sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : How to make your cruising sailboat visible to sea monsters!

How to make your cruising sailboat visible to sea monsters!

'Will he see you, and even if he does, will he have time to change course?'    .

Did you know that huge ships often have their radar antenna mounted high on the aft superstructure? It may not pick up your cruising sailboat until it's within three miles. At 20 knots, the ship will cover three miles in nine minutes. How can you make yourself more 'radar visible'?

Let's say you are planning a cruise from Florida to the Bahama Islands across the Gulf Stream. Large northbound ships tend to ride the current to ports like New York or Boston. And they often steam at speeds of 20+ knots!

This container ship has its radar antenna mounted high on the aft superstructure. It might not pick up a small cruising sailboat until it's within three miles. At 20 knots, it will cover three miles in 9 minutes. How can you make your sailboat more 'radar visible'? -  IStock .com  
In the best conditions, those ships will not pick you up on radar until you are within 3 miles. This means the ship's officer has only nine minutes to avoid collision after picking up your vessel's 'blip' on radar (3 miles / 20 knots = .15 hours, or 9 minutes). That's not a lot of time to turn a monster 1200 foot long ship that weighs over 110,000 gross tons!

Secret of a Good Reflective Surface:
In his book, 'Radar for Mariners', author Dr. David Burch emphasizes the importance of size and height for a target to produce a good reflective surface that can be picked up by a radar beam.

Small cruising sailboats don't have enough reflective surface area--or size--to return a decent signal back to the ship. A thin mast, sailboat sails, and a hull close to the water offer poor reflective qualities. In tough weather, less reflective surface will be returned when you are in the trough of a wave.

Compare a radar beam to a pebble dropped in a tub of water. Waves go out from the center of the splash and continue to travel until they find a good reflective surface. As soon as the waves hit the sides of the tub, they reflect back toward the origin--or where the pebble was dropped.

To make sure that radar 'waves' bounce off of your small cruising boat, you will need two or more large radar reflectors, hoisted high up off the water. That's even more important in sailboats because when you heel over, your height decreases.

Three Steps to Become More 'Radar Visible'
Follow these tips to purchase, position, and align radar reflectors on any small cruising sailboat:

1. Purchase two radar reflectors that use the principle of corner reflection. These have three flat square or round plates that bisect one another at ninety degree angles. This type of reflector performed better than more expensive ones in recent tests.

2. Hoist each reflector as high as possible in the sailing rigging. Use the mast, backstay, or shrouds.

3. Align the reflector so that the plates on top form a 'V' when pointing straight up. This 'rain-catcher' position aligns the reflector in the proper way when your small sailboat heels over.

As a sailing skipper, you need to make your small cruising sailboat highly radar visible to those sea monsters that ply the shipping lanes day and night. Follow these sailing tips to keep your sailing crew safe and sound anytime you cruise near the busy shipping lanes of the world.

Captain John shows sailing skippers the skills they need for safer sailing anywhere in the world. Visit his website at www.skippertips.com for sailing skills articles, video tutorials, and a free newsletter.




by Captain John Jamieson

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=85648

2:40 AM Fri 8 Jul 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World





Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,








Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
























Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




























Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins   
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016   
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3   
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions   
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff   
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five   
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers   
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate   
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Brazilian dance party   
IFDS Disabled Sailing Worlds Day 5 - USA fighting for Rio 2016 Berths   
J/111 World Championship 2014 - Day 4: Shmokin Joe consolidates lead   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT