Join Date: Jun 2006
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Normally, I would not endorse a 2 KW (smaller range) model, but if you stick to the Great Lakes, you can have the benefit of radar without the investment. Although I would choose Furuno for new, you might wish to consider the intermittant nature of your use and look at used and even CRT systems. They eat more power in the display, it's true, but there are some excellent little units out there. Koden is a brand I would recommend.
If you can wait, however, a new form of digital radar is on the horizon (pun intended!) for the recreational cruiser that might further lessen the fairly significant if intermittant power requirements of radar.
As for charterplotters, for the Great Lakes you can *definitely* get a 2000-era Raymarine with loads of cartridges used that will serve you well. Were I fitting out for here rather than offshore, I would put the savings into a nice fluxgate compass.