I have a Ramarine c97w with raymarine
HD digital 48 mile radar
. It isnt a NECESSITY unless as Maine pointed out you are in fog or travel at night a lot. However there are many positive attributes for having it. Like SVLyte I use its functionality in T storms, bad ewather, night or fog, and as an alarm when anchored in high traffic area, though it uses major energy. To me a radar
is a matter of safety, while not the highest on my list of electroinic priorities, it makes things safer for sure. The collision alert is very good as well as tracking the speed and courses of the other vessels. With the AIS intergrated it is easy to identify and call a vessel. Some of these new radars
the fishing captains use identify birds even at long differences helping them find the fish. Ours gets normal stuff including buoys and even picks up some of the crab pots and lobster pots. e used in once at night on the Chessie so far and it made the crab pots off of Bodkin Creek look like the space Global Cluster there were so many of them
Ours is integrated into the Ray XSeatalk system, but can also be put into a stand alone mode. One of the best features with integration is it can overlay right over the chartplotter
giving you a clear picture of everything.
I was starled by the clarity of the radar
when I was learning it we were heading up the NJ coast to Long Island and had to come in New York Bay at night to get to Sandy Hook and Atlantic Highlands to anchor
.I turned it on at dusk set it at 12 miles ( It has a range of 48) as a ship traveling 24 knots would be on us in 1/2hour. When it powered up it had no less than 49 moving targets on it looking like a video game inlcuding a few fast ferries ( hydrofoils) from Staten Island and Stlantic Hihghlands which looked like comets streaking accross the screen. For my sanity I brought the range in to 6 miles.
I have an analog Raymarine Radar
for sale ( almost brand new) which worked fine, but had to buy a new one as in wouldnt interface with the new chartplotter
, The new one which I have had for only 2 months is much improved, especially the declutter mode.
is not a cheap aquisition as you need the mounts and a screen. Many of the companies like Raymarine
sell them major discounted in bundles, thats why a lot of people have them integrated i think. Thats starts a whole other discussion who makes the best chartplotter
etc. I suggest you put it on pole on the stern ( another expense) as it makes it easier to work on it and the sail wont catch it when tacking. ( Ours is on a swing down Garhauer pole which also has a detachable engine hoist for the dinghy