Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-12-2015, 23:20   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia, Cruising Greece in the summer.
Boat: FP Lucia 40, Hull #22
Posts: 405
Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

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
__________________

__________________
MKB53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2015, 23:41   #2
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

In my eyes there are three things that today justify radar.

1) Fog. If you regularly will be operating in areas with regular fog banks then radar jumps in importance. Finding channel bouys, miss charted headlands, and small boats becomes much easier.

2) third world countries. Less developed countries come with a lot of small boats that are often poorly or unlit. As well as charts that haven't been updated in decades for GPS navigation. This can lead to land being far from its charted location. Radar help eliminate this as a danger.

3) lots of recreational boaters. Since they are often not broadcasting AIS, at night radar can be very helpful.

Balancing these drivers against the cost is too personal I think to answer for you.
__________________

__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 00:05   #3
Registered User
 
Stuarth44's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 147
Images: 3
Send a message via Skype™ to Stuarth44
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Goodness
Radar, it the last thing a Professional mariner would scupper
In my cruising days I came so many times to piling on the bricks at night, no sat nav radar or other modern aid
I can remember sailing into The Bay of Islands at 001 hrs without charts, coming home from New Caledonia
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
Radar is essential, really and the more Power the better, the quoted range means little, it is the Power it has to blast through, well crap
In Opua there was a P and O reefer awaiting cargo, the officers dined aboard our 43 footer and they agree, RADAR!
Also I believe we should all be able to use a sextant and tables
It is fun too, at landfall one has a tremendous satisfaction
__________________
Stuarth44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 00:37   #4
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Boat: FP Lipari, 11.95 metres
Posts: 67
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Fitted a 4kW radar when we took delivery of our new boat in La Rochelle in 2010 and have had cause to be glad I did on many occasions. The number of boats on the water in Europe and the Med is almost unbelievable at times (July and August in particular) and most do not have AIS. If the budget allows, Radar and AIS would be very high on my list of aids to safe navigation. Best of luck with your new boat and hope to see you out on the water.
__________________
Takamoana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 01:25   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Underway in the Med -
Boat: Jeanneau 40 DS SoulMates
Posts: 1,904
Images: 1
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

You will be surprised by the number of boats that do not have AIS - the majority and by the way in my opinion that is good as most are day boaters or short run boaters. If everyone had AIS what do you think your screen would like - a blob.
We run radar for a few reasons
1 at night - we run all night regardless to watch for boats and where we are when running close in
2 for weather so we can see approaching storms
3 for fog - only a couple of times in fog but wow was it worth it
4 during the day when the boats we see we can not figure out what they are doing - ie the fishing boats - we will turn it on and off if need be
5 when we lost our chartpotter we used it to run a channel that had markers but really far apart so we could find our way into port for repairs
__________________
just our thoughts and opinions
chuck and svsoulmates
In Marmaris Turkey for the winter
chuckr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 02:02   #6
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Neptune's Gear's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Gulf Harbour, New Zealand
Boat: Farr Phase 4, 12.8m
Posts: 992
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Radar tells you what is out there. Vessels, land whatever. AIS only tells you what vessels are out there with AIS.
Modern radar is not the cost or power requirement it used to be. For long distance sailing, esp short handed, its a no brainer for me.
__________________
Matt Paulin
Neptunes Gear Ltd
www.neptunes-gear.com
Neptune's Gear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 02:24   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: vessel sold at LAKES ENTRANCE to a local. Currently nursing my 93 Y/o mother in Sydney. Next boat probably will be bought in the U.S.
Boat: triton 721 24' x 9' 1985 Cutter rigged.
Posts: 922
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

I have a tiny boat. Heading out Sydney area for Tassie in about 4 months time.
As a s8ngle hander radar is a must fit. Had too many close calls coasting NSW, fishing boats with no ais etc
No leaving without radar
For me, Furuno 1623.
Not leaving without it.
Cheers
__________________
brianlara 3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 02:43   #8
Registered User
 
Lizzy Belle's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Netherlands
Boat: Ohlson 29
Posts: 1,522
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKB53 View Post
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.
In the middle of an ocean, a radar will tell you you're on your own. As will AIS

The 'need' for radar - if you're sailing solo, anything that can more or less function as a (very limited) extra crew member helps when near land / shipping lanes etc.

