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Old 08-28-2003
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Radar advice

Thinking about getting radar for my boat.
Just need something for fog or night a little safety factor.
Not looking for something fancy, just inexpensive.
Saw JRC 1000 for around $699.00. Called the store and they said they were junk.

Does anyone have any experience with them?

Also thought about mounting it on a pole on the stern rail. Does the sail cause a problem with the antena range?
Does the sail block the signal?

The damn mounting hardware costs almost as much as the radar unit. Anywhere I can get more reasonable prices other that West Marine?

Lots of questions here but hope to hear from those who know.

Nautical Rich
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Old 08-28-2003
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Radar advice

Junk?! Sorry to hear that since mine is in the basement waiting to be installed. There are many in my marina and the owners seem satisfied. Certainly you can buy better but at what cost and for what advantage?

I have a welding shop making me the mount. An 8'' stainless 2" pole, a bracket for a hinged stern mount, and a fixed stainless platform. All for under $100.
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Old 08-28-2003
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Radar advice

JRC makes a very reasonably priced black and white radar that meets or excedes most people''s expectations of what a radar should do. If you are looking to buy an instrument that combines chartplotting with your radar, and have the patience and time to read and comprehend all the different features on some of the more sophisticated units, or if you simply have to have the fanciest electronic do dads on the boat, then look into the latest Navnet, Raychart, Northstar, etc. and spend 3 to 4 times the money. Regarding mounting, an aft mast mount actually gives you the most effective platform for your radome in that you can position it just higher than head level (roughly 8 feet above the deck) thus enabling the radar to "see" objects both a few hundred feet in front of the boat as well as on the horizon. Most radars mounted on the mast of a sailboat are positioned too high to actually locate channel markers, etc. because it looks right over the top of them. Additionally, the headsail constantly has to drag over the top of the radome when you tack meaning lots of wear and tear on the sail and radome. Make sure you get a sturdy radar mast and don''t skimp when it comes to securing the mast. Remember, the whip effect of an aluminum mast with its weight mounted high up can create lots of stress where the mast contacts the deck, thus it is best to run the mast through the deck and support it either with a fibreglass tube glassed to the hull, or by using a deck and base flange and supporting the mast mid height either with a rail support or a few struts. The taller the mast and the more weight it needs to support in addition to the typical sailing conditions in your area the more rigidly you need to mount your mast. It may seem like a lot of money to do a proper installation but doing it right the first time will save in wear and tear on your boat. The sail will not block the radar with a conventional sail but the mast can. Make sure to mount your radar off center to minimize any blockage. Electronics are often discounted because the manufacturers update and change models so often. Best to buy from a supplier that can give you good advice and help on the installation rather than walking into your favorite boatyard with boxes of gadgets and then expecting them to give you a deal on the installation. Some West Marine stores have knowledgeable staff, some don''t. On the West Coast, West Marine is starting to have authorized electronics installation dealers that can actually install what they sell. As stated earlier, price shouldn''t be the only criteria for where you make your purchase.
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Old 08-29-2003
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Radar advice

Thanks for all the help. It was one person in a store that said they were junk. Glad to hear many people use them.
Now all I have to do is figure out where to put it.

Thanks again.

Nautical Rich
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