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Old 17-04-2011, 11:06   #16
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

YouTube has some great videos of the different brands. The vids show what you'll see and what to expect from different manufacturers. There's also a few videos on the newer style broadband and how well they do with bouys right beside the boat. You can see the target and the Captain can almost touch it at the same time. Grab a beer........search on youtube and watch away. It does look as though the broadband is more sensitive and draws a lot less power and generally may be the next big thing.

Good luck.
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Old 18-04-2011, 07:38   #17
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

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Best bang for the buck, simple, compatible and reliable....Garmin.

Expensive but the best stuff made and the best customer support....Furuno

Most problems discussed in this forum....Raymarine.
Agreed. Raymarines seem to have problems when you first get them, but when you get the inital kinks worked out, you have a Furuno product pretty much.
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Old 18-04-2011, 08:03   #18
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

Am very happy with the little Furuno 1623 on my sailboat. Having used Furuno on workboats, was always impressed by their durability. The 16 mile range is plenty, dome is small and light up on the mast, has sleep mode to conserve power and good definition. I like the simplicity of the B&W led display.
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Old 18-04-2011, 08:24   #19
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

I like the Furuno basic 1623 model. No frills but cheap and does everything I ask it for.

Then I like the Ray things but they are color so also more expensive.

I loved one of the Simrads we used - best screen readout - color, but also worst interface.

I did not like the JRC cheapo - I did not like the low contrast screen, but that was on an older model (year 2000 or thereabout), they may have improved.

For my own boat, I would buy a b/w Furuno - inexpensive, reliable, low power consumption.

b.
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Old 18-04-2011, 09:55   #20
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

I was very pleased with the Garmin 740s package that I installed last year. Easy to read MFD that displayed chartplotter, depth and radar. Radome was 18" GMR HD. It was easy to use and saved our bacon more than once in Maine fog. The display would have taken AIS if I had it. West offered a pretty nice package deal on the display and radome last year. Don't know if it is still in place.
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Old 18-04-2011, 10:10   #21
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Re: Radar: best bang for the buck

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Currently there are zero electronics on board so the plan is to fit it out from scratch once only cause we want something that won't become obsolete before we drop dead. We aren't that young.
If you really feel the need for radar....

... Garmin (740) as mentioned. Don't go for the (5400?)... for some strange reason Garmin elected not to allow chart plotter and radar display overlay on this model... the side by side split screen display makes it tough to see....

Not sure why they do these things... other then the upsell
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Old 18-04-2011, 10:25   #22
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

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I like the Furuno basic 1623 model. No frills but cheap and does everything I ask it for.

.
I am quite happy with my Furuno 1715. Display is 1" larger than that of 1623.

But beware of the learning curve. Don't leave training to the foggy day or dark night when it becomes essential to plot a collision course on your radar. Two boats moving at roughly the same speed at right angle on a collision course makes for some strange track the first time you watch it. Setting wave and rain anti-clutters requires practice too.
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:35   #23
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

I got a digital Garmin about three months ago... the thing plugs right into my GPS ( it is compatible with some models only so check that first ) so I ran two wires... power and data that plugged into the back of the GpS... $1295.oo HD digital less than 2 amps when its running and the thing is mazing! One of the best things on my boat and integrates directly into the system on my boat..... LOVE the thing.
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Old 18-04-2011, 13:41   #24
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

I think you are doing this the wrong way around.

Choose your chartplotter first. Radars from the major manufacturers are very similar and they are all very good. I've had Furuno, Raymarine and now Garmin. Sure you can have an argument about which one sees lobster pot buoys better but we're talking tiny differences in any unit built in the last five years. If money is no object, you could have a dedicated radar display instead of using the chartplotter - but you've already said money is an object.

You'll find that you won't be using radar all that often. Chartplotters have already replaced radar for navigation (e.g. not running into land). AIS is on it's way to do the same for collision avoidance.

I have my radar on less than 10% of the time I'm underway. And I cruise in Maine. The chartplotter and AIS are always on.

Unlike radar, chartplotter features are very different. Definitely have one in the cockpit. One below is great too. Find one that has a user interface you like. Better, find one that your wife is comfortable using. Try to get a 12" screen. You'd be amazed at how much easier the bigger chart area makes things.

Next spend money on an AIS transponder (not just receiver). If the other guy has AIS he's going to notice you and see how to avoid you.

Now, if there's money left over, get the radar that works with your chartplotter. Your only choice will likely be whether you want the 18" or 24" size of your chart plotter brand.

Carl
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Old 18-04-2011, 14:02   #25
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

I can only tell you what I did and I am a cheap SOB. I just bought a Standard Horizon CP300 and a Si-tex 24kw Radome. I am into this about 2000 dollars with map, radome, and mount. Doing my own install.

YMMV

Brad
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Old 18-04-2011, 14:08   #26
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

Any thoughts on the Simrad br24? They have a $500 mail in rebate happening at the moment. My brother/partner prefers a stand alone radar so won't be needing any fancy stuff for it.
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Old 18-04-2011, 15:03   #27
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

I'm with CarlF that, if you're looking for cost effective electronics and you're starting from scratch, you're better off starting with a radar compatible chart plotter. You're unlikely to find a current generation radar display that isn't also going to display charts. You'll use the chartplotter much more than the radar. If you're looking for a system to last you a decade, consider where navigation is heading, not where it's been. AIS is in transition to a common part of the armamentarium. You don't need to get it now, but you're likely to find that many of your options will be able to display it so you can just plug it in when the time comes. Bigger is better for viewing, but I've never had trouble with a 7" display. That will reduce your cost and power usage.
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Old 19-04-2011, 07:51   #28
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Re: Radar: Best Bang for the Buck

The most important aspect for me, having a pilothouse and therefore an ostensibly "dry room" in which to do my navigation and helming, is that the output on the standalone radar should be easily sent to a plotter or a PC with optional overlay. Particularly with practice, the use of radar to spot approaching squalls, rain and so on in the open ocean is at least as important to us as spotting land, boats, and the larger sort of debris. Ten minutes' warning before all hell breaks loose is a total gift at night, as is the ability to steer for the gaps.
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