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Old 10-05-2014, 07:59   #16
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post

Ships no longer monitor VHF channel 16, as I understand it, although we pleasure craft are still supposed to.
Certainly in Qld obliged to do so - if for no other reason that to discharge their General Safety Obligation pursuant to Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:27   #17
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Re: Radar reflector

I had a Firdell mounted on my mast.

I didn't have issues with external halyards. It was easy to work around any problems. I had a smaller boat though - 26 ft.

The bigger issues were 1) windage 2) climbing over it going up the mast steps.

Realize, by mounting it on the front, you are blocking reflection on the stern. So, it's not going to be effective solution. Some power boats have it mounted on a rack on the back so it is isn't blocked.

The tests worked against the Blipper I

But there is a better replacement out there now.

EchoMax 230BR Radar Reflector
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:49   #18
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I had a Firdell mounted on my mast.

I didn't have issues with external halyards. It was easy to work around any problems. I had a smaller boat though - 26 ft.

The bigger issues were 1) windage 2) climbing over it going up the mast steps.

Realize, by mounting it on the front, you are blocking reflection on the stern. So, it's not going to be effective solution. Some power boats have it mounted on a rack on the back so it is isn't blocked.

The tests worked against the Blipper I

But there is a better replacement out there now.

EchoMax 230BR Radar Reflector
on one of my boats in the past I hoisted the Firdell on a flag halyard to the spreaders. after that we had them bracket mounted on the front of the mast, but unless you steer absolutely dead straight it will not be always hidden from a searching radar beam on a vessel approaching from astern??

Our current boat doesn't have a fitted reflector, but we do have an AIS transceiver and our own radar. I might fit a motorboat type reflector onto our stern tender davits at some stage, but realistically we are no longer sailing in an area where high shiptraffic and thick fogs are the norm.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:58   #19
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
...but unless you steer absolutely dead straight it will not be always hidden from a searching radar beam on a vessel approaching from astern??
Thats what people have told me on their radar units when looking at my boat. Boats astern, 32% left and right. Mast interferes accuracy. I was surprised too.

Best by test. i still like the thing though. I'd mount one on a radar arch next time. Not a blipper -- newer model
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:57   #20
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Re: Radar reflector

I can run into harbor here with radar alone. All these boats don't have reflectors.i see them clearly on radar. AiS should be a legal replacement for a reflector. I still have a ball I can assemble and hoist. Radar is much better then it once was.


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Old 10-05-2014, 10:04   #21
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post

But there is a better replacement out there now.

EchoMax 230BR Radar Reflector
Maybe not. We have been using an EcoMax at the spreader for about 5 years. Other boats say we show up no better than anyone else.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:17   #22
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Re: Radar reflector

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Maybe not. We have been using an EcoMax at the spreader for about 5 years. Other boats say we show up no better than anyone else.

Really...so much for the marketing gizmo.

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Old 10-05-2014, 10:50   #23
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Re: Radar reflector

As Sabray stated, Radars have improved to the point that radar reflectors are no needed. When I am out and about coastal cruising I often test my radar against visible objects and I can even spot logs on the radar before I see them, so even though I have a radar reflector I don't think it is needed.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:03   #24
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Re: Radar reflector

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As Sabray stated, Radars have improved to the point that radar reflectors are no needed. When I am out and about coastal cruising I often test my radar against visible objects and I can even spot logs on the radar before I see them, so even though I have a radar reflector I don't think it is needed.
So you're depending that boat X has the latest greatest radar unit???

good luck with that one.
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Old 11-05-2014, 00:09   #25
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Re: Radar reflector

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No offense, but get over it.* Whatever makes you think they were I know this is not PC, and not Colregs until the very last moment, but at some point you have to quit being the Stand On vessel and get the heck out of the way. It makes a nice story for the off watch!
Don't worry Ann, I am way past the stage in my life where I would stand my ground because it is my right of way. That stuff is for people with higher ambient testosterone levels on their boats than ours.

