Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-12-2015, 04:47   #16
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,743
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
The Guard Zones feature is a key one. For the already named reason. But also, it can be used when at anchor. To let you know if you're getting new neighbors: Be they just coming into the port. Or are dragging down onto you, at some point in the wee hours.
That, & at times they can even be used as an alarm to let you know if you're dragging.

Regarding the "different risks" comment, it's spot on. As, when you use radar to cross check & confirm what your charting tells you, then you're Much safer entering a harbor (or similar), than were you to attempt such based on one "magic box" (GPS, etc.) alone. Especially if/when visibility is poor.

Albeit, standing offshore until Sunrise, is still a very prudent, & likely, much underused technique any more.
Not everyone (very few actually) stop to ask, what they'll do if their electrical system suddenly shuts down due to one of a score of maladies... whilst entering a harbor. Nor do they plot such entries on paper charts, as a backup tool.
Such things are worth keeping in mind.

I use a radar guard zone as an anchor alarm fairly often. It's especially useful if you're worried about someone swinging into you. I spent three days and nights anchored out in stormy weather in Ushant, in deep water, not far from a big French navy cutter, and was terrified the ship would swing into me. The radar guard zone sure gave comfort.


My radar saved my azz one night entering Sassnitz harbor on a pitch black overcast night. We were exhausted after two days and nights of fighting a big storm which blew out our principle headsail. Sassnitz was not the planned destination and I had not studied the harbor as I always do.

We were exhausted and in no mood to stand off until dawn, after all that. We made it through the narrow entrance safely, and I certainly wouldn't have done it relying on only one source of information -- so the radar was essential right there. There were lights but incredibly confusing -- a profusion of them, and many lost in the shore lights. The radar showed the entrance, confirming what the chart plotter said. We got into the harbor and were navigating toward the visitor berths, and suddenly I saw a radar return directly ahead where there should have been nothing. I didn't understand what it could be but immediately initiated a crash stop. And came to a stop just a boatlength from a new pontoon across the fairway, which we would otherwise have plowed right into.

And I had updated the charts in my plotter just a week before! The new pontoon had not made it into the cartography yet.
__________________

__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 04:48   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Singapore
Boat: Seawind 1160 Lite
Posts: 253
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKB53 View Post
Hi

I have been doing coastal cruising in Australia for 8 years or so with an AIS transponder hooked into my Nav system and no Radar. I would not like to sail in shipping lanes without AIS but to date I have not missed radar at all and have friends who have the same view. ie: In our neck of the woods Radar is of limited benefit.

I have just signed for a new boat with the intention of cruising in the Med for a few years then possibly coming back to Aus via Panama and the Pacific.
I need to finalise the electronic kit out and the question is whether to fit radar or not. Much easier and cheaper at this stage!

I can imagine that when you get into "3rd world" areas with unlit fishing boats, fish traps and the like it would be a lot of comfort.

I am interested in the views/experiences of cruisers on the need for Radar in the Med specifically but also crossing the Atlantic and Pacific.

Cheers
Being from the "Nanny State" as well I had many people tell me radar was not essential due to AIS and I was thinking exactly the same when I placed my recent boat order for a new sailing Cat but luckily decided to get radar fitted, the price was not that much extra ( way cheaper than what I had to pay for the dingy or life raft, ). The real issue is that when you actually sail outside of Australian waters you realise there a 2 different rules, one for expat boats, (required by law to have AIS in most Asian countries ) and a informal law for local vessels that is never inforced. At any one point in time there are literally thousands of boats all through Asia and the Pacific which don't use AIS and or display no navigation lights at night, Radar is an essential instrument for any boat,
__________________

__________________
Andrew Grace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 04:51   #18
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,743
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
SOP for me... even using radar I will only enter somewhere I have been before ( using a previous GPS track that has been tried and tested) in the dark.

The worst are very brightly lit ports.......
You have more patience than I do!

You are certainly right about bright lights -- they often make it worse, if they don't shine on the piers and port facilities, but in your eyes, ruining your night vision in the bargain.

Entering harbors in the dark is somewhat of an art. Certainly there are some I would not enter in the dark, without having been there. But with good up to date charts and radar, and in reasonable weather, there are plenty I would, and do.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 05:06   #19
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
SOP for me... even using radar I will only enter somewhere I have been before ( using a previous GPS track that has been tried and tested) in the dark.

