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Old 16-11-2005, 11:50   #1
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Why would a MOB pole be orange??

OK firstly, I am not going to drag up a thread in respect to the rediculouse arguments of old has beens sitting at the dock being jealouse of those out doing it. So lets keep to the heading of this topic. Why do MOB poles get made in the colours they are and for that matter, why does any piece of safety equipment get made in some bright colour, usually rescue Orange. I just had to bring this subject up, as a Particular person is making totally stupid and rediculouse comments on the web, including other BB's were newies are going to be reading and learning something that one day could cost them or a partners life at Sea, all because of the blinding leading.

It was interesting that the person all this original argument revolved around, made a comment that everything looked black from a distance. Well actually, that is not entirely true. It's all about light reflection and distance. Bright colours may look Black at a distance in some lights. Especially if bright sunlight is behind the object. But the black is not because it IS black, it is because our eyes are not gathering enough light to distinguish the actuall colour, due to differences in contrast.
HOWEVER,
Bright colours actually gather and reflect more light than a dark colour. Especially if that bright colour is a flourecent type. This results in the object tending to stand out in contrast. Our eye's my not5 beable to determin the actuall colour, but we can see the object with greater ease. Of course a dark colour and grey being the worst, will just disapear into the background.

Bright colours can be very striking if you have the Sun behind and the object is still in the distance.
But one of the really big issue is at night. Rescue Orange can be seen at quite a distance against a black background under a torch/search light.

Now add one more scenario. Maybe you can't see an object well or even at all witht he naked eye, but take a look around with descent binoculars. The world totally changes. Binoculars are "light gathering" instruments. At dusk when the light has faded to where you can no longer see with your eyes, try Binoculars. Rescue orange can be easily seen. Just try that when you are at a mooring with other marker bouys around at night. You will be amazed at how many orange or bright coloured bouys you can see in the darkness.

This is just one aspect and I don't want to hog the topic. Everyone jump in and post comments as to why certain equipment is coloured the way it is. That way we will build a thread that hopefully will be large enough to take the curiosity of any newbie browsing.
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Old 16-11-2005, 12:35   #2
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Colours

Bird watches are well aware of the colour differences in different light. In the summer a bird may be described as small with bright orange breast, white eye stripe and flashes of red under the wings. Similar treatment for the large birds.
In the winter they are described as small greyish bird and large greyish bird.
There is a red tailed hawk sitting on the tree opposite me, there are some white patches visible, because there is some light outside. If it was clouded in he would appear dark grey. He does appear dark grey right now, I used the telescope to look at him. If he was orange or yellow, the colour would show today but not in the evening. Same thing for my duck who is impossible to find in dull light. So the colours work when the sun is out. I guess the coasties have decided that orange and yellow stand out better on the water. The blue and silver lures are easier to see under the water so we use those colours on dull days.
I think we should paint the bottom of the boat white with an orange cross on it.
Michael
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Old 16-11-2005, 14:06   #3
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Supposedly rescue orange is the best for visual acuity or ability to be seen. The yellow-orange is very close to the wavelength of light is 'best perceived' by the human eye. .... or something like that.
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Old 16-11-2005, 14:49   #4
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Alan

I agree with ALL that you have written in the first post on this thread.

Another reason for the orange is that it stands out well at nightif you are shining a torch around. - Although these more modern flourescent colours may be even more visible.

Orange is good in daylight, but it is twilight and dark that makes the orange such an important colour.
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Old 16-11-2005, 16:36   #5
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Actually Mike, you have touched on a very important comment. The clours of Hulls or the entire boat for that matter. I have often talked to SAR's people that have made comments about this. The most common colours we paint our boats in are some of the hardest colours to see in the ater from distance. Blue's and Greens with white are the most perfect camouflarge in ruff sea's. Even a pure white hull is hard to see when the ocean is full of white caps. One comment was all hull bottoms should be rescue orange. Even though I would never (hopefully) have my boat remain bottom up, I have still used Red as the Antifoul colour, just because of that comment.
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Old 16-11-2005, 18:55   #6
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Alan,
When I worked at Boat U.S., we carried foulies in a very stylish shade of navy blue. When (and if) a customer would ask my opinion, I would tell them that they were "perfect" ..... perfect camoflage! I mean, when are you most likely to go overboard? I figure that would be when it's rough out ... and you would most likely be wearing foulies. Sigh ... they bought them anyway. Mine are orange .