When I saw that sucker coming I did a hard to starboard and went for the shallows, THEN I tried to get them on the radio. As it was, we did such a good job of getting out of the way I could not even read his name with our INCREDIBLE Canon image stabilised binos (we had a Canon sales guy on board, wow did he bring some great gizmos on the trip).

To my mind it comes down to giving yourself the best chance of being seen, while not cluttering the mast with anything that does not actually work.

There are some good ideas on this thread for me to chase down.

Matt
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Old 11-05-2014, 00:32   #26
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Re: Radar reflector

Took photos of radar reflectors on boats at my dock. (The majority of boats didn't have them.)









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Old 11-05-2014, 00:50   #27
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Re: Radar reflector

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Certainly in Qld obliged to do so - if for no other reason that to discharge their General Safety Obligation pursuant to Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act
Factor,

How this has worked out for me is that sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. It's sort of like the 110kph speed limit somewhere between Goondiwindi and Lightning Ridge. Some obey it, some don't.

For me, this is the reality I have experienced over too many years sailing. You have only to read the report on Jessica Watson's collision with the Chinese ship to understand that ships officers training varies from country to country, so mistakes get made.

Somewhere about midway between Vanuatu and Australia, one year, on a full moon night, with excellent visibility, I was startled about out of my wits by a ship, traveling dark (that is, un-lit) and too close for comfort. Radar would have shown me him, but I didn't have it on because of the good vis. I never, ever, saw a ship traveling unlit before. As we were too close, and he was acting weird (no lights), I turned and got well out of the way.

After he was about a quarter mile astern, claxons went off on board his vessel. I hailed on 16, and (somewhat ridiculously) said who we were (the sailboat astern) and asked if they required assistance. (Not as weird as it sounds, I thought they might be trying to get out attention.) There was no answer. We carried on. And now, I have a story, and a little more experience.

Weird as that one was, we also have a friend who was rammed at night by a vessel who, when asked by our friends to stay around till they checked for leaks, responded, "You must be mad!" and motored off without another word , leaving our friends with a possibly sinking boat. The rammer didn't want to get caught. When reported at the port of entry, Customs reported that other people on the route had had incidents. All kinds of wrong things happen.

My whole point to GILow, and those of you with less sea miles, is to try and trust the rules, but, first, save yourself and your vessel, then sort out the details after, don't just hang in there too long being the Stand On vessel.

How I know this weird stuff is because the latter 30 yrs. or so of my life have been spent at sea and coastal cruising in different countries. So, I've accumulated lots of experiences relative to out of the way places. I do not know about the English Channel/La Manche from experience, and I shut up and learn about that.

Mostly, coastal shipping around Australia do guard 16. But not all respond when hailed. B]You're better prepared if you have a Plan B.[/B]

Good luck with it; I know it's difficult to trust someone you do not know from a bar of soap!

Ann
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:07   #28
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Took photos of radar reflectors on boats at my dock. (The majority of boats didn't have them.)
Interesting pictures, of those that did have reflectors, the Firdell is quite popular... I must have a look around our club, there are about 300 boats, and I can't immediately think of one with a reflector.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:29   #29
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Interesting pictures, of those that did have reflectors, the Firdell is quite popular... I must have a look around our club, there are about 300 boats, and I can't immediately think of one with a reflector.
When we were cruising from the UK/France you could recognise British boats from afar by the Firdell Blippers mounted on their masts, quite a few Dutch registered boats also had them. French boats however were either reflectorless (despite their rules/ regs saying they must have them, just not that they have to be deployed) or they had a Mobri fluorescent tube type taped to a spreader and therefore in the position least likely to give any return whatsoever. Or others had the smallest possible octahedral type threaded point up on the backstay, also about as useless as it gets. I still see the odd boat now we are based over here in the USA with a mast mounted blipper and still go look if I can because it could well be on a Brit boat.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:27   #30
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
........... Some obey it, some don't............
Mostly, coastal shipping around Australia do guard 16. But not all respond when hailed. B]You're better prepared if you have a Plan B.[/B]...........
Absolutely agree, and support what you say, didn't say that you should depend on them just that they were obligated legislatively to monitor 16. But my strategy is always to run away and avoid and semblance of confrontation.
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