The worst are very brightly lit ports.......
Ding Ding Ding!!!

Me hate's 'em!
__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 06:21   #20
One of Those
 
Canibul's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Boat: Catalac 12M
Posts: 3,209
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

We got hit by lightning on the way down here with the boat in 2012. It fried the radar, along with just about everything else on the 12 volt instrument circuits. I've elected not to replace it as we have a lot of other priorities.

I miss the radar.
__________________
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Canibul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 08:32   #21
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

AIS gives you no weather information. I think it's a great thing, however, that will get even better with the implementation of AIS "virtual" buoyage and a wider adoption of AIS transceivers. It complements radar, however. It is not nearly a replacement.

On an Atlantic delivery in 2009, and even with the "joke" radar Mars Vigil model, the skipper was able to guide me at the helm with best courses between squalls and thunderheads during a particularly active (though not windy) night of motoring. It's quite easy to learn how to fiddle with the gain on a radar to see rain and wind ahead or coming up from the rear, so aside from the obvious benefits of finding gaps in harbour walls, lagoon reefs and avoiding unlit pirogues, radar can let you know when you've got five minutes to put in a reef at dark o'clock.
__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 08:46   #22
Senior Cruiser
 
jackdale's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 5,040
Images: 1
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Radar is great for picking up squalls, especially at night.



This a day shot.

(I gybed away.)
__________________
ISPA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor Evaluator
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising Instructor
IYT Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor
ASA 201, 203,204, 205, 206, 214
As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)
jackdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 09:35   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: UPSTATE NY
Boat: Cape Dory 27D
Posts: 62
Images: 2
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

If only used in fog it still is worth the comfort of knowing your not about to run up on an unlit boat, flotsam or other unexpected hull crusher.
__________________
MCOS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 09:43   #24
Registered User
 
powsmias's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Jersey
Boat: Pearson 35 #285
Posts: 309
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Radar is great for picking up squalls, especially at night.



This a day shot.

(I gybed away.)
Have radar on the boat i just bought and ready to launch in spring and was thinking to scrap the radar but after reading this post i'm kinda glad it's there. anyone dodge a piracy attempt because of it? that in mind along with everything else posted here, seems a no brainer..
__________________
Every bone in my body is a spar. And when I spits, I spits tar. I's hard. I is, I am, I are
www.eddiethelock.com
powsmias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 09:49   #25
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 6,058
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKB53 View Post
Hi

I have been doing coastal cruising in Australia for 8 years or so with an AIS transponder hooked into my Nav system and no Radar. I would not like to sail in shipping lanes without AIS but to date I have not missed radar at all and have friends who have the same view. ie: In our neck of the woods Radar is of limited benefit.

I have just signed for a new boat with the intention of cruising in the Med for a few years then possibly coming back to Aus via Panama and the Pacific.
I need to finalise the electronic kit out and the question is whether to fit radar or not. Much easier and cheaper at this stage!

I can imagine that when you get into "3rd world" areas with unlit fishing boats, fish traps and the like it would be a lot of comfort.

I am interested in the views/experiences of cruisers on the need for Radar in the Med specifically but also crossing the Atlantic and Pacific.

Cheers
If you signed for a new boat, not just new to you, I'd go for it. Your probably making a significant investment, radar is cheap today, and as you pointed out cheaper doing it up front. I won't lists the plus side, I'm sure stumble and a bunch of others have handled that.

I think I only wanted to reinforce what, I think, you believe already. smile:
__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 09:52   #26
Senior Cruiser
 
jackdale's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 5,040
Images: 1
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Radar is great for picking up squalls, especially at night.
After the gybe, the three squalls closed in on each other.

__________________
ISPA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor Evaluator
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising Instructor
IYT Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor
ASA 201, 203,204, 205, 206, 214
As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)
jackdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 10:20   #27
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

In 6 months in the Med it was foggy for 2 hours.

It was never foggy in my 2 trans Atlantic crossings, nor in the Pacific.
The Pacific have very few fishing bouys, marked or unmarked and very few local fishing boats.

Asia is a different thing and there's millions of fishing bouys (literally millions) and I dunno how many I ran over.

So RADAR imo is not needed for fog in Med, Atlantic, Pacific.

