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Old 12-10-2016, 21:53   #1
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Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

So, I just bought Oasis, my Westsail 32 and, I'm busy making her safe for "Chasing Captain Fatty". I just bought a vhf radio with AIS. I have a nice Garmin plotter with downvu(fun little addition). The boat had working radar until I tore out the most ancient monitor I've ever seen. It looked like a game of pong... Do I even really need radar? Can I run something modern from the antenna that is nmea2000? I did some minor research and most ppl seem to like it but, not need it. Advice please! On a side note. My fridge is beautiful with a huge cold plate in it. The compressor unit is nowhere to be found. I'm mostly concerned with power draw but, price is always a close second. Anyone have a used compressor unit taking up space? Is bigger better? Should I throw it all out and start new? I would go without but, I need to keep some medical supplies cool.

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Old 12-10-2016, 21:57   #2
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Radar is more than nice to have. If you sail at night, Or in fog, or in bad weather, it is crucial.
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Old 12-10-2016, 22:11   #3
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

When I bought my Westsail 32 a few years ago, it came with a radar that I promptly got rid of for $700 and I can honestly say that I have NEVER needed it. Now even though I cruised New England both last year and this year, I managed to avoid fog. If I was going to cruise in a foggy place, I might consider it.

With regards to your fridge, have another look for that compressor. You wouldn't believe how many hidden spots there are on the boat. Follow the lines if you can and ask the previous owner. Failing all that you should be able to pick up a 12volt one for around $100 to attach to the plates. You could tear the whole thing apart but it would be a right old pain.

With a new boat, all this refit stuff can get intoxicating, and wonderful but don't lose sight of the sailing bit.
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Old 12-10-2016, 22:17   #4
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

I can't imagine cruising without radar but that's just me...
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Old 12-10-2016, 22:25   #5
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

When is radar not only necessary but crucial to have? Just watch this video and look closely at 1:05 when my wife locates a huge channel marker at a time with poor visibility that's only 500 meters away. I doubt we would have avoided hitting it without the radar. It also helps to know how to use it and practice frequently. You can't count on AIS, more than half the boats don't have it, and besides that... our new AIS unit broke down for over half the season.

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Old 12-10-2016, 22:27   #6
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Kenomac when I click on the video, it says it is not available
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Old 12-10-2016, 22:38   #7
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyeback View Post
Kenomac when I click on the video, it says it is not available
It should play if you click on the light blue link at the top, but in some European countries it can't be played due to copyright laws pertaining to the music. If you're still having trouble, let me know and I'll try to post the same video with generic music. Or go onto youtube.com and search "Oyster 53 sailing yacht big waves high winds"
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Old 12-10-2016, 23:09   #8
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Sorry Ken it still doesn't work and even though lots of your videos appeared on YouTube, that particular one is not coming up.

Anyway getting back to the issue of the radar, I think that there are lots of pros and cons, none the least of which is power. On a Westsail there is not a lot of room for solar panels so in my opinion, Manny would be better off investing in an AIS transponder for the same amount of money, using far less power.
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Old 12-10-2016, 23:31   #9
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

If I could only have one electronic nav aid other than a VHF radio, it would be radar. As it tells you what's actually out there, in real time, instead of what's supposed to be there, or was charted 10-100yrs ago. And it does so almost regardless of weather conditions. At times well enough to be able to dodge the floats on crab pots at night, or in fog so thick that you can't see your own bow.
So yeah, it's vital, & still very, very relevent.

Consider that every & any working vessel 10m or greater in size have had them since the 1960's/1970's. Likely for good reason, as most commercial sailors & fishermen don't have $ for items which don't pull their weight.

And unlike other nav aids, such as GPS or AIS, radar isn't dependent on other external electronics which can be switched off or monkeyed with by other parties. Even the lights & sound signals on buoys are subject to this. Radar isn't, it keeps feeding you info, regardless. Well, unless someone aims a jammer at you
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Old 12-10-2016, 23:32   #10
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

It depends very much on your cruising grounds and the type of sailing that you do. Most older boats here in Southern California do not have radar. The weather is perfect, no fog, no rain. Yet, a radar gives you unmatched situational awareness that you cannot get from AIS alone. Here are some examples where I find radar useful (in addition to fog and weather monitoring):

- Night sailing
- Single handed sailing
- You do not need to have someone standing watch all the time. You can go down below and still feel relatively safe keeping track of objects around you
- Approaching less familiar harbors at dusk (radar chart overlay is helpful)
- Using MARPA to estimate course and speed of boats around you
- It is one of the few active devices on a boat (meaning you paint the surrounding objects vs. relying on the other ships having AIS)

Radar is not that expensive nowadays relative to the cost of maintaining a boat and I would strongly advise you to get one. If cost is a concern, get a used one off ebay. If you want to have the latest and greatest, check out Quantum from Raymarine or the Navico radars. In any case, I believe the minimum useful features are color, chart overlay and MARPA. The latter requires an investment in a heading sensor and proper interfacing.

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Old 12-10-2016, 23:42   #11
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

So, it sounds like I might as well use the big thingy still mounted half way up my mast at least to turn on on certain situations.
On to the technical part! I found a box that I could disconnect the pong screen from via a connector type thing inside said box. What am I looking for to replace that old monitor? Can I find something nmea2000 compatible? What's THAT gonna cost?
I want simple but, clear and easy to read.

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Old 12-10-2016, 23:43   #12
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

The box obviously ran to the antenna...

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Old 13-10-2016, 00:10   #13
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

A logical first step might be to identify the big thing mounted on the mast by brand and model number. Maybe some manual or paperwork onboard?

But if it is as old as the pong screen I'm guessing it's not a NMEA enabled device.
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Old 13-10-2016, 00:41   #14
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nammy View Post
So, it sounds like I might as well use the big thingy still mounted half way up my mast at least to turn on on certain situations.
On to the technical part! I found a box that I could disconnect the pong screen from via a connector type thing inside said box. What am I looking for to replace that old monitor? Can I find something nmea2000 compatible? What's THAT gonna cost?
I want simple but, clear and easy to read.
The "pong screen" box is an integral part of the radar. What's on the mast is only the antenna and magnetron. And they are not connected with NMEA2000 on any radar, because N2K doesn't have the bandwidth. Modern radars use Ethernet; older ones use proprietary cabling.

The first thing you need to do is find out whether it WORKS. It is works, then there's nothing wrong with the "pong screen". A different screen won't make it "simple, clear and easy to read" -- you have to learn how to use radar. You can't just buy a new screen and expect it to suddenly be clear -- this is a wetware, not a hardware problem.


I heartily second Uncivilized's comment about the importance of radar, and why. Radar is the ONLY electronic device which is capable of telling you what is REALLY out there RIGHT NOW, as opposed to what is on a chart. I would rank radar right after the depth sounder in importance, and ahead of the chart plotter.
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Old 13-10-2016, 00:49   #15
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Re: Is radar like the extinct typewriter?

One of the great Troll posts subject boxes I've seen.


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