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Old 02-11-2013, 09:19 AM   #21
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International Collision Regulations Rule 40 - A vessel that is less than 20 metres in length or is constructed primarily of non-metallic materials shall be equipped with a passive radar reflector.
OK. According to a random website conversion program, that's sixty-five feet, seven and one-third inches. At 31' LOA, I'm well under that requirement. Actually, I don't know anyone with a boat that big.

edit: Opps, my bad!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:21 AM   #22
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OK. According to a random website conversion program, that's sixty-five feet, seven and one-third inches. At 31' LOA, I'm well under that requirement. Actually, I don't know anyone with a boat that big.

Every boat under 20 metres regardless of build material is required to have a reflector under that rule. (there are a few exceptions ... canoes etc.).
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:58 AM   #23
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Every boat under 20 metres regardless of build material is required to have a reflector under that rule. (there are a few exceptions ... canoes etc.).
You're right, I read it wrong. Still, the vast majority of these boats don't have radar reflectors. and the Coast Guard Auxilliary has never mentioned it. I don't believe it's on their printed checklist.

So what now? Everyone on the river gets a citation? The guy pulling his kids in a runabout? The guy in the 18' CC fishing near the bridge? The bunch partying at the sandbar?
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:07 AM   #24
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You're right, I read it wrong. Still, the vast majority of these boats don't have radar reflectors. and the Coast Guard Auxilliary has never mentioned it. I don't believe it's on their printed checklist.

So what now? Everyone on the river gets a citation? The guy pulling his kids in a runabout? The guy in the 18' CC fishing near the bridge? The bunch partying at the sandbar?
There are exceptions, you'd have to read the whole thing but essentially if you are in an area where radar is commonly used, underway between dusk or dawn or in "unfavourable environmental conditions" near traffic patterns .... should should have one.

I've done a number of tests over the years and have found as other posts suggested that some boats due to shape, material or sea conditions can disappear from my 5kw radar for long periods of time. I once nearly ran over a 30' Police RIB in heavy fog. He was not sounding the appropriate signal and did not have a reflector. Too bad I didn,t hit him, I could have retired on the proceeds.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #25
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I believe rule 40 as stated is a Canadian rule only (says Canadian Additional) right in their rules.

I don't see a rule 40 in eithe US or The IMO rules....could be wrong...but couldn't find it in either of those.

And yes a good idea if your RADAR signature stinks.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:30 AM   #26
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I believe rule 40 as stated is a Canadian rule only (says Canadian Additional) right in their rules.

I don't see a rule 40 in eithe US or The IMO rules....could be wrong...but couldn't find it in either of those.

And yes a good idea if your RADAR signature stinks.

Yes, sorry rule 40 is the Canadian version. I believe you'll find the IMO version at Annex Res A.384(x). There isn't much difference. Nothing is US rules. Given the cost, I have never been without one.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:45 AM   #27
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.......... Given the cost, I have never been without one.
I have a folding one, just no good place to mount it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:47 AM   #28
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A lot of the Davis radar reflectors I see on boats are mounted wrong. Davis describes the correct mounting as "Catch Rain".
Many years ago Practical Sailor Magazine did a test of a bunch of different radar reflectors (RR). The cheap foil covered Davis gave the best return. Their aluminum RR came in second. Their returns were much better than all of the much more expensive RRs.
Here is a link to a Davis publication that discusses RRs: http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...52_153_157.pdf
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:11 AM   #29
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We have a Mobbri radar reflector mounted on our radar arch and it does give a good radar "bounce." It was made in Denmark and uses aluminum elements arranged at 45 degs. and 22.5 degs to one another inside a plastic cylinder 500 mms long.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #30
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For those that don't want to mount a RADAR reflector lining the inside of your flybridge fairing (if u have one) can be as good or better (especially if the foil is crinkled and not smooth) than a commercial reflector.

Many of the tube type have failed tests miserably when they first came out...if you have one make sure you get a couple good checks on it if you are counting on it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #31
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We have a Mobbri radar reflector mounted on our radar arch and it does give a good radar "bounce." It was made in Denmark and uses aluminum elements arranged at 45 degs. and 22.5 degs to one another inside a plastic cylinder 500 mms long.
That looks like the one I have.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:43 AM   #32
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What I don't understand is why anyone would try to "economize" on this. Its an inconsequential cost for an incalculable benefit. We have 2 reflectors on Gray Hawk and I saw some new-fangled ones at the boat show which I am considering adding.

