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Old 13-10-2016, 13:32   #61
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Why do people keep comparing AIS & radar - they're different animals altogether.
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Old 13-10-2016, 13:44   #62
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

I was caught in Fog with failed RADAR. I was in familiar territory and it was scary since I didn't know who might be anchored along the shoreline. It would be really scary in unfamiliar cruising grounds.
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Old 13-10-2016, 14:04   #63
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Well, Nammy,

Lots of people have circumnavigated without radar, some of our friends did so with only a depth sounder and a vhf radio. Mark J, who has, said "no."

We have had radar since we left the US in March of '89. We have been full time cruisers since then (except for time outs for medical issues), but have not circumnavigated. We left from San Francisco, a place where there is frequently fog. So, we have had, and been using, radar since then.

How we have used it, in no particular order:
1) to keep a particular distance off the land (out of the rocky zone, but inside the worst of the contrary current, or off a reef, waiting for light to enter)
2) to "see" objects in fog and light rain
3) to "see" vessels without AIS
4) to avoid squalls
5) to "see" Ra-con" on objects having it, again, lets you know you're in the safe part of a channel

The downsides for me are:
1)If the rain is very heavy, there are so many returns from the rain drops, it quits "seeing" ships
2) It does not "see" wooden fishing boats, or small plastic craft very well, if at all.
3) Power consumption is higher than we'd like

Comment: for a rolly boat like your Westsail, if you do decide to get radar, consider a gimballed mounting for it.

Finally, I'd say it's another individual choice, unless you have unlimited funds, you'll have to decide whether it would really be valuable enough in your usage to justify its cost.

Ann
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Old 13-10-2016, 14:27   #64
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

I use Radar on my work boat. IT is and incredibly valuable tool. Yes AIS can do some of the same things, but AIS ONLY WORKS ON BOATS AND FEATURES THAT ARE SENDING THE SIGNALS! And if you are using an "AIS APP" on your smart phone, you need to understand that this is nowhere near failsafe.
What I do with Radar:
1-It helps me find traffic, sometimes quicker than my naked eye, and often including 16' fishing boats.
2- It helps me find channels and hazards by showing buoys, and also RACON buoys.
3. Allows me to see weather. Clouds and Rain are easy to identify.
4. Fog. I had the pleasure of working two weeks ago in thick fog on one boat with Radar, and then a few days later on another without. Guess which was a better experience?
I think AIS is an awesome tool. But its limitations need to be understood. Why anyone would want to go without radar is beyond me.
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Old 13-10-2016, 14:52   #65
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Originally Posted by Kentb View Post
I use Radar on my work boat. IT is and incredibly valuable tool. Yes AIS can do some of the same things, but AIS ONLY WORKS ON BOATS AND FEATURES THAT ARE SENDING THE SIGNALS! And if you are using an "AIS APP" on your smart phone, you need to understand that this is nowhere near failsafe.
What I do with Radar:
1-It helps me find traffic, sometimes quicker than my naked eye, and often including 16' fishing boats.
2- It helps me find channels and hazards by showing buoys, and also RACON buoys.
3. Allows me to see weather. Clouds and Rain are easy to identify.
4. Fog. I had the pleasure of working two weeks ago in thick fog on one boat with Radar, and then a few days later on another without. Guess which was a better experience?
I think AIS is an awesome tool. But its limitations need to be understood. Why anyone would want to go without radar is beyond me.
AIS is great but everything doesn't have transponder. The kid in a 16' skiff or a can buoy. Chances are most relying it at only receive.
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Old 13-10-2016, 15:40   #66
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Some of the older RADAR units actually see better than many newer ones. Probably due to the fact that they allow the user to tune more of it's settings to better suit the conditions at hand. Such as when we left Newport, RI heading south after (Nautor) Swan Cup in Aug. '88. The fog was so thick that you literally couldn't see past the mast from the helm, but with our "Pong" RADAR we could see the crab pots at 1/2nm+. And it allowed us to thread a way through scores of fields of them, sans issue.
Note that we had a trail of non RADAR equipped boats following us, tightly on our stern, like a mama duck (er, Swan) being followed by her babies. You can guess as to why.

