Ive just bought an 85 Dana 24 and want to do some cruising across the Gulf of Mexico from the Texas coast. I took out the old non working instruments,speed ,depth,and wind. I wanted to go back with one unit swiveled in the companionway. Is radar a nessesity for offshore cruising? And what about the energy requirments to run it. I was set tobuy a Garmin 398 plotter/depthsounder should I go with the Raymarine multifunction display with the Radar?I could use some advice if anyone has some experience inthis area Thanks TVDana24
Well, I think this is a question that only you can answer. I sailed many years without radar but have had radar for about 10 years now and feel safer with it. With small boat radar it is hard to pick up a normal contact outside of visual range, but the radar offers me two features that give me that safety. In fog, the radar comes into its own. Also, current radars allow you to see the course, speed, and CPA of a contact, very useful at night. My radar is the Raymarine integrated with the plotter and everything else. The integration of all data is nice and the radar overlay of the chart is way cool. However, the new raymarine stuff cannot use C-MAP, only Navionics and I prefer C-MAP. The current draw is not excessive when you put it on timed scan but your lights and instruments will add up to a bunch and you need sufficient battery capacity.
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