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Old 23-12-2014, 22:03   #1
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Reflective tape experience

I'm considering putting a couple bands of reflective tape near my masthead and at deck level purely for enhanced visibility. It seems that Reflexite M82 SOLAS tape is the only approved marine tape. Anybody have any experience or knowledge they'd wish to share?
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Old 24-12-2014, 02:27   #2
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Re: Reflective tape experience

Trafic sign reflective sheeting from 3M..
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Old 24-12-2014, 06:51   #3
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Re: Reflective tape experience

I've put reflective tape on dive gear for years to help find stage bottles in reduced vis water etc. The white reflective seems to be brightest with red coming in as second. Never had any issues with the tape, but if it's going on an aluminum mast, I'd remove it in a year or two to look to be sure corrosion isn't happening under the tape, might need renewing in a yr or two due to UV anyway.
If someone is sweeping a spotlight around an anchorage or similar, that tape will stand out like you wouldn't believe
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Old 24-12-2014, 08:11   #4
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Re: Reflective tape experience

I discovered one of my neighbors has reflective tape on his mast when I examined a photo I took of my boat at night with the crappy flash on my cell phone camera from about three hundred feet away. Impressive considering how puny my flash was at such a distance. I've been planning on adding my own when I next go up the mast in the spring.
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Old 24-12-2014, 09:08   #5
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Re: Reflective tape experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Walsh View Post
I'm considering putting a couple bands of reflective tape near my masthead and at deck level purely for enhanced visibility. It seems that Reflexite M82 SOLAS tape is the only approved marine tape. Anybody have any experience or knowledge they'd wish to share?
I've been thinking about the same thing: three horizontal bands near the top of the mast. It would also make finding your boat in the dinghy in a dark anchorage easier - especially if there are a lot of other boats all with their anchor lights on.

The only stuff I have found was priced near $300 for a 4-inch wide roll! So I am waiting to see if your research can turn up something a little more "cost effective."

Thanks!

Dhillen
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Old 24-12-2014, 09:23   #6
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Re: Reflective tape experience

If your local NAPA auto parts store caters to big trucks, they have on the shelf all the reflective corner marking tape one could desire..
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Old 24-12-2014, 09:38   #7
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Re: Reflective tape experience

I got some 3M white reflective tape used to make highway signs. It was scraps from a sign shop, about 4" by 20ft. I made a jig to cut it into 2" strips. I put one on each side of my boom, the dinghy outboard got some and the rub rail on the dink as well. Really shows up at night with any kind of light, very effective. This product is designed for aluminum sign blanks so does well on aluminum boat parts and almost anything else.

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Old 24-12-2014, 10:10   #8
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Re: Reflective tape experience

I put it on my bow and stern pulpits. Got a roll of 1" tape (red/white stripes) from a hardware store for not much $$$.

Fair winds,
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Old 24-12-2014, 10:59   #9
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Re: Reflective tape experience

I have it at my masthead,red/white sold for trailers etc. Available at Walmart etc in small rolls. I put 4 strips vertically each about a foot long,easy to find your boat at night with a good flashlight.
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Old 24-12-2014, 19:37   #10
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Re: Reflective tape experience

We used the SOLAS pieces from Defender I think. Two pieces each way up on port and starboard of mast and one on front and one on back. I think this is what we used:

LifeSafe SOLAS Approved Reflective Patches

We also put a bunch on our dinghy.
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Old 24-12-2014, 21:25   #11
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Re: Reflective tape experience

http://http://www.amazon.com/Reflexi.../dp/B00DWBI0RO

Here's what I've ordered. Reasonable price and free shipping.
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Old 24-12-2014, 22:13   #12
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Re: Reflective tape experience

Once while out of town, & living on a mooring, someone paid me the unkindest cut. Yep, slicing off the line holding me to the mooring. Thankfully my neighbors, knowing I was elsewhere, raised a ruckus with the local authorities. Who went looking for & thankfully, found, my boat... As she was in the process of heading for another country (literally).

I never did get the details of the report as to who found her or how, but I'm fairly certain that it was after dark, & due to the strips of SOLAS tape I'd put in various spots on the mast & hull, when I was rebuilding her.
Particularly as she pretty much had no radar signature, given that she had a wooden spar & hull (Searunner Tri).

The tape always made her easy to find when rowing home after dark (no anchor light, given the mooring field). And below are some of the suggestions which I made in the International Orange? Safety Yellow? thread, prior to knowing that this thread existed. Mine's post #13 in it, ironically.

"NOTE:
It's worth buying some of the SOLAS grade reflective tape, & putting it in strategic locations.
- Several 350 degree wraps of the mast, at varying heights.
- Spreader tops - for Helos, & searchlights on Large vessels (to ascertain if their radar contact is real, or to find you for a rescue).
- Some patches on your main hull, & on your dinghy.
- On your most often used sails, & also storm sails.
- The flag, pole, & horse shoe of you MOB gear - the Flag being key.

The tape can help others to see you, or You to see "you" if your anchor decides to misbehave while you're ashore for dinner. Or you forget to leave on an anchor light/yours burns out.

- Other wise ideas for placement of said tape are welcomed.

PS: **Affix a few small patches of laminated sail cloth to your sail(s), & Glue the tape to that, given that the tape won't say on Dacron or Nylon.**"
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Old 25-12-2014, 05:50   #13
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Re: Reflective tape experience

There are many grades of tape available. For this use, I would really go for one of the higher end grades (engineering grade, diamond grade, prismatic retroreflective, etc... and they may go by different brand names). In road work, the lower end sheeting is generally limited to parking lots and private developments.

Any of them will be better than nothing but you would be amazed how much better the higher end sheeting is. The higher end stuff has multiple layers. See the site below for some more detailed info (or google sign sheeting grades)

Reflective Sheeting for Signs - Reflective Sheeting Grades and Uses
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Old 25-12-2014, 07:17   #14
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Re: Reflective tape experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post

"NOTE:
It's worth buying some of the SOLAS grade reflective tape, & putting it in strategic locations.
- Several 350 degree wraps of the mast, at varying heights.
- Spreader tops - for Helos, & searchlights on Large vessels (to ascertain if their radar contact is real, or to find you for a rescue).
- Some patches on your main hull, & on your dinghy.
- On your most often used sails, & also storm sails.
- The flag, pole, & horse shoe of you MOB gear - the Flag being key.

The tape can help others to see you, or You to see "you" if your anchor decides to misbehave while you're ashore for dinner. Or you forget to leave on an anchor light/yours burns out.

- Other wise ideas for placement of said tape are welcomed.

PS: **Affix a few small patches of laminated sail cloth to your sail(s), & Glue the tape to that, given that the tape won't say on Dacron or Nylon.**"
Those are some very good ideas. Spreader tops is excellent and I hadn't thought of it. I just ordered some tape (3M 3430) and will do as you suggest.

Thanks.

Dhillen
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Old 25-12-2014, 12:35   #15
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Re: Reflective tape experience

Hi Guys! Since you're talking about reflective tape I thought I'd let you know that I have a little over a thousand feet of 4" SOLAS Approved adhesive backed reflective tape that I would love to sell. The price is $2.88 a foot. The strange photo below is of 5 rolls of the stuff taken with a flash.
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ID:	94302   Click image for larger version

Name:	Solas Tape2.JPG
Views:	157
Size:	257.9 KB
ID:	94303  

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