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Old 15-12-2015, 11:01   #31
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Me, I can't afford it... either to buy or to supply the power to run it. In the time I have been sailing, it has always been a "would be nice" but never a necessity.

Fog?... Don't go there, or if you do heave too and sound a fog signal
Enter a tight channel at night?... Are you kidding me? Stand off till first light. Radar don't show the coral heads.
Fishing boats?... Mark one eyeball works well. I know there is gonna be a bunch of dark boats on the Mysterioso Bank. Slow down and watch.

AIS is a great thing for moi... A good radar reflector mounted at the top of the stick makes sure they can see me (if they are looking), and the AIS receiver shows me where the BUFFs (Big Ugly Fat *******) are so I can make sure to get the hell out of their way cause they ain't gonna get out of mine.

Yes, in my little fantasy world with unlimited funds and power I would have a radar that puts the USN to shame, but in my world AIS is a god send for seeing the stuff (by international law) that could run over me at 30 Kts and never know it. The rest of it I can deal with.

I know I will be in the minority (heavy sigh) for not wanting to use all the fanciest, most expensive, gotta have it, safety equipment. But then again I sail single hand and sleep on watch... Complain to the management
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Old 15-12-2015, 12:10   #32
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Hello,I would highly recommend a good radar set and the training to go with it.
I can't tell you how many times it has saved me or just provide me with excellent information about other vessels.
Good luck
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Old 15-12-2015, 12:27   #33
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

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Originally Posted by Chas.7 View Post
Hello,I would highly recommend a good radar set and the training to go with it.
I can't tell you how many times it has saved me or just provide me with excellent information about other vessels.
Good luck
Consider the danger.
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Old 15-12-2015, 12:31   #34
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Once those tiny violent squalls start carrying AIS on moonless nights, I'll consider dropping radar as a necessity for ocean crossings...
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Old 15-12-2015, 12:39   #35
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

"The next day in the pub a trawler man told me he was watching me on radar and praying, we nearly ended up on Whale Rk'

The next time he sees a boat about to end up on a rock, a better course of action would be to get on the VHF and warn them, rather than trusting in deities.
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Old 15-12-2015, 12:47   #36
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

MKB53,

Radar helps you locate yourself relative to many kinds of hard bits--non-lit vessels, rocks, moorings, when metal. It shows you where the pilings lining a fairway are, relative to the boat. It has shown me where the break on a reef is, and allowed me to retain my distance off at night (and I'm really conservative, so I wanted 5 mi off); it shows where the passes are (because of the waves breaking on the reef showing.) It can get confused in a heavy downpour, and not show you stuff, too, so it ain't perfect, but in fog---lordy, it's wonderful! Another use for it is to avoid qualls, because the radar gets a quite useable return from the raindrops.

We've had radar on our boats since 1986, and only had AIS for the last 4 or 5. I feel naked without radar. The AIS has severe limitations, mentioned above. Ships' AIS's go out, heard one talking about it somewhere between Southport and Sydney, therefore anyone's can. Lots of boats don't have AIS at all. AIS can fool you into thinking you know where everybody is, and in some ways I actually find that scary. Radar does show you where everybody is, except not so well with timber boats, and plastic boats. You have to accept it has limitations, too.

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Old 15-12-2015, 14:32   #37
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Another vote for radar. My order of priority would be;
1 Radar, min 24" 4kw and effectively stabilized. I think some people have not realized it's potential because the hove only seen small, unstabiliized yacht systems.
2 AIS transponder to let others know who and what you are but also because it detects large vessels at greater range and is unaffected by wave height
3 GPS, I mean just GPS that gives lat and long. It increases performance of both radar and is essential for AIS. If you fit one without a chart screen it also uses minimal power.
4 Sextant, for when the batteries die and all the screens go dead!

I would not feel 'properly equipped' for an overnight passage or poor weather without all the above

The chart plotter is the 'optional extra'. For a long trip it pays for itself because you don't need so many coastal and approach charts, one disc covers half a continent. My choice is a windows tablet or laptop, cheaper and does emails and weather fax as well. Generally gets turned off once clear of land and shipping lanes
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Old 15-12-2015, 14:34   #38
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

New 4G radars are now requiring much less power than the old type.
Furthermore, then become affordable.

I bought it originally to monitor nearby area and avoid collision, so a few nautical miles range was good enough in my case. However, I became addict to it and find lots of other different possible usage.

Still, select the widest possible antenna, as this will improve the resolution by delivering a narrow beam. However, this is not always possible on sail boat.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:11   #39
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

I have no choice other than to buy the tiny Furuno 1623 @ 18".
Everything else would be bigger than my boat.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:15   #40
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emouchet View Post
New 4G radars are now requiring much less power than the old type.
Furthermore, then become affordable.

I bought it originally to monitor nearby area and avoid collision, so a few nautical miles range was good enough in my case. However, I became addict to it and find lots of other different possible usage.

Still, select the widest possible antenna, as this will improve the resolution by delivering a narrow beam. However, this is not always possible on sail boat.
I have 4G radar and I can't agree that it uses "much less power" than normal types. It's somewhat less but more than half the power the old Pathfinder needed. On the other hand, it is instant-on, so if you need to save power you can put it in standby using almost nothing.

