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Old 18 August 2008, 11:17   #21
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Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
Where practical is pretty ambiguous

Is it practical to fit smaller reflectors such as the tube type that are next to useless?

Also they have to be mounted in the correct position - if there is something like a light or whatever on top of the A frame is there any point in mounting them at an angle?
I believe this is fair point - as far as I can see from reading around (i.e. worrying) about this, pretty much all these devices have real world drawbacks that make them so very often useless in practice:

- either being too small to be useful
- or too large to be practical to mount on a small craft (including most yachts)
- or too difficult to mount in a way that doesn't affect their usefulness (heal angles or obstructions.

So, Im afraid I don't really 'believe' in these devices - at best they come into the category of 'you might just get lucky' and at worst they give a false sense of security.

Consequently, I'd argue that none of these are really practical. But I'm not sure where that would get me in a court situation

The only ones that I'd feel happy with are the active see-me units. Then you just have to hope your battery holds out and the commercial ships are keeping an active watch

If I was spending more time offshore or potentially in bad vis then I'd go for one of those - as it is I dont have a reflector fitted and know that in poor conditions, it's up to me.

That being said, I'd never stop anyone fitting one!!!

(Curiously, recently I've seen several of the - smaller - 'tube type' reflectors zip tied to ribs A Frames either on the vertical or under the horizontal bar. Surely pretty much useless! from at least half the horizon)

(And... Have you seen some of the recent generation of racing yachts. Could have been designed to be stealthy... Carbon fibre hulls and spars. Fibre standing rigging and almost no metal fittings or wiring aloft. Fewer metal fittings on deck, even winches and cleats are fitted low down and have fewer metal components. Motors deep in the hull. And I don't remember them using reflectors - too much windage! I'd guess the radar profile of a 40-50' trick yacht would be smaller than that of a rib with an outboard. Makes you think!)
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Old 18 August 2008, 11:22   #22
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I'd guess the radar profile of a 40-50' trick yacht would be smaller than that of a rib with an outboard. Makes you think!)
But apparently a big wet sail does quite well as a radar reflector.
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Old 18 August 2008, 11:37   #23
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in the real world-- it is far easier to fit a reflector, that may or may not do the job, than to argue the point in law if there is ever an incident. Loadsa regs in the uk that are completely pointless (and this may or may not be one of them depending on your point of view), but folk still get done for them when an enforcement officer from whatever authority gets his arm twisted by a third party, or indeed just feels that way out on the day!
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Old 18 August 2008, 15:53   #24
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But apparently a big wet sail does quite well as a radar reflector.
Hmm, interesting - So may be ok in the fog/rain then!
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Old 18 August 2008, 16:00   #25
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Originally Posted by wavelength View Post
in the real world-- it is far easier to fit a reflector, that may or may not do the job, than to argue the point in law if there is ever an incident. Loadsa regs in the uk that are completely pointless (and this may or may not be one of them depending on your point of view), but folk still get done for them when an enforcement officer from whatever authority gets his arm twisted by a third party, or indeed just feels that way out on the day!
Yeup - not really arguing with any of that.

Just that in any real world situation that the most commonly available radar reflectors seem to consistently be reported as next to useless and fail the ISO standards. Maybe they should get done under the trade descriptions act...

Hope the see-me comes down in price a bit!
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Old 18 August 2008, 17:50   #26
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The only ones that I'd feel happy with are the active see-me units. Then you just have to hope your battery holds out and the commercial ships are keeping an active watch
Why is it only commercial ships that dont keep a good look out and do all the running down?
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