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  #11  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Can anyone speak to the range aspect a bit more? How much more range (both on normal and full power) can you get out of the 2kw radome when it is mounted on the mast?
Radar is line of site which means that higher is better (for line of site). There is a big dissagreement on whether a heeled boat has a significant effect on return, so I will not go there. However, in general, a mid mount is typical and what I have seen on the majority of sailboats.

THe stronger models actually give a better picture. Do they have more range? I guess. But all you will see is weather moving in since you once again are limited by LOS. However, I have not found it that much better and probably not noticeable for the typical user. Many dissagree and that is fine. Maybe if I lived in Maine I would opt for the 4kw too... maybe. For me and my application, I cannot see the expense.

I would not mount it on the stern. I strongly prefer mast mount. Also of interst is that I have never, not even once, had a jib hang on the radar. My biggest issue with mast mount is having to go the chair to fix something (which I have only had to do on Dad's boat). My biggest issue with the rail mount is actually having 2000-4000watts beaming around my mellon. Is that a real or imaginary danger? I don't know. Just bothers me.

In conclusion, put me squarely in the mast mount category.

- CD
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  #12  
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On my previous boat I installed a new radar. The problem that came up and prevented my using a mast mount was that I'd have had to pull the mast to install the wiring inside the mast. I didn't want the wiring to be attached to the outside of the mast and so it would have been necessary to pull the mast to fit everything in. That proved to be the dealbreaker and I went with a homemade laminated wood tilting backstay mount.
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I would not mount it on the stern. I strongly prefer mast mount. Also of interst is that I have never, not even once, had a jib hang on the radar. My biggest issue with mast mount is having to go the chair to fix something (which I have only had to do on Dad's boat). My biggest issue with the rail mount is actually having 2000-4000watts beaming around my mellon. Is that a real or imaginary danger? I don't know. Just bothers me.

In conclusion, put me squarely in the mast mount category.

- CD
Actually, it's been proven that CD's skull is thick enough that this is not a problem. But for the rest of us, it might be...
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2009
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I'm going to add a CON on the stern mount of "radiation damage while traversing on the coachroof area. Since the coachroof is 2-4 feet higher than the cockpit and walking around puts you at the same LOS as the radome, it is conceivable to me that damage is possible while underway.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
I'm going to add a CON on the stern mount of "radiation damage while traversing on the coachroof area. Since the coachroof is 2-4 feet higher than the cockpit and walking around puts you at the same LOS as the radome, it is conceivable to me that damage is possible while underway.
This topic was recently discussed on the C36 Association e-mail list and this issue was raised. However, most folks don't use their radar all the time, so the exposure would likely be minimal and could be avoided all together by turning off the radar or putting it on standby while crew were forward.

As other have pointed out, mounting the dome higher on the mast gives greater range but the beam width is limited so you loose coverage close to the boat which could be important entering a rip-rap lined channel in the fog. Also, masts require maintenence and sometimes get pulled. Pole mounting removes one complication from that excercise.

I thought the decision would be a slam dunk for mast mounting but the arguments were persuasive enough for me to think I'll go with a stern pole when I get around to adding radar.
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2009
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Advantages to the stern mast are. As mentioned a good backrest, and something to hang onto if thrown. A place to set antennas, and a boom for lowering the dink's motor. If the mast should ever come down in a storm the radar could come in handy approaching land in this same storm.....i2f

Plus your antennas would still be in place also, vhf, gps, etc. etc.
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Old 03-16-2009
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I have yet to make up my mind. I have two very strong braced steel "tabs" off the end of the boat designed to take davits. I do not have davits. I do have a small deck crane and the other pad will take a wind gen pole. Throw in a windvane and it's pretty crowded back there.

My mast also pivots down and I have a pilothouse. This argues for a mast mounted radome, as the cable run is very short. However, given that I am putting in a sturdy arch to support four solar panels, I could conceivably have a radome mounted there, but I think this is too low.

I will likely choose 22 feet up or so for best range. I will certainly wait for the new radar types to come out due to the better "near definition" and improved power draws.
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Mine is on one of my split backstays. Nothing is cluttered and there is no problem accessing it or the wiring if needed. Not the cheapest solution but it sure is out of the way.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
Mine is on one of my split backstays. Nothing is cluttered and there is no problem accessing it or the wiring if needed. Not the cheapest solution but it sure is out of the way.
$1400 for those self leveling backstay mounts...ouch! Thats labor + materials for mast mount...with room to spare. And much more to spare for a stern mount pole. Yowza
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  #20  
Old 03-17-2009
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I suppose the definition of clutter is relative and personal, and is affected by how you use your boat. Cruisers tend to have a lot of stuff hung off the back of their boats – antennas, MOB poles, ‘horseshoes’, BBQs, extra anchors, outboard motors, SCUBA bottles, wind generators, fishing gear, ladders, wind steering stuff solar panels. The radome is one of the things that works well up the mast and off the stern, so why not get it out of the way? The radiation hazard is a good point – are you always going to remember to turn it off before going up on deck and/or are your crew and possibly inebriated guests always going to mention to you that they are going to run up forward? You are responsible for their safety, and it would, to me, be sort of a nuisance to have to worry about melting somebody’s fillings.

Climbing the mast, safely and with proper gear, should not be a big deal to a sailor. Not to say there isn’t some stress or risk in it, but it is important to go up there with some regularity to check things out, and to be comfortable doing so. The odds of the radome breaking are slim. Most of these things are using tried and true and debugged technology. It would be a bummer to have it fail offshore and to have to climb the mast in snotty conditions, but it might not be so much fun trying to get it off of the stern pole, either, if conditions were bad and you are working around wind generators, solar panels, archs, antennas, davits, dingys flopping around, biminis, etc. Bad luck, Omatako. My Furuno back lighting display failed on my 3 y/o old out of warranty unit, I carried it home from Mexico, shipped it to them, they fixed it for free and shipped it back to me for free. I love ‘em!

Your use of the boat will dictate whether having the radome up high to see squalls or freighters or cruise ships approaching from far away is more important than seeing something in a rip-rap channel. For my cruising type of sailing, I’d rather see land or freighters or squalls further away, especially if I am flipping it in and out of standby with some miles in between looks. Freighters and navy gun boats and cruise ships moving at 30+ knots come up on you pretty fast, and if you see fishing boats and you suspect they have nets out you can make a better easier angle to miss the nets from further away. Mine is up the mast and my display is in my cockpit, under the dodger, starboard of the companionway hatch. Works fine for viewing from behind the wheel. I’ve never noticed whether my headsail comes close to the radome, but never had any issues.

And, frankly, my own personal bias is that it just looks better, more seamanshiplike, up there on the mast.

Faster, which P40 do you know in Mexico?
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