I surely wouldn't have wanted to try doing that sans being able to "see". Not just due to the fog & crab pots, but also because of the strong currents in the area, & the pelthora of rocks in the area.
Keep in mind too that this was definitely pre-GPS days. And also that our entire crew were pro level navigators, all of us being Midshipmen at the US Naval Academy. So it's not as if we were dependent on any particular nav "tool", by any standards.
As thanks to my training there, at 18 I could plot any ship's or submarine's position to within 30yds via DR, without having a fix confirmed by other means for a good week.

The other thing, including for the OP, is that naught says that you can only have one RADAR. Especially as some are more power hungry than others. So that if you have 2, then you keep the low powered one on for collision avoidance, & local nav, etc. Leaving the big one in standby, & switching it on once an hour, or once per watch, to check the horizon for storms or big ships beyond the horizon, & such. As a unit with a 60nm range will let you do this, easily. And that's a Long heads up on shipping traffic & storms.

Plus, as stated by many, they've far more uses than just to spot other ships. Especially since lots of units can pick up miniscule objects such as in my tale at this posts beginning. Even "non-reflective" ones (sic).
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Old 13-10-2016, 15:43   #67
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Why do people keep comparing AIS & radar - they're different animals altogether.
Different and complimentary.
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Old 13-10-2016, 15:57   #68
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Quote:
As thanks to my training there, at 18 I could plot any ship's or submarine's position to within 30yds via DR, without having a fix confirmed by other means for a good week.
Aww, come on, mate... I reckon the Academy does give great training, but stops short of the supernatural.

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Old 13-10-2016, 16:29   #69
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I fully concur with this. AIS buoyage is still rare, and things like low cliffs or rocks are never going to be tagged. Radar can also be used to thread a path between squalls or thunderheads; if I can see something 30 miles ahead, even on a moonless night, I can prep far more effectively. Radar and AIS aren't steps on a stair; they are brothers-in-arms. They work well in tandem.
The channel marker was bigger than our boat, and completely invisible to us in those conditions. You'll notice, that my wife first identifies something unusual on the radar at 1:05, then looks out at the port side bow to try and figure out what's ahead of us. No AIS signal coming off the marker, no visual, she has the chartplotter in her hands, but doesn't see the small dot on the chart. But, there was no missing THE ENORMOUS RADAR SHADOW on the the radar screen. So that's how we navigate... visual, AIS, chartplotter and radar all in use at the same time. The system works for us.

Honestly, how can anyone argue against radar after watching this video? Where it's value is clearly demonstrated.
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Old 13-10-2016, 16:44   #70
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Joshua Slocum claimed he navigated with a broken tin watch and DR, but life was a little less complex back then... My old Furuno RADAR magnetron cost $400 to replace, so I got off pretty cheap. I don't run the power hungry RADAR with black and green CRT except when it is needed. I sure wouldn't throw an old working unit away.

I'm adding a dAISY AIS receiver to my OpenCPN, thinking RADAR and an AIS reciever is better than nothing... Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
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Old 13-10-2016, 17:08   #71
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

I almost ran over a basking sunfish in the Gulf of Maine once. Eight feet across and maybe a couple thousand pounds, just lollygagging around just beneath the surface of the waves.

Can you see them with radar?

Suppose it never hurts to keep the eyes peeled and ears open. Had I been watching a video screen instead of paying attention where I was going I wouldn't have seen the sunfish. Of that I am certain.
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Old 13-10-2016, 18:05   #72
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Why would anyone's eyes be glued to the screen in conditions like that?

Use a radar to help where your vision is not good enough, or to alert you to objects that you have not noticed.

Kenomac's video is a good example.
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Old 13-10-2016, 18:07   #73
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Radar, I would not sail without it. Did one 250 mile trip recently and felt like I was blind.

If you have it, you are required by law to use it.

Our radar saved our bacon more than once, most usefully for dodging squalls. Once anchored at Haiti we used it as a burglar alarm at anchor with a circular guard zone set, and it warned us of a canoe with two machete armed people in it coming straight at us at 02h00.

An essential item, an extra watch-keeper without salary, that never tires or falls asleep.

No question, get one, and use it well.

Depth sounder, have not had one for 10+years, new transducer planned for next haul out.
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Old 13-10-2016, 18:10   #74
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Web photo of sunfish. Was not in middle of the Gulf of Maine on a stand up paddle board. Anyway, is radar gonna spot one of these guys?

How about a sailboat without a radar reflector?
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Old 13-10-2016, 18:44   #75
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Imaging this with foggy weather. With radar you can go down in range etc. Or select your viewing path..
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