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Old 28-07-2014, 11:44   #31
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

I think a tracking beacon is your best bet. Consider SPOT, InReach, and APRS.

There are some ways to extend range at least somewhat beyond the visual horizon.
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Old 28-07-2014, 11:52   #32
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

How many times did we hear Timmy ask Lassie, "which way girl?"

Train a dolphin.

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Old 28-07-2014, 13:20   #33
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

Aerial video on a kite?
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Old 28-07-2014, 13:28   #34
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

Aerial drones are amazingly inexpensive and getting lower. Not sure if the battery life is enough for this though.
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Old 28-07-2014, 15:16   #35
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

Call Homeland Security and tell them the guys a risk and then just follow the helicopter.
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Old 28-07-2014, 15:53   #36
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

Put someone in the crows nest and stay as far or close as needed to remain in sight but not seen and hope the other guy doesn't have a watch on in their crows nest


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Old 28-07-2014, 16:00   #37
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

Radar. Your mast mounted radar can see his mast before he, on his deck, can see your mast visually. Just barely. Most sailboats aren't going to be running an amp thirsty radar at sea when it is not needed, so his will likely be off.

RC airplane with ATV camera. Launch and spy 3 or 4 times a day.

Climb to your mast top. You can see his mast from your mast top, before he can see yours from his deck. Mast steps make this more practical. Of course you always wear a harness when going aloft, especially at sea.

Follow the trail of empty beer cans.

Know his destination and probable route. Then don't follow him... go on ahead of him. He will never suspect you are following him when you are up ahead of him.
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Old 28-07-2014, 16:04   #38
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

If you watch whale wars, they do this type of thing all the time. Get a helo ( or drone)
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Old 28-07-2014, 16:17   #39
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

I think the point is to be undetected.

If high tech :

That means radio silence...that means no active radar, though a broadband passive dopplar radar would show a ping if the other guy is using active radar or other radio source.

You can add to the crows nest idea,


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Old 28-07-2014, 16:40   #40
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
How many times did we hear Timmy ask Lassie, "which way girl?"

Train a dolphin.

Beat me to it.

Call Aquaman...
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Old 29-07-2014, 15:26   #41
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

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nimblemotors beat me to it a bit. My version would be a fishing kite with a simple stabilized zoomed camera. Can easily be raised an lowered. Kinda like an airborne periscope.

Same concept.... but why not just send a common quad copter aloft every few hours to take a peek at the boat you're tailing? Telephoto cam for daytime, infrared for night time.
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Old 29-07-2014, 15:30   #42
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

DSC position request would even work.


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Old 29-07-2014, 16:27   #43
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

After reading your responses (thanks a bunch), some serious and some hilarious, I've decided to go with a radar up the mast and let the on-again-off-again blip of the boat ahead build a little suspense. That should be simple enough, uncomplicated enough, to get by most landlubber readers. Then, keep my fingers crossed that people who DO know radar do NOT read the book. Again, thanks for all the ideas.
Lee : )
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Old 29-07-2014, 16:53   #44
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

If you want to build up some technical drama into the radar limits...read up on sub and supra-refraction to explain how your tracker can gain and loose the target
Good luck with the book.

http://www.radartutorial.eu/07.waves/wa17.en.html
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Old 29-07-2014, 16:57   #45
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Re: How to Follow Another Sailboat out of Sight?

In the days of wooden ships and iron men, they had lookouts aloft. Still feasible in a modern sailboat. If, from the deck level, you can't see him, then he probably can't see you. If you then go 65' up the mast, you could theoretically see his boat over the curvature of the earth. He could see you, but your body would make a much smaller target to see than his boat. Should make for an exciting chapter, too.
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