.

An outboard engine on the rail will do much more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
you have obviously not done much sailing in fog to recognise the value of any type of reflector
MarkJ has circumnavigated the world. I think that qualifies him as an authority.
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:40   #27
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
MarkJ has circumnavigated the world. I think that qualifies him as an authority.
If not an authority, at least an agnostic.

A radar reflector is like a religion: the more you believe, the better it works.
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:41   #28
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
possibly at anything over 3 miles!

but i'm not that worried about a vessel that is 3 miles away, its the one that is less than a mile.

you have obviously not done much sailing in fog to recognise the value of any type of reflector
Hmm, I can see 25' fiberglass center consoles on my radar at 2 miles. I would think my mast can be seen at 3 miles. But, I haven't been in much fog, I don't like the latitudes where fog lives.

My boat was fitted with the Plastimo 2" tubular reflectors when I bought it. The sun rotted the plastic and the aluminum came tinkling down on the deck. With my experience using my radar, I opted not to replace them. Plus, I run an AIS transceiver.
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:45   #29
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

if my masts were aluminum i would consider not having a radar reflector. redundant. with wood masts, is a plus.
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:52   #30
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Re: radar reflector review,to have or not to have?

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MarkJ has circumnavigated the world. I think that qualifies him as an authority.
Its nothing to do with that at all.

Its got to do with the bleeding obvious. A reflector that has a surface area of 5% of the mast is meant to outperform the mast?
And the stupid little tube one is about .5% of the surface of the mast.

Then there is testing thats been done with them... the following is a lab condition test where NONE of the reflectors work to standard. The ramge was 15 meters from the transmitter to the reflectors and back 15 meters to the receiver.
Quote:

The Large Tri-Lens performs well especially at larger angles of heel and
elevation, it just falls short of ISO8729 [1] having a peak RCS of 8.5m
2 but
otherwise performs well. It is the heaviest reflector supplied for test at 5.5kg
and costs around £300.

The Echomax 230 narrowly failed to meet ISO8729 during this testing, but
showed good peak and average RCS performance. The reflector is reasonably
priced at £130 and weighs 2.4kg; the main drawback was a RCS drop-off above
an elevation angle of 10˚.

The Firdell Blipper 210-7 narrowly failed to meet ISO8729 during this testing,
but showed good peak and average RCS performance. The Blipper is priced at
£130 and weighs 1.8kg; the main drawback was a RCS drop-off above an
elevation angle of 10˚.

The Standard Tri Lens does not meet ISO8729 as the peak RCS was too low at
4m
2. However its consistent RCS response outperformed most of the other
reflectors when heeled over beyond 10˚; it is reasonably priced at £130 and
weighs 2.5kg.

The Plastimo 16 octahedral is inexpensive at £16 and lightweight at 0.65kg
but failed to meet ISO8729 in either tested position. It had reasonable peak and
average performance averaging around 2m
2 but had wide nulls which kept its
stated performance level down. Other drawbacks are that its mounting
arrangement is by suspension only (often in an unfavourable position) and
could be subject to damage.

The Davis Echomaster failed to get close to ISO8729 during this testing. Its peak
RCS is too low at 7.5m
2 and its average performance is only 1.75m2. This
reflector is priced at £60 and is lightweight; it can be mounted on a rod as well
as by suspension (in the correct catch-rain position).

The 4 tube reflector performed very poorly.

It is concluded that either the active Sea-Me, POLARef and the Standard or
Large Tri-Lens radar reflectors are the best reflectors at heel and elevation

angles of over 10˚.
http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...s%20report.pdf

So, in this case to be best of a bad lot the OP wants the owner of a 26 footer to shell out US$470 (300 GBP) for something that doesnt meet standards?

And the cheaper ones worse.

An alaminum mast was not used as a replector in the test. Pity!

So thats testing.

The OP's boat to deliver is 26 foot long so the mast will be apropriatly tiny so sea clutter will affect it more than a bigger boat.

But you cant expect a 26 foot boat owner to be rich enough to splash money about... or he would have a BIGGER boat! And its a one off trip!

Lastly, I doubt a radar reflector would be to sole sticking point of a contract so I would suppose the OP has a list of thiings he wants imporved.


(Next post in response to Maine sail)
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