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  #11  
Old 01-09-2008
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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
... Perhaps I should just go for a 2 KW higher up (I fly a yankee, so it's not likely to snag), so I can have a decent range and a little bit of a power savings.
Nothing against more power, but there is a limit to its usefulness, as the radar is limited to its horizon and by the height of the target beyond that. So a bouy will vanish over the radar's horizon quite quickly - more power will not help. A ship will be seen at greater range, but it's a bigger reflector - which ensures that more power is not needed.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2008
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Yes, I am coming to realize that learning to read a properly placed 2 KW is probably better than installing a 4 KW on an arch.

The simple fact is that a 2 KW will more than suffice for seeing reefs and other low stationary objects at relatively short distances (under 6 miles), and AIS will help identify moving ships within VHF range. So the "prudent set-up" for the ocean sailor goes from a 4 KW on the mast or arch to a 2 KW on the mast, with an AIS whip on the mast top. Add to that a radar interpretation course, and I believe I'm covered.

4 KW won't tell me much more unless its high enough to significantly see over the horizon, and past the waves.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong here.
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Old 01-09-2008
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The only major difference is that many of the 4kw units have a narrower beam focus, so will give you higher definition in your radar imaging. These usually have a 24" radome though, so may not be something you're interested in. The 2 kW units have an 18" radome generally.
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Old 01-09-2008
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The radome size doesn't bother me...the power draw does.

I think my general approach is that I should know my position, and thus don't need so much to be able to "count the pores" as to just have an either/or picture of an outline ahead in the water.

As I stated elsewhere, I hope AIS capability (and the habit of keeping a decent watch) will enhance a 2 KW RADAR to the degree where it's like having a 4 KW, if only because you want to know if you're a mile off the reef, but you want to know if you're ten miles from the supertanker moving at 25 knots. AIS/VHF with an antenna height of 50 feet should give you the latter, and a 2KW RADAR 20 feet off the deck should give you the former.
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Old 01-09-2008
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just remember...radar can be used for range to an object fairly reliable, but not for bearing to an object.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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Old 01-09-2008
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Depending on how you configure the Radar to update via your C/E-series display, I know on my 2KW system, I can easily drain a 31D 12V battery within 6 hours, if using the 1 or 3 minute update cycle. It is a power hog. Typically I run it only when in a crowded harbor, or visibility is poor, or when I had a functioning inboard - motoring. If you plan on relying on it more heavily during sailing - you may want to consider upgrading your battery banks so that you can handle more amp hours.
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Old 01-10-2008
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Will four 8D AGMs do? (about 800 amp/hours).

But thanks for the advice. I don't plan on using it super extensively, but I would have in in "guard" mode on night watches, as I would the AIS. If I were to have it fully on, I would likely be motoring, as you said, in a harbour or a crowded channel. In the English Channel, for instance, I would likely motorsail with the tide (and with the radar on) due to the large number of fast ferries and the large variety of indifferently manned cargo ships.
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That will be pretty adequate I would think, especially if motor sailing...
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  #19  
Old 01-10-2008
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But Valiente, Ken Barnes had 14 of them aboard his boat, so I think you really need to have at least seven or eight of them.
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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Will four 8D AGMs do? (about 800 amp/hours).

But thanks for the advice. I don't plan on using it super extensively, but I would have in in "guard" mode on night watches, as I would the AIS. If I were to have it fully on, I would likely be motoring, as you said, in a harbour or a crowded channel. In the English Channel, for instance, I would likely motorsail with the tide (and with the radar on) due to the large number of fast ferries and the large variety of indifferently manned cargo ships.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 01-10-2008
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To keep the boat level! Why didn't I think of that? (slaps head)
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