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Old 13-10-2016, 18:57   #76
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
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?
Depends on your tuning and the current sea conditions.
We have seen a coconut floating by on our radar.
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Old 13-10-2016, 21:52   #77
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Hey there folks. Anyone who thinks radar isn't desirable? I reckon it'd be like expecting your surgeon to go without X-rays.
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Old 13-10-2016, 22:11   #78
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Hey there folks. Anyone who thinks radar isn't desirable? I reckon it'd be like expecting your surgeon to go without X-rays.

Well that's what MRIs are for.

Of course it also depends on what type of surgeon you need to have operate on you and what they're going in to fix or rip out.

Desirable, yes. Of overriding importance compared to other electronics, no.



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Old 13-10-2016, 23:06   #79
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Agreed. That's why I said desirable
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Old 13-10-2016, 23:56   #80
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

AIS does not tell you where you are. GPS+Chartplotter tells you where you are on the chart but in many places that is up to a mile adrift. Radar tells you where hard stuff is that is going to hurt if you hit it.
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Old 14-10-2016, 00:40   #81
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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4) to avoid squalls
Actually, on a "how often do you actually use radar information" scale that would be quite high on a ocean passage in the tropics - to spot squalls and get ready with the soap and shampoo
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Old 14-10-2016, 02:36   #82
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

To all you folks who are acting "holier than thou," with their radar, can you please explain to me why it is that all these ships with their fancy radars seem totally surprised when I call them up on the radio and point out that they are sailing straight towards my boat. Could it be that ships don't look at their radars anymore and they rely on their AIS instead?
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Old 14-10-2016, 02:41   #83
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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To all you folks who are acting "holier than thou," with their radar, can you please explain to me why it is that all these ships with their fancy radars seem totally surprised when I call them up on the radio and point out that they are sailing straight towards my boat. Could it be that ships don't look at their radars anymore and they rely on their AIS instead?
That's like saying "That guy over there walked right into that wall! So why does anyone need eyes at all? That guy's eyes didn't prevent him from walking into that wall."

Having radar, doesn't guaranty that it will be used properly. The fact that someone doesn't use it properly, doesn't mean that it's not extremely useful.



That being said, I think it actually is true, that very many vessels are not paying as much attention to traffic which is not broadcasting AIS. I have even caught myself deprioritizing traffic without AIS. Word to the wise.
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Old 14-10-2016, 03:12   #84
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Originally Posted by Eyeback View Post
To all you folks who are acting "holier than thou," with their radar, can you please explain to me why it is that all these ships with their fancy radars seem totally surprised when I call them up on the radio and point out that they are sailing straight towards my boat. Could it be that ships don't look at their radars anymore and they rely on their AIS instead?
It's not as if this is a new development which occured within the last decade or two, & since the advent of AIS. Ships have been behaving in this manner for a long, long time. And when you consider the levels of automation on a huge percentage of them, coupled with their tiny crews. Many of whom don't have first rate training by any means. Then their traveling along almost blindly isn't a surprise.

Frankly I don't know how they even get insured given all of the above, other than that it's a "game" played by big business so that the money stays in the correct places. But were smaller vessels to be crewed at the same levels proportionally, a 40'er would have someone on watch about 4 days a year, if that much. So...

The other thing is that they're more concerned with hitting something which will actually damage them, & small vessels barely qualify, if at all. Sadly. Which again, is an old, old story. Read Justin Scott's The Shipkiller, & check it's original publication date.


Edit: In order to avoid to lots of false radar returns from waves & such, it's possible to set a radar to look for bigger targets, & those that are more elevated above the sea. But in doing so, the radar then misses things like vessels under 25m in size much more often.
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Old 14-10-2016, 04:33   #85
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Originally Posted by Eyeback View Post
To all you folks who are acting "holier than thou," with their radar, can you please explain to me why it is that all these ships with their fancy radars seem totally surprised when I call them up on the radio and point out that they are sailing straight towards my boat. Could it be that ships don't look at their radars anymore and they rely on their AIS instead?
Might be because your radar reflector is not any good at reflecting radar. Most aren't.

They pick me up on a steel boat miles away.
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Old 14-10-2016, 05:18   #86
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Many cheap radar reflectors are useless.
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Old 14-10-2016, 05:48   #87
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Jeez... if you dont want radar, dont use it. Its not perfect, but if you learn to dial in the settings you can easily see small boats in calm seas.
Dont worry about what the ships can and cannot see. You have no control over that. BUT I notice so many people talk about using AIS recievers, but not transmitters.. so you arent reporting your position but only receiving... and how many others doing the same?
My point is: AIS is only good for seeing the boats that have transmitters. That should be 99% of the ships you see in or near coastal waters of U.S. (but likely not military). AIS is probably good for seeing 1-5% of privately owned pleasure boats.
Radar is a different animal all together. It works well if you are familiar with your unit. The key is using it during good visibility to understand what it it telling you. Knowing what it can and cannot pick up, or how to adjust the sensitivity and clutter will make a difference. So will it pick up a floating coconut? Possibly, but you have to know that about your radar to use it effectively. I found low-freeboard fishing boats 20' and less are particularly hard to spot on radar. But all other boats seem to light up good.
I have gotten by without radar for over 40 years. I am happy to go with or without. But in fog or night, were talking about an awesome tool.
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Old 14-10-2016, 05:55   #88
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Many cheap radar reflectors are useless.
The effectiveness of a radar reflector has nothing to do with its price!

The design and installation of the radar reflector has a lot more to do with how effective it will be.
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Old 14-10-2016, 06:11   #89
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

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Jeez... if you dont want radar, dont use it. Its not perfect, but if you learn to dial in the settings you can easily see small boats in calm seas.
Dont worry about what the ships can and cannot see. You have no control over that. BUT I notice so many people talk about using AIS recievers, but not transmitters.. so you arent reporting your position but only receiving... and how many others doing the same?
My point is: AIS is only good for seeing the boats that have transmitters. That should be 99% of the ships you see in or near coastal waters of U.S. (but likely not military). AIS is probably good for seeing 1-5% of privately owned pleasure boats.
Radar is a different animal all together. It works well if you are familiar with your unit. The key is using it during good visibility to understand what it it telling you. Knowing what it can and cannot pick up, or how to adjust the sensitivity and clutter will make a difference. So will it pick up a floating coconut? Possibly, but you have to know that about your radar to use it effectively. I found low-freeboard fishing boats 20' and less are particularly hard to spot on radar. But all other boats seem to light up good.
I have gotten by without radar for over 40 years. I am happy to go with or without. But in fog or night, were talking about an awesome tool.
What he said!
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Old 14-10-2016, 13:43   #90
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

I have radar and a AIS transponder and boat on the upper Mississippi river. This year on a cruise to Lake Michigan we had 3 days that we ran well after dark. There was no problem seeing the tows on the AIS but the barge fleets were invisible without radar. In one situation a tow was coming towards me and on the rdb was a dozen or so barges, the radar showed me a clear path in between, I could've hit either one with a rock. In situations like this radar relieves a lot of stress, I got by without radar for years but any boating at night was in familiar waters.


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