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Old 29-03-2007, 18:14   #1
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Radar, liferaft or both

My husband and I have a Jeaneauu 37 ft yacht, we are this year taking it across the Adriatic, Dubrovnik to Brindisi, then down to Bari, then over to Corfu. Is it more important to have a radar, life raft, both or neither.
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Old 29-03-2007, 18:20   #2
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Saftey gear is a personal decision based on your willingness to except the risks and the trade-offs of cash. You could get a Radar for the boat. It has lots of every day uses. Then if you wanted, rent a life-raft for the trip you are discussing. If you decide to do long distance cruising, you purchase a raft latter.

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Old 29-03-2007, 18:41   #3
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Life raft

Thanks Paul, I guess we are a bit undecided, in NZ we think nothing of sailing 200 miles from Auckland to Tauranga, sometimes nonstop overnight, with only a dinghy as our liferaft, and not radar, but we are in familiar waters, and I guess land is not that far away. We are inclined to decline the urge to purchase these things
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Old 29-03-2007, 19:12   #4
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Exactly, you aren't going to be far from land on the planned trip you mentioned. I've never sailed in the area, so I can't comment on the amount of fog. I'm sure there are folks here that will give you some comments.

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Old 30-03-2007, 03:32   #5
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A Radar unit may get daily use.
A Life Raft will probably never be used.
OTOH: I wouldn’t want to have to “step up” to my Radar.
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Old 30-03-2007, 08:54   #6
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I should think there would be more traffic in the Adriatic - that would certainly make a radar a welcome aid. A liferaft would only make sense where your survival time in the water would be less than the time it would take for the authorities to rescue you. I think the Adriatic is warm enough that you could bob around wearing nothing but a lifejacket and clutching your epirb and handheld vhf for days. I trust the Italian coast guard would pick you up much sooner than that.
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Old 30-03-2007, 18:27   #7
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Thank you all very much for your opinions, seems very sound to me
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Old 09-02-2008, 23:53   #8
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Radar may have saved our lives in Brindisi. A fast ferry approached us at 20+ knots on a collision coarse while the admiral was on watch. We had about 5 minutes from first recognition as a potential collision. We called them multiple time on the VHF but they never responded.

Radar told us we were on a collision course and we diverted enough to miss them by about 50 feet.
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Old 13-02-2008, 23:54   #9
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Hey not at all trying to be a jerk, but you saw a vessel coming and in five minutes time you needed the radar to tell you of a collision course? What about a constant bearing?

Maybe the conditions were bad? Just trying to understand it better; nothing inflammatory.
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Old 14-02-2008, 00:25   #10
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I sailed in the area you're going to 4 years ago. There's quite a lot of traffic there, especially as you approach the Strait of Otranto. It's not very narrow, but it's like a bottleneck for traffic. Quite a few cargo ships come thundering through at 20+ knots. I wouldn't trust them to see you. In the Adriatic you'll also encounter lot's of fishing boats with their nets out that you need to sail around. You'll also see huge fields of shell farms that can be troublesome if you sail into them.

I didn't experience much fog the 2 months I sailed there, but I did have at least a couple of days where I was happy to have a radar. The radar also potentially saved my ass when going into Brindisi after dark, because my old chart was outdated and didn't have the "newly" built seawall on it. I was a bit surprised when I saw the seawall on my radar and not on my chart.

The Strait of Otranto is also where the Adriatic meets the Ionian Sea and the sea state can be challenging there at times. A lot of people think that the Med. doesn't get very rough, but let me assure you that the ferocity there can surprise you. I was hit by a squall as I was sailing through the Strait of Otrano and with zero visibility and lot's of traffic around me, I was feeling very small.

Personally I wouldn't set sail without a liferaft. It hurts to spend so much money on something you hope you'll never use, but the day you do need it, you'll be very happy you did. A radar on the other hand is something you do use, especially if you plan to sail at night or get stuck in fog.
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Old 14-02-2008, 03:31   #11
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Well I hate to be a pain as well but,I would hazard a guess that there is a lot of "open sea/ocean" in between NZ and the Adriatic and beyond.Not exactly close to land all the time.Radar yes for sure and maybe a lift raft just incase for those long stretche's of water in between.

The fact that you may not use a life raft in years of sailing dosen't factor into the equation.New Zealand to anywhere has a lot of ocean in between,unless ya part dolphin.Maybe when ya over where ya going it might not be the done thing,I carn't believe that seasoned/so called sailors have missed this one point.Mudnut.
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Old 14-02-2008, 07:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Hey not at all trying to be a jerk, but you saw a vessel coming and in five minutes time you needed the radar to tell you of a collision course? What about a constant bearing?

Maybe the conditions were bad? Just trying to understand it better; nothing inflammatory.
They changed course after they come out of port. Radar tells you immediately if you're on a collision coarse with MARPA. Part of our watch routine is to select targets on Radar and track them with MARPA in case of course change.

No offense taken.
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Old 14-02-2008, 08:16   #13
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Having the radar could keep you from having to step off of the boat.. The radar can see many things you may not be able to see. I would prefer both, but sometimes cashflow dictates making choices, and I would choose the radar.
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Old 14-02-2008, 08:19   #14
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Personally, I’d want both. In 1989, I backpacked down the Dalmatian coast to Corfu and across to Brindisi. As was pointed out already, there is a lot of fast moving ship traffic. I remember taking ferries in pea soup fog a few times. Also, there was a thick haze (pollution) layer; and radar would be a welcome navigation aid when approaching the very rocky coastline.
As for a liferaft, if it came to it, I’d rather be floating above the water rather than treading in it wondering if the EPIRB was working. Who hasn’t read about an EPIRB that failed? I remember the water temp as being ok to swim in, but not so warm. Buy a used coastal raft and have it certified. You can always sell it again after you’re done with it. Unclear, but if you are sailing the boat from NZ; if so get an offshore raft. I just saw a 4 year old Winslow offshore 6 person raft sell on Ebay for $1800.
FYI – roughly 30 miles WNW of Dubrovnic is a small island called Korcula. It’s a mini version of Dubrovnik –and with many fewer people. Also the birthplace of Marco Polo.
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Old 14-02-2008, 09:38   #15
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There are no hard rules for safety equipment except for countries that have these rules such as New Zealand. Are New Zealanders exempt from the same rules that cruisers to New Zealand are subject to? I'm confused about this because a cruiser wanting to leave New Zealand is subject to a law that requires a specific level of safety equipment. We have had this discussion in another thread.

Radar is not very useful during the day in perfect conditions but it sure is useful at night and in limited visibility. How much day vs night sailing do you plan to do?

Its quite a judgment call and it all boils down to how much you are willing to risk your lives. If you were asking me the same question, I would have both onboard.
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