Considering 18" vs 24" radar dome (mast) on 30' boat - SailNet Community

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Old 05-13-2009
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Considering 18" vs 24" radar dome (mast) on 30' boat

Hi Folks,

I have a Raymarine C80 (new last year). I have a choice of the analog 2KW 18" or the 4KW 24" domes, to connect to my display.

2 questions:

1. Is the larger (and more powerful) dome going to be that much better (ie less clutter, etc) than the smaller one, for local coastal cruising. More concerned with spotting other boats and rocks / land than with weather fronts. In Nova Scotia, and we do have our share of Fog!

2. Is the extra 16lbs of weight aloft (a little more than halfway up the mast) going to make a huge difference. small dome is 40 lbs, large is 56.
The boat is a 30' Seafarer, disp 8600lbs, balast 3450, large fin keel, draft 4'9".

Note. Although I may not need digital or HD radar, I was pi$$ed to find out it is not compatible with my new (less than 1 year old) display. You need the new wide screen models, which were not available last year, to connect to them! I though I was buying a state of the art item. I realize technologies change, but i did not receive any huge discount, as if I had purchased aging technology!

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 05-13-2009
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Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
Hi Folks,


2 questions:

1. Is the larger (and more powerful) dome going to be that much better (ie less clutter, etc) than the smaller one, for local coastal cruising.

Yes the larger dome with narrower beam width will perform better and return clearer targets. Will it make a difference when zoomed in to 2nm or less? Not much.

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Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
More concerned with spotting other boats and rocks / land than with weather fronts. In Nova Scotia, and we do have our share of Fog!
A 2KW will be fine a 4KW better, but not on the mast of a 30 footer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
2. Is the extra 16lbs of weight aloft (a little more than halfway up the mast) going to make a huge difference. small dome is 40 lbs, large is 56.
The boat is a 30' Seafarer, disp 8600lbs, balast 3450, large fin keel, draft 4'9".
I think you are quoting shipping weights. The 18" dome weighs 21 pounds and the 24" dome is 22 pounds. The big problem is the DIAMETER and getting your sails around it consistently and easily..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
Note. Although I may not need digital or HD radar, I was pi$$ed to find out it is not compatible with my new (less than 1 year old) display. You need the new wide screen models, which were not available last year, to connect to them! I though I was buying a state of the art item. I realize technologies change, but i did not receive any huge discount, as if I had purchased aging technology!

Any advice would be appreciated!
Could have bought Garmin, saved money, and had a 36 mile, 4Kw, 18" HD dome and a plotter with an easy to use menu system.. Except for ST series instruments and my Autopilot I stopped buying Raymarine radars/plotters after my last bout with a C-80 system..
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Old 05-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Could have bought Garmin, saved money, and had a 36 mile, 4Kw, 18" HD dome and a plotter with an easy to use menu system.. Except for ST series instruments and my Autopilot I stopped buying Raymarine radars/plotters after my last bout with a C-80 system..
Not everyone likes Garmin. I for one am not impressed at all with their more expensive products expecially since they require the use of their proprietary charts. Their small hand held GPSs are OK.
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Old 05-13-2009
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Mainesail - thanks for the input. Yes, I forgot, that was the shipping weight!

I had considered Garmin, but had a look at the Blue charts for my area (South Shore of Nova Scotia) and there was very little detail. Also heard this from other local sailors, who said the Gramin charts did not cober this area well.

I don't think the sails catching would be a huge factor, on my boat. Last year, I had the mount with no dome (old JRC1000 died), and only casught a sial on it one time (not a smooth rounded edge), and I was tacking a drifter, which I shoudl not have been doing. No issues with either a 130 or 15o Genoa.

That said, the small one is likely all I need. Just wondered if the larger one was worth the extra cost, weight, etc. The 24" dome may look out of place as well. on a 30' boat.
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I installed the small 18 inch Furuno dome last year and have been wishing that I'ld gone with the larger unit because of better resolution in bad weather conditions. I was then happy to read Maine Sails take that under 2 nm it makes little difference. The reason that I went with the smaller dome in the first place besides a difference of around $500 in price was the smaller profile under extreme wind conditions. The dome is pole mounted on the stern so tacking the sail is not the issue, but the one hurricane that I've been in has me thinking about wind resistance. So that was my reasoning or rationalzation. The weight issue was not a factor nor the power useage since there is not much difference between the two units. I just hope that I haven't given away much performance under the 2 nm range.
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