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





2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii






























































Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 3
Sailing through STEM Night at California YC
Six Metre European Championship - High temps and little wind on day 3
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Light wind opener in Vannes
International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Unsatisfactory conditions on day 4
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video   
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up   
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany   
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2   
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23   
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland remains out front   
Spirits high as Team Alvimedica completes Transatlantic crossing   
Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature   
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston   
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio   
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3   
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster   
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1   
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day   
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Tactical evening ahead for the fleet   
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT