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Old 09-02-2010, 11:37   #46
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Paul,

Do you have radar? If so, anchor somewhere and check out the echo's of the boats around you. See the difference and compare that to the reflectors they have. The moment you find a boat with a Sea-Me, ask them to switch it on while you look at your radar. You'll be preaching active-reflector from that moment on too ;-)

I consider the "electronic visibility" of our boat as important. I would spend $2k or more on a active radar reflector and an AIS transponder way before buying something like an A/C, genset etc. but yet most boats I see do it the other way around, choosing for luxury and skipping safety. I think that it isn't wise to do that but as long as it isn't required, many people obviously choose luxury over safety.

So, I dare to state that a Sea-Me is not expensive at all, I would buy it before insuring my boat.

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Old 09-02-2010, 21:02   #47
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I'm going to keep my octahedral reflector hanging from the first spreader
Did you ever investigate the effect of mast interference on a spreader-installed reflector?
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Old 24-04-2010, 06:16   #48
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Post Some unbiased research...

I bought my boat with a radar reflector up near the spreaders that is about the size of a paper towel tube and I now know it is about as useful as one too.

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Marine Accident Investigation Branch conducts inquiries into lots of incidents. A few years ago the Sailing Vessel Ouzo was lost and likely (my opinion) run over by a commercial vessel.

The report covered the investigation of the events and as part of the work MAIB commissioned a lab to do some tests on radar reflectors.

The investigation is :
http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...ile=/Ouzo_.pdf

The lab report is here:
http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...s%20report.pdf

The guidance to mariners is here:
Guidance & Regulations

My next purchase is an Echo-Max Active Radar Target Enhancer (because I already own an AIS transponder)

Being run over by a big ship could ruin your day.

Fair Winds
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Old 28-04-2010, 07:54   #49
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Okay, I read the report - and - the only worthwhile part of it is the recommendation/discussion section item #12.
- - Passive methods of being seen or detected all have the same false assumptions: 1- Other other guy has his radar turned on; 2- The other guy knows how to tune and use a radar; 3- The other guy is looking at the radar; and finally 4- the seas are flat with less than 1 meter waves/swells. In the real world it is almost certain that the vast majority of "other" vessels have anywhere from 1 to all 4 factors operating which means you will not be seen. The biggest one is #4 where out in the oceans anything smaller than a freighter will be lost in the "sea clutter" in seas over 1 meter.
- - Active procedures are more valuable in "protecting your butt." Your own radar and knowing how to use it is number one. Systems like the C.A.R.D. are relatively cheap and will alert you if any radars are operating around you which normally means big ships. AIS is good for pointing out 1st world shipping but is worthless on small or 3rd world shipping that never enters a 1st world port. Lastly, a strong/powerful lighting system like a masthead strobe to "wake up" the other ship and along with VHF communications let them know you are out there.
- - Passive techniques do not work on the highways and byways and neither do they work on the oceans. Think "defensive sailing" and be pro-active in protecting your boat and butt.
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Old 28-04-2010, 07:59   #50
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From the investigation outcomes, I thought the Viking Trilens was the most effective passive ones.. As noted above, the tubes appear to be useless
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Old 28-04-2010, 08:57   #51
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While we have been cruising we have changed our opinions of shipping colregs rules etc. We are the 2 active bunnies on our boat and we get out of the way of ships

We sail a lot in shipping lanes and are very often extreemly close to ships, but we are wary. They may or may not see us, but they definitly will not often give us suitable way. i.e. in time or space.

Our radar reflector went overboard in a storm just before we went into Sinmgapore Straits. We havent been able to replace it yet. But we have not noticed any change in ships behaviour.

Our stern mounted 3.3HP outboard must give a better radar reflection than anything else

If ships want to they will see you and avoid you. When we were in the shipping lanes past Adne and into the beginning of the Red Sea ships were quite aware of pirates. Our blip was instantly recognised as a blip and we were given huge wide berth! so the can if they want

but they don't want. So keep out off their bow.


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Old 28-04-2010, 09:15   #52
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Quote:
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.
Our stern mounted 3.3HP outboard must give a better radar reflection than anything else
add a permanent BBQ grill and bronze bell, and you'll equal the reflectance anything currently on the market.
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Old 28-04-2010, 23:05   #53
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bronze bell, and you'll equal the reflectance anything currently on the market.
Bronze bell???????????? I'll bet you have a captains hat with that fake gold braid. Is that a radar reflector too?




Radar Reflector (Ego Powered - a safe renewable energy.)
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Old 29-04-2010, 01:45   #54
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I think that the effectiveness of a radar reflector is being downplayed here. 90 degree corners are pretty good at reflecting things.

Go set 2 mirrors at a 90 degree angle and look for your reflection. You will understand.
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Old 29-04-2010, 02:56   #55
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Go set 2 mirrors at a 90 degree angle and look for your reflection. You will understand.

Only 2 mirrors? I can tell you I use many more than 2 mirrors when looking at myself. Its another thing great about the boat: In the head I am surrounded by the glory of me.

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Old 29-04-2010, 12:30   #56
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Only 2 mirrors? I can tell you I use many more than 2 mirrors when looking at myself. Its another thing great about the boat: In the head I am surrounded by the glory of me.


I might have just gone blind...
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Old 29-04-2010, 13:44   #57
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:56   #58
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I think that the effectiveness of a radar reflector is being downplayed here. 90 degree corners are pretty good at reflecting things.

Go set 2 mirrors at a 90 degree angle and look for your reflection. You will understand.

That's not what the scientific test by Qinetiq said (Or the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency as they used to be called)
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