Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-11-2014, 02:25   #91
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Mike,

I'm really glad that Jim has put radar on our cruising boats. It isn't perfect, by any means (though Dockhead says the newest ones are better than our old one), but what they can do that is helpful if you're cruising the South Pacific, is show at night when you can't see, where the break on a reef is, or the opening, though I would not recommend going in till the sun"s well up. It can show you squalls coming, and the heaviness of the rainfall in them, and that's useful as an indicatior of how much wind you may find in it; this warning comes in time to drop sail, so I think that's very useful. Often you'll have a 360 change of wind directions with a squall--it's good to be prepared. Finally, although not all boats show up well on radar, the big ships do, and any steel vessel without anechoic coatings does, too. I felt naked at sea when we were between radars. And we did have AIS. It's just not the same. Now, in fog, they excel. A little story actually, ourselves southbound towards Auckland, NZ, and a train of one big powerboat with radar leading 4 other "blind" boats at hull speed through fog one Christmas time, northbound. We moved offshore about 3 mi, to avoid such elephant trains.

They can't see all the time, as through heavy rainfall, and they don't pick up timber boats well either, but I am very glad to have one.

My two cents.

Ann
__________________

__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 02:52   #92
Zai
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Athens
Boat: 2011 Bavaria 36 Cruiser
Posts: 144
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

I am also a big proponant of radar, my first radar was a Deca 050 and it could pick up crab floats and breaking waves if tuned properly.
Navigating the Norwegian coast in the winter, invaluable tool!

Of course the most important resource is ourselves, but an extra tool such as a radar is very usefull IMO.
__________________

__________________
Zai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 03:55   #93
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 533
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

I'm in the same boat. Npi. I just decided I'm going to keep sailing her until I get something else (sailing is better than not sailing and she's a pretty fine little boat). But I'm going to stop putting money into her. Her resale value is pretty low. Or if I do buy stuff, it will be stuff I can move to a different boat (electronics).

I'm planning on a trip next summer and then a year or two on land buying and working on my next and last boat. Whatever she may be.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
sully75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 06:54   #94
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,023
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

I didn't mean to hijack the thread, but I do want to thank those who've chimed in on the radar question. Ann's observations of usage are particularly helpful for me as we struggle with the cost-benefit analysis.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled banter...
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 18:29   #95
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Great post Anne. Nice summary of the radar decision...

I certainly think if you've added everything else and have the bucks it's worthwhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Mike,

I'm really glad that Jim has put radar on our cruising boats. It isn't perfect, by any means (though Dockhead says the newest ones are better than our old one), but what they can do that is helpful if you're cruising the South Pacific, is show at night when you can't see, where the break on a reef is, or the opening, though I would not recommend going in till the sun"s well up. It can show you squalls coming, and the heaviness of the rainfall in them, and that's useful as an indicatior of how much wind you may find in it; this warning comes in time to drop sail, so I think that's very useful. Often you'll have a 360 change of wind directions with a squall--it's good to be prepared. Finally, although not all boats show up well on radar, the big ships do, and any steel vessel without anechoic coatings does, too. I felt naked at sea when we were between radars. And we did have AIS. It's just not the same. Now, in fog, they excel. A little story actually, ourselves southbound towards Auckland, NZ, and a train of one big powerboat with radar leading 4 other "blind" boats at hull speed through fog one Christmas time, northbound. We moved offshore about 3 mi, to avoid such elephant trains.

They can't see all the time, as through heavy rainfall, and they don't pick up timber boats well either, but I am very glad to have one.

My two cents.