Your boat would obviously have AIS anyway, so if you have funds for discretionary electronics go for it. The more stuff you have on board the safer you will be.

AIS first and foremost.

Mark
__________________
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 10:26   #28
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

AIS and radar are two different things.

Here's one of the better presentations that I have seen:

http://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/are-you-afraid-of-the-fog.157371/

it's by Maine Sail, who contributes often on this forum.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 10:30   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: St Michaels, MD
Boat: Cal 46-3, 46' ketch
Posts: 190
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

I agree with all the other posts... radar is still essential on most boats, especially on a proper cruising boat.

Lack of use (so far) may not be a very good metric. You probably haven't used your MOB pole, throw ring, strobe, or life raft either. Yet no one suggests leaving them behind. Not using radar might say more about your luck so far, training/ prudence than radar's continuing/ irreplaceable value... right tool for the right job.

It's added cost is really minimal consisting most systems are networked systems do you already have a central display... so you need only add the actual radar scanner... about $1-1.5k and $300-500 install on the mast... very small added cost overall considering $6-10k for full electronics package... even less adding in the coat of the boat!

Even here in well charted/ buoyed Chesapeake Bay, MD on my 2nd smaller sailboat (28' O'Day) I installed radar. Day markers become NAV hazards at night. We have uncharted 'fish farm poles/ nets, smaller buoys get dragged off station by storms Winter ice, some watermen work with unrepaired nav lights, another sailboat can have its lights blocked by its low genny... there are just too many things that can go bump in the night that don't have AIS or not charted even in relatively refined domestic waters.

It wasn't that long ago certain notorious Caribbean islanders would purposely move nav aids, shore line-up references to cause groundings/ salvage of unsuspecting cruisers. On one trip to the Caribbean we spotted a definite hostel approach coming up 6 miles behind us that allowed us to prepare/ actually defend ourselves successfully.

Here in the US we have the USCG Rule to 'use all available means' to ensure safety of ship & crew.

I may not be writing this had it not been for having/ using radar 100% of the time over 30 years of water sailing">blue water sailing trips, night sailing, Caribbean/ Cuban waters cruising.




Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
W3GAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 10:34   #30
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 48
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Radar is a wonderful tool and although I use it less post AIS I would still not go to sea without it. However I think the case for having an all powerful open array with MARPA has gone. Most of my radar use these days is on 2-4 miles range for unlit bouys and other yachts. At night we have a 2 mile guard zone always activated.

Lets break this up to bite sized bits...

Restricted Vis. ... Even in Europe there are still lots of small craft and big bouys that will hurt if you hit them in fog. Our 4kw radar really does not do well in heavy rain so the main vis related issue will be fog and a short range / lower power radar will do just fine. We encountered one day of fog in 4 years sailing the Med. Except for SE Asia I have not had a problem with boats failing to show lights. From the Canaries to Australia you are not likely to see much fog.

Shipping lanes .... AIS is the way to go... lots of good information. Also surprising how often our AIS alarm went off both directions on the Atlantic passage. I am damn sure no one was looking very much on the ships and I confess our watch keeping got a little sloppy mid ocean. Radar guard helped but AIS was the real hero.

Errors in chart datum.... amazing how many places don't have accurate GPS datum on charts. Still remember sailing off the south Turkish coast 1/2 mile inland on my chart plotter while the radar had me 1/2 mile off the coast. I am out of date but this used to be a big problem in the Pacific.

Guard zones .... nothing gives me more comfort than the guard zone feature of our radar.
__________________

__________________
yachtgemini is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ais, gps, radar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
VHF and AIS Radiowave Propagation and VHF and AIS Radio Range ka4wja Marine Electronics 21 13-12-2015 19:20
VHF units with AIS/GPS or dedicated AIS EmeraldCoastSailor Marine Electronics 4 19-03-2015 18:36
AIS AIT2000 from Digital Yachts with GV30 GPS+AIS Antenna SFH Marine Electronics 1 16-02-2014 17:19
Plotters, Radar and AIS Keithgdgp Marine Electronics 8 25-11-2011 12:22
Can You Get Radar & AIS Overlay on Laptop ? AIS Transceiver Recommendations ? lunasea.ds Marine Electronics 22 27-12-2010 14:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.