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Old 28-11-2009, 11:06   #16
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When conditions are so foggy as to need radar here in Puget Sound there is usually not enough wind to sail, so the motor is on and I am not worrying about power drain of the 4kw Furuno. The discrimination at close range is outstanding and we really like the way we can overlay the radar image over the GPS plot to tell quickly if that spot is a boat or a rock off the shore. For distance discrimination we find AIS is more helpful than radar to avoid the big guys although it is nice to see the radar image right on top of the AIS plot as the freighter runs down the shipping channel shown on the GPS plotter. Furuno is the brand found on almost all of the commercial ships in the area. Dealers in the area that sell Furuno and Raymarine cite better service from the repair center in Wa. state for Furuno. Furuno consistantly tops ratings in Practical Sailor.

I was very interested in the CW articles on broadband radar and would consider it if I was starting out new. Also the lower power drain might be important for those making long offshore passages at night or in bad weather using sails only. Local dealer who sells all major brands says Simrad is quality equipment, but is not as user friendly as other brands.
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Old 28-11-2009, 11:18   #17
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For me, power drain has always been a consideration because I tend to sail (rather than motorsail) whenever possible. I read a great deal while standing watch, and tend to use radar more as an aid for collision avoidance, setting up guard zones. Honestly, the radar pays attention better than I do during offshore passages. For those reasons I've always opted for a 2kw. A 4kw doesn't do much good if you've always got it on standby mode to save power.
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Old 28-11-2009, 12:41   #18
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Quote:
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For me, power drain has always been a consideration because I tend to sail (rather than motorsail) whenever possible. I read a great deal while standing watch, and tend to use radar more as an aid for collision avoidance, setting up guard zones. Honestly, the radar pays attention better than I do during offshore passages. For those reasons I've always opted for a 2kw. A 4kw doesn't do much good if you've always got it on standby mode to save power.
Bash,
If you look at the Furuno specs closely you'll see that there is no significant difference between the power usage of the 2Kw unit vs the 4kw. The amount of time that the radar is actually transmitting is small. Yet both radars need to be spun at the same speed, both tubes need to be warm and both use the same display. The spec shows an MFD8 display with the 2Kw radar at 73watts and 77 watts with the 4Kw unit. The 24in, 4kw unit is worth the extra $150-200.

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Old 28-11-2009, 14:56   #19
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73 watts? Yikes!

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Bash,
The spec shows an MFD8 display with the 2Kw radar at 73watts and 77 watts with the 4Kw unit. The 24in, 4kw unit is worth the extra $150-200.
Paul L
My 2kw Raymarine draws 28 watts. (9w in standby mode.) The 4kw draws 34 watts. I realize that this means the 4kw is only drawing half an amp more than the 2kw, but on a long passage that's a lot of power, especially when you tend to keep the radar on 24 hours per day.
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Old 28-11-2009, 15:00   #20
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But 0.5 amps for 24 hours is only 12Ah... that's 15 minutes sun on my solar panels ;-)

ciao!
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Old 28-11-2009, 15:13   #21
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2 vs 4k radar

a 4k will punch through a heavy fog when a 2k won't. other than that, the quality of the operator seem to make the biggest difference. I had both on my big boat and probably turned the 4k on 5 times in as many years and fog was always the issue. A 4k can also define weather farther out but with modern forecasting it's hardly ever necessary. I'd go with the 2k in your area and save the money for wild living and such.
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Old 28-11-2009, 15:16   #22
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uh-huh

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But 0.5 amps for 24 hours is only 12Ah... that's 15 minutes sun on my solar panels ;-)
Well, it comes out to 40 minutes of sun on my panels, assuming a cooperative sun, which we don't always get at Latitude 38. But when you're also running an autopilot, a fridge, a freezer, AIS, VHF, two chartplotters, sonar, wind gauge, knot log and a stereo, there never seems to be enough sun to go around.

(Which is why, of course, we run a wind turbo as well.)

The point here being that I don't think that MORE POWER is always the best answer. I do quite well with a 2kw radar.
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Old 28-11-2009, 16:32   #23
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Quote:
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Well, it comes out to 40 minutes of sun on my panels, assuming a cooperative sun, which we don't always get at Latitude 38. But when you're also running an autopilot, a fridge, a freezer, AIS, VHF, two chartplotters, sonar, wind gauge, knot log and a stereo, there never seems to be enough sun to go around.

(Which is why, of course, we run a wind turbo as well.)

The point here being that I don't think that MORE POWER is always the best answer. I do quite well with a 2kw radar.
Your comparison of Raymarine power to Furuno was missing one point. The Ray numbers are for the radar only. The Furuno numbers are for the radar plus MFD8 display.


I agree with you on the fact that more power is not always better. The main advantage of the 4kw units is that they are usually 24 inch antennas and therefore have better resolution and discrimination than the 18inch 2kw units. If I was buying a higher end radar, then I would definately go with a 24in 4kw unit. If I was getting a lower end, lower cost unit, then I would be just happy with 18in 2kw unit.

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