Ann
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 19:35   #96
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Radar. May depend on when/where you are sailing. In Florida/Bahamas I've never been in a situation where I thought it might be useful. The only time I've ever seen it used was in a race across the gulfstream during a bad storm. Although there were 15 other boats crossing with us the captain couldn't find a single one on the radar screen.
__________________
Take two at low eight
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 19:46   #97
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Oh lets not start on insurance. It's clearly NOT worth it. That's how insurance companies make their money, don't ya know.
Mike, we think so much alike; hope we meet up some day. After the insurance company doubled my premium I dropped it. Nine years later I've saved nearly $20,000. I did spend some of that money on bigger better anchors and chain. Now thats REAL insurance.
__________________
Take two at low eight
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 20:32   #98
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Onestep37,

A big rainstorm will give you too many returns, and "blind" your radar; also, fiberglass boats without radar reflectors are poor targets.

We got hooked on having radar in San Francisco Bay, where there are hazards the fog made invisible, long before chart plotting was on our financial horizon.

We sailed without insurance for about 25 yrs., until we had to carry 3rd party coverage to be allowed in marinas (for those rare occasions) and for the haulout facilities. We, too bought anchors, chain, and indeed, the radar, with our savings. Your post brought back a lot of memories.

When we were dismasted in '96, even after buying the new mast, rigging, running rigging, repairing the bow pulpit and replacing the lifelines, radar, and vhf coax and antenna, and the instruments, it was still a huge savings over boat insurance for a boat with only two crew--and even that was not available when we left in 1986. We left again in 1989 (long story), and by then, Pantaneous (sp?) was the only one offering ins for offshore.

Totally agree about insurance. The company is not there to help you, it is there to make money for the stockholders.

Again, relative to cruising in the South Pacific, i like knowing just exactly how far off the land I am, whether it is an atoll, on offshore reef, or just to tuck in in the shallow water out of the south setting tidal flow. My radar lets me stay a safe distance off the rocks and outside the break. YMMV I will say, though, that if I hadn't tried it, I would not have discovered how much help it could be.

Cheers,

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 20:53   #99
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: On my boat
Boat: Roberts 53, Love of Gaia
Posts: 80
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Well I am cruising East Coast Australia. I have a poor heading sensor. Radar has two uses (since fog isn't an issue here): detecting rain, and finding the distance of fishing boats at night that you can see but have no idea how close they are. Although my radar "sees" 50 miles, the MARPA cannot track a small vessel in poor conditions unless it's very close (5 miles or less). Tracking cargo ships is pointless since they all carry AIS.

I'm glad I have a radar, but AIS is vastly more useful. My radar might be more useful if I got a proper heading sensor so the MARPA could calculate the target heading and thus give a better idea of the CPA.

So if you want a really good radar system .. you really need to consider spending twice the price of the radar itself on a good heading sensor. Radars are cheap. Good heading sensors are not. If you're yawing about all over the place the heading sensor must precisely synchronise at high speed with the radar rotation. MARPA requires sub-degree accuracy to be any use at prediction of direction and speed. A visual trace of contact position and human estimation based on that is probably more useful.
__________________
yttrill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 21:02   #100
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Ann, there are for sure many places where radar is indispensible. Your situation sounds like one. We, OTOH, dont experience fog, long lasting rainstorms, or even darkness. We mostly daysail from one anchorage to the next and have the luxury of being able to stay put if bad weather threatens. You two are obviously more accomplished sailors than we two. But hopefully we both each love and are happy with what we are doing.....
__________________
Take two at low eight
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 21:24   #101
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Yes, onestepcsy37, quite right. I agree. Furthermore, if you don't need--or want--it, don't let anyone bully you into it.

I like our AIS, too. But if I had to choose, I'd take the radar. I agree with yttrril, too, it can be very difficult with the fishing boats, mainly because their working lights are so bright that you cannot pick out their nav lights from all the other light noise. So the radar can be a good help, AND you have to keep watching them because you cannot predict what direction changes they will make at any time.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 21:24   #102
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: On my boat
Boat: Roberts 53, Love of Gaia
Posts: 80
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

FYI: Radar works by timing how long it takes for the radio pulses it sends out at a particular angle take to return. These pulses need to be highly directional. Most recreational radar units come in a dome and have a small transmitter surface and so do not produce a very directional signal.

