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Old 10-02-2012
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Who likes their radar?

My buddy has been giving me all kinds of headache about not having a radar on my boat, and as much as I want one well it is not on the top of the budget. I guess in the end I should thank him because now my very worried mother has decided that Christmas and my Birthday have resolved into a radar and gps.

I have the handheld GPS to keep for backup, but I am thinking radar chartplotter combo. What are you guys using that you like, or that you don't like? Also where have you found the best prices on them, even if just for the sake of price matching ye ole West Marine.

Edit: I want to get an autopilot eventually and I am not sure with the sailboat if it is worth getting something that could link up when I get that.

Last edited by CapnBones; 10-02-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Who likes their radar?

Do you often sail in the fog or at night?
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Who likes their radar?

We have a Raytheon R20x 24 mile radar and have found it a very useful piece of equipment, both at night and in fog as Maine Sail implies, above, but also for tracking weather and particularly squalls at long range which we are often able to avoid. Our radar also allows us to spot relatively smaller "fast movers" well before they are within visual range--roughly 3 miles-- and plan for potentially necessary avoidance maneuvers. Our systems are not integrated and I prefer they are not as, if so, the failure of one may cause one to loose all. Our radar does accept data from our Garmin GPS/Plotter giving us heading and bearings to targets and marking way points with "lollipops" as they come into range. At night we set up a guard zone around the boat and have the radar do a sweep at 20 second intervals. The system will sound an alarm if a target enters the guard zone, whether fixed or moving, which is a valuable aid. The radar also allows us to monitor our position when anchored in foul weather, which, together with the anchor watch on our GPS allows us to guard against dragging and take corrective action, if necessary. This is especially useful in the Keys and Tortugas.

FWIW...
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Who likes their radar?

I do like to go out at night often and when I take her South next month and later hit the Caribbean I am planning to be in the Ocean for likely days at a time. I want it for spotting threats at night especially in the ocean or in bad weather. Being a power miser I still will probably only use it for such things and keep it off when possible.
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Who likes their radar?

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.

Getting radar 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.

Dave

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Last edited by chef2sail; 10-02-2012 at 12:53 PM.
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Re: Who likes their radar?

Besides RADAR..refrigeration is the biggest current draw. We need comparisons of the latest digital RADAR's and their attributes especially in the limited battery capacity of smaller vessels..
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Re: Who likes their radar?

Raymarine Digital 40 watts= 3.35 amps 20 in standby= 1.8 amps
Raymarine HD Digital 60 watts= 5 amps 25 in standby- 2.1 amps
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Re: Who likes their radar?

The other radar subject I would like to read about is color vs shades of gray display. Is color worth the additional cost?
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Re: Who likes their radar?

I like my radar. I have a Raymarine 2KW radar interfaced into an E80 (with a fast heading sensor). I can do chart overlays and MARPA functions. I sail foggy Northern California/ San Francisco so it comes in really handy. The major downside to color is the display eats up more amps. However, one of the things I like is the ability to switch to the nighttime color palette.
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Re: Who likes their radar?

I was thinking of fabricating a pole to put it on, but how high would it need to be mounted to be effective? I have heard quite often that mast mount is the way to go, one more thing to look into I suppose.
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