Bob & Lynn

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Old 16-11-2005, 19:12   #7
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"ORC" Special Regulations

FWIW, the International Sailing Federation's Offshore Special Regulations (aka the ORC Special Regs), Section 4, has the following recommendation:

4.02 Hull marking (colour blaze)
4.02.1 To assist in SAR location a hull should show:
a) on the coachroof, deck and/or topsides where it can best be seen at least one block or strip of highly-visible colour (e.g. dayglo pink, orange or yellow) of at least one square meter in area
b) on each underwater appendage an area of highly-visible colour.

And

4.26 Storm & Heavy Weather Sails
4.26.2 high visibility
a) It is strongly recommended that every storm sail should either be of highly-visible coloured material (eg dayglo pink, orange or yellow) or have a highly-visible coloured patch added on each side; and also that a rotating wing mast used in lieu of a trysail should have a highly-visible coloured patch on each side.

And

5.04 Foul weather suits
b) It is recommended that a foul weather suit should be fitted with marine-grade retro-reflective material, and should have highvisibility colours on its upper parts and sleeve cuffs. See 4.18

So for reference,

4.18 Marine grade retro-reflective material
Marine grade retro-reflective material shall be fitted to lifebuoys, lifeslings, liferafts and lifejackets.


Although intended for offshore racing, I find these Special Regulations very useful in preparing a cruising boat. But maybe there are some who would find the reflective tape and bright colors of my foulies to be garish and unfashionable...

What do you think? Does having the name of my boat splashed across the topsides in bright red meet the requirements of 4.02.1 a)?



(That was the previous owner's doing, but I don't see any need to change it, at least for the time being.)

Regards,

Tim
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Old 16-11-2005, 19:49   #8
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Refering back to the thread I started on "MOB Lesson learned cheap", Even bright white disappears quickly in a rough sea. We were searching for a 10' dinghy, white bottom up, and were not more than a couple hundred feet away when we lost sight of it. That is nearly a 40 square foot of bright white. Consider a human, verticle in the water. Maybe 1.5 square feet. Why paint MOB poles orange? It is a matter of life and death.
As for the square meter of dayglo on the deck, I just can't do that to my wood boat. Of course, I could lay out on the deck in my bright orange foulies
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Old 17-11-2005, 00:48   #9
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I thought that square metre of dayglo was in the way of a piece of material that you placed on deck if and when required and can have the V within it. This means you are asking for assistance. Not a sqaure painted on at all times. Am I wrong?
As for upside down hulls, weeeell, that will only apply to Multihulls anyway. Oooooo that was low, I can just see theempty beer cans and rotten fruit being thrown at me now.
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Old 17-11-2005, 03:18   #10
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Old 17-11-2005, 05:27   #11
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Conspicuity”, the technical term describing an object’s ability to capture our attention, is a complex subject - which encompasses much more than colour...

Safety Orange & International Orange (slightly different colours) are highly conspicuous, though not as good as Lime Yellow.

All of these colours work well due to their:
~ Luminous Intensity (they lie in the middle of the visible spectrum, where the eye is most responsive)
~ Contrast with likely surroundings at sea
~ Cognitive conspicuity (they are unexpected & startling colours).

FWIW,
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Old 17-11-2005, 05:47   #12
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Quote:
Alan Wheeler once whispered in the wind:
As for upside down hulls, weeeell, that will only apply to Multihulls anyway. Oooooo that was low, I can just see theempty beer cans and rotten fruit being thrown at me now.
Actually some of the broad, flat-bottomed extreme mono-hull racers have been known to remain inverted, and they DO paint their keels and rudders with a high visibility color. See Saving Everest Horizontal (which lost it's keel bulb)

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Old 17-11-2005, 09:09   #13
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marker buoy color

And tell me who has not scratched their head as to who ever decided that green would be a good color for channel marker buoys.
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Old 17-11-2005, 19:31   #14
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Gee, Alan,

You don't need to pay any attention to what Pat says. His experience is minimal, and his judgment dubious; those who listen to him do so at their own peril. Don't let a dilletante get under your skin. You're lowering yourself by letting him get a rise out of you.

Sign me "an 'old guy on [an] internet chat room'" who knows better than to answer a fool.
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Old 17-11-2005, 21:26   #15
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Jeff, regardless of the motivation, this is a good subject.
Alan, upside down maybe, but 800 square feet of bright orange would sure be easy to spot. Especially above the surface
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