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Old 13 November 2003, 07:18   #1
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Radar reflectors

I have seen some which look like a small strip light. They are about 14" long and are usually cable tied to the a frame.
Does anyone have experience of these items and who makes them ?
Your views please.
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Old 13 November 2003, 07:28   #2
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Yes, we have one. Made by Plastimo I think. Most chandlers stock them.

Do a search here: http://rib.net/forum/search.php?s= on radar AND reflectors as there's loads of archive threads about them.
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Old 13 November 2003, 09:03   #3
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I believe that there is now, or going to be, a legal requirement to have a radar reflector. I have one of these on my boat and all it does is make me legal.

During May I was out at night with my radar on, in flat calm seas, and another boat with the same reflector type was invisible to me all the time !!

Regards

Mark
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Old 13 November 2003, 10:47   #4
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Even when mounted on the a-frame of a rib it is so low to the water that they don't really do anything.
Not sure about the law but if you dont have to have one then dont bother.
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Old 13 November 2003, 10:52   #5
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Have a look here:

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/solas.pdf
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Old 13 November 2003, 11:03   #6
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Oh, i gather from that that we're all suposed to have one...
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Old 13 November 2003, 11:15   #7
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Well, you're not going to be fined for going to sea without one (yet!) but if you were involved in an incident and it was highlighted that you didn't have one fitted, you could be in a spot of bother. 'specially if your insurance company decided not to pay up because of it.
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Old 13 November 2003, 11:23   #8
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As far as i'm aware the performance of these tubular radar reflectors is quite poor.

Have alook at this
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Old 13 November 2003, 11:32   #9
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To complement what Mark W. said................when we did RB4 we tried 3 diferent radar reflectors on the boat that we on Cyanide were supporting.
Couldn't pick up anything meaningful at all really. Just odd "glimpses".
I am wondering if the radar set being employed to detect the reflector pays a major part here. Maybe on big boats, rescue craft, helicopters etc. their sets are more detailed and accurate and can track small reflectors?
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Old 13 November 2003, 11:37   #10
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How about some Ribnet radar reflector burgees stu?
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Old 13 November 2003, 12:54   #11
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I'll sew a brillo pad on each one, that should do the trick
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Old 13 November 2003, 13:03   #12
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And another thought...if your radar is "active" can it "see" another rib with an active radar more easily? More easily that is than a radar reflector?
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Old 13 November 2003, 15:03   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian
And another thought...if your radar is "active" can it "see" another rib with an active radar more easily? More easily that is than a radar reflector?
No, I believe not.

It's a bit strange that your radar did not pick up the return from a radar reflector because most bouys only have a basic octahedral on their tops. I take it the gain was turned up and the distance was realistic.
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Old 01 December 2004, 11:24   #14
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Radar reflectors

I've been reading - with interest- all the archived threads on radar reflectors. Is ther jury still out? If not, what was the verdict? Any good? Waste of money? And are we legally obliged to have one yet or not???
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Old 01 December 2004, 11:30   #15
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Originally Posted by Bollyfish
I've been reading - with interest- all the archived threads on radar reflectors. Is ther jury still out? If not, what was the verdict? Any good? Waste of money? And are we legally obliged to have one yet or not???
Welcome to the forum, Bollyfish. You are obliged to carry one if practicable (SOLAS Regs). Look here. It seems to be that, generally speaking, the more you pay the more effective the reflector is. HTH
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Old 01 December 2004, 11:46   #16
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An empty bean tin on a piece of string will do everything the most expensive Radar Reflector on the market does. Alternativly strips of tin foil on a metal coat hanger are just as good. I wonder where the jet ski boys and girls are going to put theirs? Perhaps someone should invent a radar refelective hard hat! Alan P
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Old 01 December 2004, 12:02   #17
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Hi all

I was thinking of getting one, bearing in mind the attachedment points on a rib i figure most will put on the A frame. Does anyone have a make that fits on the A-frame easy e.g has brackets.

From the one i have seen they seem to strap to the A frame with tie-wraps which seems good rather than have one mounted on top of the A-frame (wiggle about)

I had a look on some of the sites and also found readr reflective tape, would that be better based on the comments
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Old 01 December 2004, 12:08   #18
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Practical Boat Owner did quite a comprehensive test a few years ago, and had a "joke" radar reflector as a comparison (a bin bag full of tin foil I think). As far as I remember all the "proper" reflectors out performed it.

The SOLAS regulations require small craft to have a radar reflector "if practicable" which it is on most RIBs, but probably isn't on a jet ski.

John
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Old 01 December 2004, 12:10   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Priddy
An empty bean tin on a piece of string will do everything the most expensive Radar Reflector on the market does. Alternativly strips of tin foil on a metal coat hanger are just as good.
Alan - serious question! Would your suggestions satisfy the 'authorities' that you are complying with SOLAS regs?
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Old 01 December 2004, 12:44   #20
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Alan - serious question! Would your suggestions satisfy the 'authorities' that you are complying with SOLAS regs?
Proberbly not but at least they would see that you have made some attempt to been seen. I have lost count of the numbers of reflectors that have come back on the deck of boats because they have fallen off or broken the A Frame. I am not sure there is a set spec for reflectors on boats under 10 meters, in which case a bean tin will suffice. Perhaps others might know.
Alan P
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