It's cheaper and simpler and has no magnetron to replace, so I guess all that is progress.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:21   #41
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

I have a 4G too, and since it is instant on, why standby just turn it off?

It's power consumption may not be all that much different, but it's RF output is supposedly almost zero, claimed to be less than a cell phone. Maybe it's silly, but I rather like low RF things since I used to fly in a sort of high RF environment, and the big C is a concern of mine.


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Old 15-12-2015, 15:31   #42
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

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Originally Posted by brianlara 3 View Post
I have no choice other than to buy the tiny Furuno 1623 @ 18".
Everything else would be bigger than my boat.
Great response. Not one from someone with a recommendation that has never had one but reads and dreams. Probably, you have all that is needed. I'm sure some are better but what is really needed? If someone has the bucks fine.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:36   #43
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I have a 4G too, and since it is instant on, why standby just turn it off?

It's power consumption may not be all that much different, but it's RF output is supposedly almost zero, claimed to be less than a cell phone. Maybe it's silly, but I rather like low RF things since I used to fly in a sort of high RF environment, and the big C is a concern of mine.


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I wonder if the emissions are all that different. FMCW radar emits continuously, whereas pulse radar emits a high powered signal (2kW, 4kW) for microseconds at a time.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:39   #44
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Thanks Cadence. Even the little Furuno is going to look ridiculous on my boat but coasting 600 nm and across Bass Strait, alone, and then further, without radar how else can I get shuteye?
Few !! coastal darters have AIS I suspect.
Brian.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:48   #45
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Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

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Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
.............................

Yes, in my little fantasy world with unlimited funds and power I would have a radar that puts the USN to shame, but in my world AIS is a god send for seeing the stuff (by international law) that could run over me at 30 Kts and never know it. The rest of it I can deal with.
A friend of mine wrote this in the good olde daze: Some things change, some don't.

ONE MAN'S OPINION
Cruising World August 1995


I can no longer remain silent. At first I thought it
was just a few eccentrics, but I am now afraid that
I am beginning to see a pattern. I think that the
final straw was the recent article I read on sailing
in fog that said that if I didn't have a radar on my
boat, perhaps I had misappropriated my boating
budget. I must confess: I have no radar. Not only
do I not have a radar, but I have no intentions of
buying one. My new gear priorities list does not
even contain this item.

I must go on: I do not have a GPS. Can you
imagine that I actually sail - even cruise - without
one?

There's more. I do not have roller furling. Yes,
that's right. I actually have more than one jib and
what is more, I have to hank it on - one hank at a
time - every time I go sailing. Wait! When the
wind is up and the seas build I actually go forward,
on the top of the deck and - now get this - change
to a different jib. Can you believe that anyone can
be so primitive?

More. My only electronics are a Loran (recently
purchased), a speed/log, a depthsounder and a
cheap VHF. Yes, I will admit it. My VHF is a low
priced model! Furthermore, my electronics are not
interlinked or whatever fancy jargon aficionados
use to indicate that their electronics talk to each
other. No, I do not have an anemometer. At times
I can be caught standing on deck estimating the
wind speed. I even go so far as to make sail
changes based on the boat's sailing
characteristics. I have never told anyone this, but
I am ready to bare all: I don't have an apparent
wind indicator. I am not lying. We use a piece of -
I am so embarrassed - a piece of cassette tape
tied to the shroud. I do believe it was from
"Smurfs Do the Whitbread" or something like that.

At any rate, we survive and make port without
calling for assistance. We enjoy wonderful meals
cooked on the Weber that hangs off the stern
pulpit and corn on the cob cooked on, of all things,
an alcohol stove.

I could go on and on. By now you must have
figured out that my boat is OLD (1973). Heaven
forbid!
It's hard to imagine that I could enjoy sailing under
these abominable conditions, but the truth is that
I am as addicted as the guy who has all the
equipment. I am proud to say that my boat is not
a marina queen - she lives on a mooring - from
which it is easier to sail her. Her name is Trav'ler
and I make sure she lives up to her name.

We have lost sight of what this sport is all about.
We have lost sight of nature, of ourselves, and our
God, unless your God is powered by 12 volts.
Mine is not. Once - and I remember this - an RDF
was considered a luxury. I remember a trip in fog
so thick (you know the cliché) and we made it
home with nothing more than a compass, a
depthsounder, a sumlog and a VHF. Once we
even did a fog run without the sumlog, as it had
broken. We just estimated our speed. I know my
boat so well that I could estimate her speed within
a fraction of a knot. What tremendous satisfaction
there is in reaching your port using the true skills of
a seaman.

We often hear the lament of how nonsailors
perceive our sport to be one that is reserved for
the wealthy. Is it any wonder when we read
articles about how we all should have radar, or
how our latest mast project only cost $1,200?
These are elitist statements made by people who
know nothing about the lives most of us live.
Sailing can be done safely and enjoyably on a
budget and I feel it is about time that those of us
who sail on a budget speak up.


Higgs
Crystal Lake, Illinois
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