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Old 13 January 2015, 09:57   #1
mrr
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Help needed: Radar Arch / A-frame for SIB

We just ordered the futura MK3. Our futura will sometimes live on a trailer, when travelling we will pack it and stow it in our car.

I am looking for a A-frame or radar arch to mount navigation lights and a radar reflector.
On the web I found this Arch from Atlantic towers Atlantic Towers | Inflatable Boat Products

Do you know other options? How do you mount your radar reflector and nav. lights on your SIB? Could you share your experience and pictures?

Thanks!
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Old 13 January 2015, 12:03   #2
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Atlantic Towers: Looked at them a long time ago. Pretty pricey for what they do.

I'd suggest taking their design (roughly) and asking an auto exhaust shop to fab one up from heavy gauge aluminum tubing (might want to add a cross brace in the corner to keep it from penduluming sideways.) Some small plated on the sides to mount lights, and whatever you need to mount your radar reflector (and VHF antenna, and whatever else you want to hang on there), and all that's left is to figure out how to mount it. Could go stainless, but it will be heavy and a lot more expensive. Should be a lot less than the $600 they're asking.

As to alternatives, a single upright pole would do as well; simpler and cheaper. Small boats are usually given a bit of leeway as to where lights are mounted, so having both sidelights not centered on the keel is usually OK.

jky
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Old 13 January 2015, 12:54   #3
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Here is one for $175 with free shipping on eBay. I don't have any experience with this one, but it looks like a deal for that price.
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Old 13 January 2015, 14:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
~asking an auto exhaust shop to fab one up from heavy gauge aluminum tubing~
Getting a tower fabbed up locally is an option, but from what I have seen, muffler shops always kink the pipe. It takes a different die to get a fluid bend. There are plenty of places that can bend up what you need, along with drilling it, and welding some tabs onto it.

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As to alternatives, a single upright pole would do as well; simpler and cheaper. Small boats are usually given a bit of leeway as to where lights are mounted, so having both sidelights not centered on the keel is usually OK.

jky
I like the single pole light idea so much, I rigged up a pole to slide into a fishing rod holder (White all around light). For the green and red bow light I just bought an LED that slides into some ABS mounted to the anchor crate. A cutting board with some bungee would do the same thing (Another idea I saw used here on RIB.net).

They make battery power LED navigation light sets, and of course if you have a battery you can use that to power the lights (My preference as I don't have to worry about finding dead C cell batteries (Does require wiring)).

The radar reflector is a GIANT wind catcher, and not something I would fly. You are a tiny boat, keep out of the way of BIG boats/ships. They do make deployable streamers and flags if needed for rescue situations.
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Old 13 January 2015, 16:03   #5
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The radar reflector is a GIANT wind catcher, and not something I would fly. You are a tiny boat, keep out of the way of BIG boats/ships. They do make deployable streamers and flags if needed for rescue situations.
I am living in Holland, the Dutch North Sea coast is very busy with container vessels, oil tankers. A radar reflector is a life saver. We have to leave from a sea port, all of them are crowded with huge vessels so sailing in busy waters cannot be avoided in this part of the world.
Tri-lens radar reflectors have been tested and seem to be pretty good. The wind catch factor is not so big.

I think I will use led navigation lights, i still need something to mount them on. An arch or a pole seems an interesting idea.
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Old 13 January 2015, 16:22   #6
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Here is one for $175 with free shipping on eBay. I don't have any experience with this one, but it looks like a deal for that price.
Thanks! Much better for my wallet than the atlantic towers arch, will take a look at it.
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Old 13 January 2015, 16:56   #7
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These are available in the UK ,

BOAT RIB Double A-Frame 316 Stainless Steel 40mm Tube Adjustable | eBay


Maybe wort seeing if the can send abroad,
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Old 13 January 2015, 17:27   #8
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I am living in Holland, the Dutch North Sea coast is very busy with container vessels, oil tankers. A radar reflector is a life saver. We have to leave from a sea port, all of them are crowded with huge vessels so sailing in busy waters cannot be avoided in this part of the world.
Tri-lens radar reflectors have been tested and seem to be pretty good. The wind catch factor is not so big.

I think I will use led navigation lights, i still need something to mount them on. An arch or a pole seems an interesting idea.
I FULLY understand boating around a large port. The San Francisco Bay has the Port of Oakland (Container ships) along with many other HUGE vessels like super tankers (Largest refineries around Northern California are here), and car carriers (Should I mention how bad traffic in the Bay Area is?). If they see me or not doesn't matter, as they are not going to turn, stop, nor yield in any way to me. I stay far out of their way. Fortunately other than a foggy day, I can see them coming for miles and know their paths.

The challenge with an arch is removing it every time you want to fold the boat up. Since it needs to bolt the the transom (Not the floor as it is not strong enough), you will be left with exposed holes thru the wooden transom. You could mount permanent brackets to address this issue, but that is fabricating something up.

There are radar reflectors that are smaller and could be put on a very strong pole.
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Old 14 January 2015, 02:59   #9
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I FULLY understand boating around a large port. The San Francisco Bay has the Port of Oakland (Container ships) along with many other HUGE vessels like super tankers (Largest refineries around Northern California are here), and car carriers (Should I mention how bad traffic in the Bay Area is?). If they see me or not doesn't matter, as they are not going to turn, stop, nor yield in any way to me. I stay far out of their way.

The challenge with an arch is removing it every time you want to fold the boat up. Since it needs to bolt the the transom (Not the floor as it is not strong enough), you will be left with exposed holes thru the wooden transom. You could mount permanent brackets to address this issue, but that is fabricating something up.

There are radar reflectors that are smaller and could be put on a very strong pole.
In some areas, a radar reflector is required by law.
Indeed, the challenge of removing an arch everytime we fold the boat is not something I look forward to. The holes in the transom is something we need to address.

The pole seems an excellent option. I have never seen one in stores, look for inspiration how to build one or where to buy one. Does anyone have pictures of their configuration?
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Old 14 January 2015, 03:38   #10
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In some areas, a radar reflector is required by law.
Indeed, the challenge of removing an arch everytime we fold the boat is not something I look forward to. The holes in the transom is something we need to address.
A stainless strip, mounted inside the boat on both sides, with 2 studs welded onto each side would stay mounted to the boat, and the tower would then slide over the 4 studs inside the boat, with some large thumb wheels to lock the tower in place.

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The pole seems an excellent option. I have never seen one in stores, look for inspiration how to build one or where to buy one. Does anyone have pictures of their configuration?
I have a stern light similar to this one. It slides into a slotted fishing rod holder.
http://www.amazon.com/SeaSense-Adjus...VH71G0Y6CG4TG5

My bow light is this one.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Both are wired, and when I want to use them I physically plug them into my electronics tower that houses the boats battery. Simple is good for me.
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