Opinion wanted: Is RADAR mandatory for Cruising, or just get AIS? - Page 6 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  

Quick Menu
Boat Reviews  
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Marine Electronics
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here

Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
 Not a Member? 

LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-20-2010
Proud Sailboat Bum
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Anywhere with more than 4 feet of draft low tide.
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
tartanDave is on a distinguished road
Sorry everyone I have replaced radar with common sense. I am in no rush to go anywhere and radar will not pick up debris, like logs or shipping containers in the water nor schoals or fishing boats. I feel to many captains push it because their electronic devices say it is ok. Murphy's law says all electronics fail at sea, and if yours has not, it's waiting for the worst.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 10-03-2010
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
hooligan6a is on a distinguished road
I sailed around the world on a 29ft. sailboat. There is no way I had the power to run a radar, even if I only turned it on at night. I did not have any electronics that run off the ships battery. Only a hand held GPS. About 90 miles from the Panama Canal, I was run down by a very large ship(600ft.) I could not sail out of his way. He had radar, did me no good. Yes it was in broad day light.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 10-03-2010
rikhall's Avatar
old guy :)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Posts: 1,018
Thanks: 11
Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 7
rikhall will become famous soon enough
Because of where we cruise (East Coast of Maine, Bay of Fundy) we have RADAR. About $1300.00, mounted on a pole; port, stern.

Because of who else is out there (really really big freighters) we have an AIS receiver. Less than $200.00 and we used an old VHF antenna, also on the RADAR pole on the stern.

Because I like to also know where we are, we have a chart plotter. We also have autopilot for those 10 hour stretches from Eastport to Northeast Harbour. And a hot water heater because the boss likes her shower, and a three burner stove with oven because I like to cook. And a propane furnace, because I like it warm after my shower . . .

And the list goes on. But - to answer the first question, me, I want both RADAR and AIS. But, you may cruise in a totally different location with different circumstances.

Irwin Citation 34
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 10-03-2010
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 201
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
oceanscapt is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to oceanscapt
Do you need Radar to cruise safely? No.
Do you need AIS B to cruise safely? No.
Are they nice additions? Yes.

Radar can tell you things that AIS can't. Radar (equipped with ARPA or without) has the virtue of showing you what's going on, abet at a shorter range. You can navigate ranges, enter unknown harbors, check on boat traffic, find low lying atolls, double check distance off and bearings as well as GPS lat/long, and set guard bands for a bit better sleep at night.

Radar costs more than AIS B, may use more power than AIS B, and potentially, has a higher failure rate than AIS B.

The nice thing about AIS is that it can be left on 24/7 and will draw little power. If you want AIS B then the power requirements go up.

If I'm on a boat with radar, I tend to have it on in sea lanes or close to land. If I'm offshore and out of the sea lanes then I tend to have to wake every 6 minutes, do a couple sweeps, analyze the signals and beep if any target shows up in the guard zone, then go back to sleep. Power requirements are considerably less, I get a lot of info from the 6-minute timer, and I don't have to recharge the batteries so often.

One thing to consider is one of those all-in-one systems that seem so popular now. You get radar, GPS, chartplotter, depth, fishing, and some come with AIS. The displays aren't huge and there's a single point failure I find a bit disconcerting, but the cost of one of those is generally less than buying the individual items.
Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/C.I./M.I. 500-ton Oceans

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 10-15-2010
zaliasvejas's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Portland, Maine USA
Posts: 129
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
zaliasvejas is on a distinguished road
I sail and live aboard in Maine.
I do not have a radar. Frankly, when fog rolls in, and things get dicy, I rely on my ears and sight first. If I sense a boat near, I call on the radio.
Radar might be helpful, but it takes more than starring at a screen to drive the boat. There are wakes to consider, smell of diesels and sounds of bells. I do not have an AIS system but I am planning on getting one. I race occasionally in Long Island NY and that is where AIS is king. Knowing the direction and speed of the tiny red lights representing a sea going tug with a barge in tow at night can make or break a race.
By far biggest concern for me sailing in Maine is staying off the rocks and lobster pots. In any weather... That requires paying attention to what's ahead and constant vigilance. Somehow radar never came up as a necessary gadget yet.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 10-17-2010
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
u4ea is on a distinguished road
There is no electronic gear that is necessary.

GPS shows you some of what is permanently there, but the precision makes it clear that the charts are not correct. Hence, you can't trust it.

Therefore, you also can't trust the charts.

Radar can show you what is actually there. If it is mounted LOW ENOUGH, it can detect things like kelp, logs, even shallow water and reefs (because the waves are different).

When mounted way up the mast, it basically becomes substantially less valuable. Its never useful for long range navigation, because the curvature of the earth, difference in curvature of the beam in different conditions, ...

Sometimes, its very valuable, such as in fog crossing shipping channels.

Safety comes from careful and frequent observation, combined with fore thought and preparation, and -- most important -- respecting the sea and weather rather than the clock.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 10-19-2010
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: FL
Posts: 182
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
trisstan87 is on a distinguished road
Tits on a rainbarrel??
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 10-31-2010
ffiill's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 235
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
ffiill is on a distinguished road
Where I cruise off the north west coast of Scotland there are few ships and rarely does it get foggy therefore quite happy without radar or AIS.
However if I were sailing the English Channel one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes and noted for fog I would certainly have a mapping AIS which has a radar type display and shows all commercial vessels which by International law will have an AIS transponder.Probably also fit a transponder so they can see me.
Radar remains too expensive for me-despite my boat having been fitted with a Decca system when new 32 years ago but u/s when I got the boat.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 11-10-2010
centaursailor's Avatar
Senior in age only!!!
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Balbriggan
Posts: 554
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
centaursailor is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

Just spotted this great thread. Was cruising in company to Isle of Mann and heavy fog rolled in. No radar but got updates from following boat using their radar to identify vessels ahead. Will invest in radar when I can afford to.
The great appear great because you are on your knees. James Larkin, Irish Labour Movement.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Navigating with Radar Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 03-29-2002 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Cruising Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Her Sailnet Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:55 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.