We routinely see large vessels that leave almost no radar signature. I'm not talking about little fishing boats - I'm talking about 30 or 40 foot boats that I'm sure the owners think are visible on my radar but aren't.

Every one of us spends a lot more money on stupid gee-gaws for our boats that have no potential to avert disaster. When I have trouble seeing my anchor in heavy fog on English Bay I'm really happy that I have the reflectors I do have.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:46 AM   #33
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I have designed and built a few that I installed on top of crab pot floats. It was odd at first seeing my crab pots showing as larger targets than the boats around them. They dramatically increase the cross section and are very cool to see working. I'll dig up some pics.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #34
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What I don't understand is why anyone would try to "economize" on this. Its an inconsequential cost for an incalculable benefit...

Every one of us spends a lot more money on stupid gee-gaws for our boats that have no potential to avert disaster.
You got it. It's not shiny, has no buttons to push, and won't impress your slip neighbors.

I have two. Bought the second one when I found the tube style is not do great.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #35
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I got mine at the local fishing supply store. They use them on their floats. Very inexpensive and very effective, although not as shiny as the "yacht" version. Once in the fog I was with a group of other boats, and it was mentioned that my target looked a lot bigger than the rest. And I had one of the smaller boats.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:52 PM   #36
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BP, thanks for the reference.

Ron: the site is here:Navigation Equipment (continued) - Transport Canada

and the relevant part is this:


Radar reflectors are required for vessels less than 20 metres long, and for all non-metal vessels. Locate reflectors above all superstructure Ė at least 4 metres above the water if possible.

I don't have the reference, but for the CEs that I do in Vancouver Harbour, the additional requirement is that, since the location is "busy", the reflector must be mounted at all times.
I have had occasional discussions with boaters who deploy a Davis style reflector inside the flybridge, ie ahead of the wheel, and claim they get a good signature.
Personally, I hang a very effective RR from my spreader, just below the Radar Scanner. I have had reports of an excellent signature. I wouldn't be without it.
Those cylindrical reflectors with a 3 or 4" diameter were rated by Practical Sailor a number of yrs ago as giving a good signature. They can be mounted standing up on any surface, so there would be no boat design where you couldn't find a spot to mount one.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:59 PM   #37
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Previous owner installed a cylindrical device on the mast. I have never asked anyone if it improves my "signature" .. then again, I can only recall two times we were out in conditions of really low visibility.
I have the same device but have no information on it and likewise, not sure if it makes much difference.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:07 PM   #38
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Nordic installs reflectors as factory equipment, usually installed inside the fake smoke stack (that is where ours is located). Literature from teh time our boat was produced, 2002, indicated that the reflector would give a signaure more like a 60ft steel boat, as opposed to a 34 ft fiberglass boat. So, if you ever wondered, now you know what is inside the fake Nordic Tug stacks.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:47 PM   #39
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Sorry, I gave the incorrect reference body in my earlier post. Anyone interested in the FACTS about radar reflectors should read the following UK reference. Since this was published improvement have been made to "active" powered reflectors but nothing has changed regarding passive units. Most passive units are useless (particularly true of folding/ foil/cardboard "emergency" units) and/or must be installed in exactly the right orientation to work even modestly (Davis unit). It is a fair bet that most passive reflectors installed out there do not do much for safety at sea!!

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...s%20report.pdf
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:55 PM   #40
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Sorry, I gave the incorrect reference body in my earlier post. Anyone interested in the FACTS about radar reflectors should read the following UK reference. Since this was published improvement have been made to "active" powered reflectors but nothing has changed regarding passive units. Most passive units are useless (particularly true of folding/ foil/cardboard "emergency" units) and/or must be installed in exactly the right orientation to work even modestly (Davis unit). It is a fair bet that most passive reflectors installed out there do not do much for safety at sea!!

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...s%20report.pdf

Sorry...this is absolutely marginal info about passive reflectors. Many other studies would disagree. While they are never going to be as good as active products and don't work in all situations...they do a good enough job for most of us.

Have seen literally thousands in use and tested more than a few....they work about as advertised..even the cheap foil ones (though not designed for long term use).
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