Adding Passive Reflectivity to your Sailboat

Being on the water at night in a sailboat is much like driving through a busy parking lot at night with your lights off and hoping not to get hit.  There seems to be no rules as to how to avoid a collision with other boats.  Being seen is crucial to your safety on the water.  The red and green running lights provide a little visibility but these lights tend to disappear into the background given how small and dim they are.

Passive reflectivity is the solution.  Reflective tapes can provide a clear outline of your boat when hit with a flashlight or spotlight from another boat.  SOLAS reflective tape by Oralite is the most popular way to make your boat light up at night. And this method is especially effective when your boat is at anchor or unattended.

Passive reflectivity.  SOLAS coast guard approved marine tape on a sailboat

Buy placing a bright reflective tape in multiple places on your boat you can reproduce the outline of the boat so that approaching watercraft will be able to immediately tell that what they are seeing is another boat.

Published by


Steven Cole (Economics, MBA - University of West Florida) - 40 years of sailing and cruising experience.