I am so surprised by the absence of this type of product on the market I was wondering, am I missing something?? Am I looking in the wrong place? Does anyone know where I can get one of these?
Rick I asked this exact same question when I first started sailing and never got a good answer. No, there is not a good radar detector solution out there, and no you can't use an automobile radar detector because it is different frequencies. C.A.R.D. isn't exactly what you mean.
When you ask this question a lot of times people will tell you to use AIS, but they don't seem to see that there is a blank spot in technology products here. What I mean by that is that AIS and radar detecting are two entirely different technologies, and a prudent sailor (with means) might want both in order to take advantage of what each has to offer to get the most situational awareness that they can - but one doesn't replace the other, I don't know why people don't "get that". It's like those people who argue GPS vs. sextant, why not have both ? They are completely different technologies that complement each other, back each other up, etc, why wouldn't you choose to have both systems on board ? Same for AIS and a radar detector, two things that do similar functions but work in entirely different ways, both giving different results from the other, and both together giving you a better "picture" than either could alone. Radar reflecting and amplification is yet another useful technology, but not what you asked about.
Wouldn't it be fun to have an integrated system with a radar detector that had true directional capability ? Then you could look at the scope, see radar hits as your own radar sees other boats, see AIS information from other boats transmitters, and see their
radar sweeps too, possibly as a line that blinks across the center of your scope from whatever direction the signal came from, possibly allowing you to see radar sources "in that direction" that aren't on your radar and are not transmitting AIS. I think that's good stuff for those with the tokens to trade for it. Add in signal amplification so that you can electronically enhance your own radar signature on other boat's radars, install your own AIS transmitter so you appear in their AIS, and paint your boat bright orange, and you're doing about all you can do!