A real radar system uses an open array, the longer the array is, the more focused (directional) the radar pulse is, and so the more accurate the radar system. Here, most fishing boats, even small ones, rely on radar, and use open arrays.

Open array units are more expensive and not very good on sailing boats where ropes can get entangled with the array. Consequently, most recreational radars suitable for sail boats use a dome and hence aren't very good.

However fairly recently several techniques to improve the situation were commercialised. If the radar sends out more pulses per second you can get more precise information if the beam is tight. If the beam is not tight, the radar might get confused (you'd get a phantom image).

So these newer radar systems use variable frequencies instead. That way they can tell from the frequency of the return signal where the radar was pointed when it transmitted. This also reduces the power consumption of the radar required considerably.

I have no idea how good the new system is but it might be worth investigating if you're either sailing, or you can't afford an open array radar.

A final note: in the old days, radar relied on a very long persistence phosphor green screen to work. The physical persistence of the phosphor itself, the ability for it to keep glowing for a long time, is what made radar work by providing a "memory" of the return pulses. Modern radars use software and memory to do this instead. Consequently, high speed pattern recognition is used for things like rain and sea clutter rejection, instead of tuning analogue equipment. This can be very effective but it depends heavily on the quality of the software and the digital processing electronics. Tuning and using such software based radars is a black art. It takes a lot of practice, just as it did in the old days, to get the best out of your radar. So if you buy a radar, practice with it regularly!
__________________
yttrill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 21:47   #103
Registered User
 
Steady Hand's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Crewing All of 2017 Available Globally
Boat: OPB = Crewing in 2017
Posts: 4,851
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

RADAR?
It took just ONE time sailing close off the rugged California coast at night (no lights on shore) in fog so thick one could barely see the bow of the boat (no exaggeration), to give me unshaken admiration for RADAR and good hearing.

While many people will never experience sailing in that kind of thick fog and hazard, it only takes one time to convince you that the RADAR is essential in some locations.

I am glad that Ann and others mentioned the other uses too (e.g. tracking squalls). I have seen many smaller offshore fishing boats without AIS, that were visible on RADAR. And, it helped warn us of an approaching RORO Car Carrier that quickly came up over the Horizon (they move very fast when going across the ocean) and passed close to our boat's track.
__________________
Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, Med, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2017? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
Steady Hand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2014, 03:03   #104
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

We too would go radar if our sailing area called for one. In fact, I may be getting one even though we are sailing mostly in between the tropics.

My few comments are as follows:

- get a new gen one: dramatically better close-in resolution, vastly lower consumption,

- squalls can be visible, IF they carry plenty of rain; when the radar is clear, do not assume there are no squalls coming, watch the clouds,

- take a radar course and exercise fine tuning: for the sea state and for rain, few sailors do,

- try to get a tilting, even better a gimballed mount, they rock.

Fair winds,
b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2014, 13:45   #105
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
We too would go radar if our sailing area called for one. In fact, I may be getting one even though we are sailing mostly in between the tropics.

My few comments are as follows:

- get a new gen one: dramatically better close-in resolution, vastly lower consumption,

- squalls can be visible, IF they carry plenty of rain; when the radar is clear, do not assume there are no squalls coming, watch the clouds,


Good one, barnakiel! Quite right. You cannot "see" clear air squalls on radar. I was not clear in what I wrote.

- take a radar course and exercise fine tuning: for the sea state and for rain, few sailors do,

or download one of the tutorials, they are quite useful, especially after you've already got the basics of your particular unit understood.


- try to get a tilting, even better a gimballed mount, they rock.

Fair winds,
b.
interesting thread drift, eh?
Ann
__________________

__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ramp

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Six Months on... Global Collapse Destinations? MoonlightShadow Off Topic Forum 312 31-03-2009 07:46



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:27.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.