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Old 13-11-2010, 13:55   #1
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Radar for Sea of Cortez

I am refitting my 3200 Gemini Cat for a year of crusing in the Sea of Cortez. I need to get radar. I will be installing a standalone AIS unit to track large vessels but I would like a short range radar for smaller vessels and land when I am underway in fog or the dark. What is a good radar unit for this application. Thanks all
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Old 13-11-2010, 14:35   #2
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Don't want to be rude, but we sailed for several years in the Sea of Cortez without radar, no problem.
I'd spend the money on a really big awning.
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Old 13-11-2010, 15:27   #3
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You don't need to get fancy. Most of the time our radar was off, but for night crossings of the sea, we used the 4 or 8 mile ranges, although it was nice to see predawn squalls on the Eastern shore about 20 miles away.

I agree, a good canopy is more important.
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Old 14-11-2010, 14:39   #4
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Four to eight miles is a good seek range for radar, but also 1, 1/2, and 1/4 miles for trying to find the landmarks in a dark and stormy anchorage - especially the ones that act as range markers. Found radar also useful for trying to work out the antics of the shrimp boats as they dance around you. Not very useful for finding dark pangas which are either wood or fiberglass.
I had a Furuno 8 and then a 16 mile LCD radar with the monitor mounted in the cockpit that worked out well. Now I have a 36 mile Furuno so I can see mountaintops far far away...
Large vessels in the upper Sea are essentially the Santa Rosalia/Guaymas ferry and the ore boat that goes to San Marcos Island (near Santa Rosalia). Anything else is usually Navy of one stripe or another and presumably they see you...
Bring sunbrella or nursery cloth and a grommet kit to make shade.
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Old 14-11-2010, 14:51   #5
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Actually, for the "Sea of Cortex" - it's all in your head...

Michael
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Old 14-11-2010, 17:09   #6
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No offense taken dana-tenacity, I mostly want it for the next two years which I will getting the boat ready and sailing the Morro Bay and southern Calif area which can be very foggy at time. And yes on the shade, I already have a design for shade, LOTS of shade. Any recommendation on a brand radar?
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Old 14-11-2010, 23:41   #7
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I have a JRC 1500 on mine, nothing fancy but it does the job and is cheaper than an equivalent Furuno or Raymarine.

Mounted low on the mast, just under the baby stay it works well on near objects like buoys etc., and is great for finding space between boats in anchorages. Still works well out to 12 or 16 miles.

Cheers.
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Old 18-11-2010, 14:03   #8
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Anyone else have a recommendation. I have a JRC VHF and am happy with it but it appears they are not doing low end radar units anymore.
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Old 18-11-2010, 14:16   #9
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The furuno brand is what I've had good experience with. I'm in a lot of the same waters you'll be moving around in; I generally leave it off, but some people use them a lot. In the fog you'll be motoring (fog around here generally equals <1 knot of wind) so your ears will be useless to hear other vessels from the engine noise. It's probably one of the only really nice things about radar is when motoring, and then the power consumption isn't that bad.

My $0.02.

If you have a willing crew putting someone up on the bow to listen and look can be helpful, and they won't be deaf from the engine. There are a lot of fisherman and various skiffs along the coast that don't register on the radar.
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Old 18-11-2010, 14:26   #10
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That brings up a funny experience I had there once. I was fishing out of Loreto with a guide and we set out before sunrise. It was pitch black and the water was like glass. The captain of the panga kept pulling out a butane lighter and flicking it as we shot across the water at about 25 knots. I kept wonder what the heck he was doing that for when out to port I saw another flickering lighter. These guys were using the lighters as navigation since they didn't have any running lights.
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Old 18-11-2010, 14:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulfborealis View Post
That brings up a funny experience I had there once. I was fishing out of Loreto with a guide and we set out before sunrise. It was pitch black and the water was like glass. The captain of the panga kept pulling out a butane lighter and flicking it as we shot across the water at about 25 knots. I kept wonder what the heck he was doing that for when out to port I saw another flickering lighter. These guys were using the lighters as navigation since they didn't have any running lights.
I've seen guys with flashlights duct taped down. A single, small, crummy flashlight that I wouldn't use to read a book with.
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