radar question

gjgm

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Not having a radar arch, I do not have radar, so I was wondering, just how visible am I given the boat is quite low profile and 34ft ? I would not envisage being in more than 2.5-3m waves and swell, though most of the time hopefully alot less.
 

Divemaster1

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Having a radar does not make you more visible .....

A boats radar signature varies with manufacturing material (steel give off good radar signature) and how much radar reflecting surfaces you have. If you are worried about the radar signature of your boat, I suggest you install a radar reflector of some sort ... even a £10 passive reflector is better than none..
 

jrudge

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I suppose it depends who is looking.

The radar paint of small vessels is often pretty small on a radar set, or will fade in and out. It is often difficult to say if something is a boat or just a blip of some kind.

On a larger commercial vessel I suspect they are not bad at spotting this but on a smaller vessel in my view it is pretty easy to miss.

Bear in mind that unless visibility is poor ( and if it is then people will be paying more radar attention) then in practice you are highly likely to see things out of the window well before they becomes a collision risk. Further unless vis is poor I would doubt many people have the radar on.
 
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Deleted User YDKXO

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The short answer is that in 2.5 - 3m swells you wouldn't be very visible especially to other small pleasure craft with non-commercial radar! Get yourself a passive or better, active radar reflector like this http://www.sea-me.co.uk and mount it as high as possible. Having a radar won't make you more visible to other radar users so you need to do something else to make yourself as visible as possible
 

gjgm

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The short answer is that in 2.5 - 3m swells you wouldn't be very visible especially to other small pleasure craft with non-commercial radar! Get yourself a passive or better, active radar reflector like this http://www.sea-me.co.uk and mount it as high as possible. Having a radar won't make you more visible to other radar users so you need to do something else to make yourself as visible as possible
Thanks all; sorry for the poor explanantion. I meant that not having a radar means that I have no experience and so cannot answer my own question !!
As it happens I have an active radar reflector on order, though now I have the same problem.. no arch to fit it to ;)
 

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I don't think you'll be any harder to see than a similar boat with a radar arch, as the arches are generally made of GRP so don't give much of a signal. They can sometimes be used to house a radar reflector, though usually only the narrow tube type will fit, which seem to get poor reviews.

You could fairly easily rig up a radar reflector on a pole, and fix a socket somewhere to mount it when you hit fog. Of the passive reflectors, the "tri-lens" seem to come out best in all the reviews, or as Deleted User says, an active reflector will be better but will need power to it.
 

Nick_H

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Thanks all; sorry for the poor explanantion. I meant that not having a radar means that I have no experience and so cannot answer my own question !!
As it happens I have an active radar reflector on order, though now I have the same problem.. no arch to fit it to ;)

I think the active reflectors fit to a normal antenna mount, so you could mount it somewhere suitable in the cockpit, then flip it up when required.
 

RAI

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I think the active reflectors fit to a normal antenna mount, so you could mount it somewhere suitable in the cockpit, then flip it up when required.
Yes, a 1 inch thread. Swivel brackets and extension tubes are available.
 

jfm

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Yup, you will be hard to see on a leisure radar, so fitting an active reflector makes sense. I think the general view is that EchoMax is better than SeeMe though I don't know for sure. When I compared specs I bought EchoMax. The thing tells you when it transmits (by light or buzzer indicator) so you know when there is another boat nearby potentially seeing you on its radar. It also tells you the waveband of the other radar thus indicating whether it is likely a ship or a leisure radar. Alas it gives you no indication about the direction of the other vessel.

Of course, the best solution here is to fit your own digital radar!
 

gjgm

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Of course, the best solution here is to fit your own digital radar!
Yes, I have discussed the weight of the randome but SWMBO doesn't think she can hold it above her head for long enough....
I've ordered the Echomax; I think the test advantage was an extra mile or two.
Nick, you know the boat..not a flat surface on it, but yes, either on the rail somewhere, or fixing as with the VHF antenna, and fix it on when needed. Do I really have to pay £50 for an extension pole..isn't it just a bit of s/s with a thread at each end ? !
TBH, this is only summer holidays..as it isn't an issue with w/end boating, so fit when needed.
 

RAI

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Do I really have to pay £50 for an extension pole..isn't it just a bit of s/s with a thread at each end ?
You could put it direct on a swivel mounting. The extra 60 cm is good to have, but not essential. Until, that is, you get your own radar. Then you will need the radar and RTE as far apart and as vertically separated as possible. If no arch, how about a foredeck mast?
 
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gjgm

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You could put it direct on a swivel mounting. The extra 60 cm is good to have, but not essential. Until, that is, you get your own radar. Then you will need the radar and RTE as far apart and as vertically separated as possible. If no arch, how about a foredeck mast?
Thanks, I think I will put a swivel on the deck rail, and just put the thing on when likely to be needed, or until I sort out a permanent solution. For channel crossings, the AIS tells me where the big stuff is, and so it is mainly the C/Isles' fog and mist that we have actually found ourselves in a few times. Partly it is rare event for us as we rarely have a "need" to go, so we can just wait til another day.
 

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You will find, in the English Channel, the RTE's alarm will be pretty continuous, as there is so much shipping within radar range. So you will probably switch the alarm function off and keep the RTE function going. It will be a comfort in fog to know that any x-band radar operator watching will see you. It's the fishing boats that I worry about.
 

jfm

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You can turn the alarm buzzer off but leave the alarm LEDs functioning

Gigm, the cable from control box to antenna on the echo max is ordinary 3 core as you would use for electrical circuits. Not coax. You could have a clip on fitting for the antenna, and a simple waterproof 3-pin electrical socket deck fitting to plug the antenna in. Then deploying would be a 15 second job
 

gjgm

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You can turn the alarm buzzer off but leave the alarm LEDs functioning

Gigm, the cable from control box to antenna on the echo max is ordinary 3 core as you would use for electrical circuits. Not coax. You could have a clip on fitting for the antenna, and a simple waterproof 3-pin electrical socket deck fitting to plug the antenna in. Then deploying would be a 15 second job
Aha.. it has just arrived and is under my desk, but that is good to know as I had not yet got to grips with the powering and rapid deployment ;)

At the box end, power the box and the box leads to a w/p socket, and the antenna cable has a w/proof plug, right- which needn't then by near the control box.
Quite what did you mean by a clip fitting for the antenna, JFM-the antenna end is screw and the rail fittings I have seen you bolt on like this (or s/s)http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|344|2028695|2029066&id=1313141.
Is there another type?
 

jfm

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Aha.. it has just arrived and is under my desk, but that is good to know as I had not yet got to grips with the powering and rapid deployment ;)

At the box end, power the box and the box leads to a w/p socket, and the antenna cable has a w/proof plug, right- which needn't then by near the control box.
Quite what did you mean by a clip fitting for the antenna, JFM-the antenna end is screw and the rail fittings I have seen you bolt on like this (or s/s)http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|344|2028695|2029066&id=1313141.
Is there another type?

I didn't mean "clip on" literally - I just meant any kind of quick release fitting. The one you linked to would work.

All agreed re electrics. You'd just have a 100cm wire tail dangling from bottom of antenna, with a plug on the end, and insert the plug into a 3 pin socket located near the antenna mount that you install on the boat
 

gjgm

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I didn't mean "clip on" literally - I just meant any kind of quick release fitting. The one you linked to would work.

All agreed re electrics. You'd just have a 100cm wire tail dangling from bottom of antenna, with a plug on the end, and insert the plug into a 3 pin socket located near the antenna mount that you install on the boat

Got you, thanks.
 
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