Radar refletors and searchlights

davehu

New member
Joined
27 Nov 2001
Messages
155
Location
Portsmouth
Visit site
having read the recent MAIB/Quinetic report on Radar reflectors, what are the forums thoughts on the best reflector for a 30 foot yachts. My thoughts are that the Viking Standard tri-lens at £130 may be better than the Echmax/Blipper art £130 as it has a better performance when heeled. The Seame at £500 is good but expensive, what is the practical problremof not being active on S -Band?

As a ship scarer I favour a pwerful spotlight one which is powered direct from the ships battery. I figure I would probly have engine running by then so power is not a problem, the rechargables dont work immediately if the battery is flat and you plug then into the charger line or I am wrong. Anyone recomemd a good 12volt searchlight.

Please discuss, reckon these items will be in demand after the OUZO affair.

David
 

aknight

New member
Joined
31 Jul 2005
Messages
348
Location
London
yachtarabella.blogspot.com
I would agree with the choice of the tri-lens standard for a 30 footer. It's the one I would have gone for, if I had a boat that size, due the consistency of the return that it produces - a feature also noted in previous magzine tests.

In my case regrettably, a reflector of that size and weight is something I'm not happy to install up the mast on a 21-footer. Instead I have gone for a tri-lens mini (same manufacturer and design). This does not appear in the Qinetiq report, and produces a CSM of 0.6 to 1.0 sq. metres, again with a very consistent return. Because of the compromise I've made on size, I have also just bought a Sea-Me which is very compact and light. My hope is that this will compensate for the relatively small return of the tri-lens mini on this occasions when switching it on seems prudent, such as at night or in poor vis.

Not wishing to hijack the thread, but does anyone have any views on the wisdom of mounting the Sea-Me (using the usual Glomex stand-off mount) to the side, rather than the front, of the mast? I saw one mounted like that the other day, and it struck me as a good way of reducing the risk of chafing or fouling my genoa - but I wondered if the Sea-Me was more shielded in that position (and therefore less effective) than if mounted on the front of the mast as commonsense would suggest.
 

WayneS

Active member
Joined
21 Jan 2002
Messages
1,035
Location
Hampshire
Visit site
I purchased on of THESE last week for our crossing to France last week end.

I was ready to aim it at any hulk that came too close, but they must all have had cold feet cos all the shipping kept well clear.

Regards

Wayne
 

TigaWave

New member
Joined
17 Dec 2004
Messages
2,147
Location
Buckland Monachorum
www.H4marine.com
In practice I've had more success using vhf Ch16, and some watch keepers have admitted that we hadn't been seen.

In some rough conditions we've been clearly seen on radar at +4 miles and 6-8m seas using maxiblip above forestay on a 60' 7/8 mast. From this experience I believe that if the ship is using their radar correctly then they will see you in good time, but they may have it set up to reduce clutter or may just have got bored looking at it.

If I use a light on the sails I will also call up the ship to confirm they have seen us. The risk as I see it is they may not have seen you and could be altering course to avoid another vessel.

I use a 55w halogen spot lamp that plugs in on a long lead and can be left in the cockpit. Very small and light as it doesn't have a battery and is easy to stow.
 

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
39,267
Location
Essex
Visit site
It's usually recommended to have the searchlight powered from the ship's battery as this gives greater reserve, though a stand-alone one would be a useful back-up and would probably work better in a liferaft.
 

jerryat

Active member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
3,570
Location
Nr Plymouth
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
Aquasignal make an excellent 12v searchlight
here

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep, these are superb!! We carry two of them, one with a 50w bulb which is a spotlight with a huge range, and the other with a 35w bulb which has a 'wedge-shaped' beam a bit like a car foglight - brilliant in fog or when creeping up between moorings, riverbanks and the like.

Highly recommend them.

(no axe to grind etc....)
 

deep denial

Member
Joined
10 Mar 2006
Messages
509
Location
Southampton
Visit site
I wonder what is the best way to call an approaching ship so that they know that they are the ship which you are talking to- after all you probably can't see the name of the ship, and if you rely on giving position they may not bother to plot, or if they do it may be too late. ANy thoughts?
 

Jonny_H

New member
Joined
15 Aug 2006
Messages
1,554
Location
Liveaboard - following the sun!
www.freewebs.com
I had this very problem off Milford Haven at 4am over the Easter weekend.
Large vessel approaching from out Starboard quarter - kept an eye on him for a while and got the handbearing compass out - steady bearing, so I radioed him up (Vessell approx x miles south of South Bishop rock bearing approx 300 degrees) - and got no response.
Fortunately MH coastguard was listening and called me to ask if I was concerned - said I was a little and he contacted the vessel (identified using AIS!) and they then looked at their radar on and spotted me (they claimed passing 100 metres ahead of me at 4am in the middle of the bishops & clerks was fine and didn't understand my concern - it was a French cruise ship bound for Ireland).

I think lesson learnt was that AIS would be useful for identifying boat's details and then they could be contacted on VHF16.
 

aknight

New member
Joined
31 Jul 2005
Messages
348
Location
London
yachtarabella.blogspot.com
Thanks T_K. I did look into that, but couldn't see how it could be done without obscuring (from one angle, at least) the LED tri-light. Given the highly directional nature of LEDs, I figured it was too much of a risk.
 
Top