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  #1  
Old 11-12-2007
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Radar Installation Questions

I have a 37 foot sloop rigged boat with a "sugar scoop" type of walk thru transom. I am looking to install a chartplotter, radar (2Kw), dinghy davits, and outboard motor davit. In the future, I will probably want to install solar panels.
Questions:
For mounting the radar dome, what do you think of gimballed backstay mounts (I have a split backstay)? Do you think I would be better served with having a radar arch installed that might meet all of these needs. If using an arch, could I not install the radar on it as well as use the arch for the dinghy davits and outboard davit (and in the future add solar panels)?
I understand that a stainless arch will probably weigh about 100 lbs. and the dinghy is an Aquapro 9 foot RIB. What about mast mounted radar (too much weight up high, sail wear, etc.)?

I am hoping for opinions, advise, personal experiences, pros and cons, to assist me with my (expensive no matter what I do, unless I don't do it) decision.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Tom
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Old 11-12-2007
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Why not just mount the radar on the mast and install regular davits for the dinghy (assuming you will not carry it there out at sea)? If you are going cruising then the arch may make sense since a 37 gives you limited space for panels and wind generator. I think if you plan to stay fairly local, then solar makes little sense given your latitude and weather but if you are headed south cruising, the arch is probably the best approach for everything...to be offset by 300 feet of chain up front! (g)
While you may not buy from these guys...they are pros and you might want to sound them out about YOUR particular boat and if there are any issues with mounting an arch. They probably will have pictures of your boat if it is a common one. http://www.wellsmarine.com/
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Old 11-12-2007
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Solar Up North

Thanks for the Reply and Link Cam.
I am planning on staying mostly local, such as San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, and maybe a trip up to the Queen Charlottes.
So, solar panels are not worth the investment in this area? I am trying to avoid having to run the engine to charge up as often.

Thanks again,
Tom
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Old 11-12-2007
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Fire...I understand the desire to be self sufficeint off the grid but I would think more about wind generators or Honda portables for local cruising. I would guestimate that you might get 1/3 on average the direct sun one would get in the tropics and you would need a pretty massive array to generate 100 or so amphours a day which is moderate use of electric when cruising. Search the solar threads here for more info on that but low sun angles and high cloud cover % do not make for happy solar panels.
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Old 11-12-2007
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I'd have to second Cam's suggestions of looking at gas or diesel gensets as well as wind generators. In your cruising area solar isn't really as good an option as it would be in warmer cruising grounds.

Out of curiosity, how large is your battery bank. You'll need a pretty good sized one to handle the RADAR for any extended period of time.

Mounting the radar radome on the mast is probably safer for the crew as well as helping keep the weight more central instead of adding so much weight aft on the boat.
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