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Old 06-06-2010, 14:47   #1
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Radar / Chartplotter - Overlay vs Parallel

We're looking to upgrade our navigation capabilities, and would like to add radar for our first trip down the ICW this fall. Some systems allow you to overlay the radar image on top of the chart, and others have them side by side. We're trying to get the best bang for the buck and not spend too many boat units. Is the overlay system really worth the extra money? Appreciate any input. Thanks.

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Old 06-06-2010, 16:54   #2
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where I have found the use of the overlay to be of best use for me... I have an older (7 years) SL72CRC from raymarine... the overlay is in purple over the chart..
by setting the overlay on, I'm able to adjust the radar for the proper alignment..
the radar can be adjusted in degrees from side to side to make up for mounting error.. when you see the overlay, you can adjust the radar to match the chart..
Now befor you do this, you want to do an offset on the chart to be sure its in proper alignment.......

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Old 06-06-2010, 17:29   #3
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I have a Raymarine with the overlay. I have used it once when a boat got stuck going into the Ortega river. I was going in in the morning, never having been here before. I watched the track that TowboatUS used to tow the boat in and the next morning I followed this track. Having said that, I think radar is overrated in the ICW and Bahamian waters. In six seasons I've turned it on a half a dozen times, usually to see how long the squalls are going to continue. Save your money.
Rick I
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Old 06-06-2010, 17:38   #4
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Inside a crowded waterway it's great. Offshore it's about 99% worthless.

I'd never go back to a system that didn't have the overlay capability.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 06-06-2010, 17:58   #5
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I have the Garmin 5208 with HD radar and the overlay is great.

The radar returns are like a backup to the GPS plotter when you are within range of navigational cans, land masses etc.

You see the marker on the chart, and the radar return from the same marker in the same spot.

Definitely a confidence builder on black rainy nights if you're in unfamiliar waters!
"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned,
but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

-Thomas Sowell
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:31   #6
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My Raymarine C80 system will do both. With Raymarine or Garmine I think you get both for the same price no matter what. And I really like overlay at times.

Last year I was coming up the NJ coast on the outside. I was about to round Sandy Hook at 2:00 in the morning when a rainstorm hit. But with the chartplotter and radar overlay I could see the bouys where the gps said that they should be and I could also see their radar return on top of the chartplotter position. It was incredibly reassuring to have both pieces of info so I could navigate between them since I couldn't see them in the rain.

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Old 23-08-2010, 20:06   #7
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The overlay is useful in two situations:

1. You don't have a large screen. In this you have content in the same space and can see more at once. I have an E80 and use the overlay largely for this.

2. Its useful to see what harbor entrances and objects look like in good weather so that you know what they will look like in bad weather. If the GPS dies, you may still have radar and can navigate with that as well as DR.

I like it, but remember that there is a few second delay with GPS so the radar will be more current than the GPS positioning..

S/V Black Diamond
Hylas 49-057
Portsmouth, RI
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Old 23-08-2010, 20:49   #8
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I like mine but then again I sail where fog, ledges, islands and granite "speed bumps" were invented..


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