Visibility wise I'm fairly certain that fluorescent green (that bright yellow-green) color is the most visible. And of course SOLAS grade reflective tape is KEY.
Though one other factor in this equation, yet to be mentioned, is, what color(s) stand out the best when viewed through Night Vision (NVG) & Thermal gear
? As NVG's aren't too uncommon on cruising boats anymore, & Thermal's definitely making inroads into that market as well.
Though, obviously, Professional SAR tends to have both, more often than not.
I've little doubt that with a little Googlefu, & if someone wants to write a few letters to Uncle Sam (Freedom of Information Act). That a lot of the studies on this topic can be had, gratis. Although "studies" can be made to say whatever you want them to.
That said, there's little question that Yellow IS brighter once the Sun sets, than is Red, or Orange.
On certain "organizations" sticking with Red, or Orange, I'm thinking that a lot of that has to do with tradition.
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.**