So a radar could come in very handy, but as you stated, many people go without and don't miss it. My opinion: if you can afford it, go for it. If not, don't lose sleep over it.
__________________
"Il faut Ítre toujours ivre." - Charles Baudelaire
Dutch ♀ Liveaboard, sharing an Ohlson 29 with a feline.
Lizzy Belle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 03:45   #9
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

I still Firmly am of the same opinion about Radar, as I was when GPS both first came out, & then became popular.
If I could only have one electronic Nav Aid, then Radar would be it. Period.
*** Have you ever wondered why professional vessels have several of them? ***

It shows you what's really there, in real time. At distances often 10x or more, than even the best binoculars could, on a perfect day. And if you get one that's tuneable, you can even pick up the floats on crab post with it, in fog so thick that you literally can't even see your own bow (BTDT). Let alone vessel traffic, & any landmarks or hazards which stick up more than 1/4 of a wave height, above the sea's surface.
Regardless of whether or not, it's; dark, foggy, raining, or some other weather/atmospheric condition which keeps you from seeing things.

Where as, GPS, Chart plotters, & many other tools, work based off of old (at times, ancient, as in centuries old)) surveys done of where you are NOW. And if you've spent much time navigating, then you know that what you have to deal with in real time can be far different than what's shown on electronic charts.
And forgive me, but is it even possible to put the information in Notices to Mariners, into chart plotters? And if so, who bothers to do so?

Plus, Radar lets you "see", in conditions when your eyes can't, & for Much further distances. So, if nothing else, it's a good way to cross check the information which your other navigational tools are giving you. And navigating in tight spots, or entering a port based on one data collecting device alone, is usually unwise; barring perfect daylight conditionns & good, up to date charts.

Also, have you ever had someone in a safe harbor guide you in at night via their radar? And or, done it for someone else? It's a comforting feeling.
And Radar's invaluable in that way too. Whether the harbor entrance is shrouded by; hight, fog, rain, smoke, or other. And the harbor's completely new to you.

Having a Good unit is invaluable. As is knowing how to use All of it's features. And when you're shopping for one, look for a unit which allows you to adjust all of the various controls which a Real Radar unit has. Plus, do some studying on what old school radar's allowed their operators to tune. Meaning from a few decades or more ago. It'll be an eye opener.
Especially because with a lot of the "self tuning" ones, you at times can't set it to provide you with the maximum amount of information which a fully tunable one will. And thus, you may miss out on some important information because of it. Like not being able to see (& avoid) crab pots, or half awash rock pinnacles; because the auto tuner regards them & smaller waves as "too much clutter".

PS: Radar also lets you spot vessels which (may) have purposefully switched off their lights & transponders, & are heading your way. Thus giving you some time to consider your options, their possible intent, & then for you to be proactive.
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 03:50   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Germany
Boat: 2ft wide dreaming chair
Posts: 311
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

^ what he said.
__________________
Simonsays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 03:52   #11
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,956
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post

Plus, Rader lets you "see", in conditions when your eyes can't, & for Much further distances. So, if nothing else, it's a good way to cross check the information which your other navigational tools are giving you.

Also, have you ever had someone in a safe harbor guide you in at night via their radar? And or, done it for someone else? It's a comforting feeling.
And Radar's invaluable in that way too. Whether the harbor entrance is shrouded by; hight, fog, rain, or other. And the harbor's completely new to you.
......
What Uncivilized said

That is the main use mine gets... poor vis and also entering harbours and unlit anchorages at night.

Without radar you have to moderate your behaviour.
El Pinguino is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 04:03   #12
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: 19,750
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
What Uncivilized said

That is the main use mine gets... poor vis and also entering harbours and unlit anchorages at night.

Without radar you have to moderate your behaviour.
Very well said

Certainly you can sail without radar, but it means different behavior and different risks. It's maybe not a problem if you're doing strictly coastal sailing in good viz and shorter passages, but anything more starts to become challenging.

To the uses already mentioned, I would add two things:

1. Guard Zones.

Radar guard zones are a tremendous enhancement to watchkeeping even in good visibility. I would just not go out on a dark night without radar guard zones set. Offshore even in good visibility, when you might not see another vessel for hours or days at a time, there is just no way a short handed recreational boat is going to have someone staring over the bow every minute. But the radar set doesn't blink.

2. Navigation.

In many parts of the world, the charts aren't accurate. Radar is the only way to accurately judge the distance to a land feature, even in good viz. Unlike your charts, radar never lies.


I agree with all of the very well-expressed comments above -- radar is a very basic, almost essential tool. I consider it more important than AIS (although AIS is also very nearly essential) and only slightly less important than compass, GPS, and depth sounder.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 04:22   #13
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

I wouldn't give up my radar for any other aid....

One blip on the screen on a dark exhausting night can be more comforting than anything...
__________________
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, 04:23   #14
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Very well said

Certainly you can sail without radar, but it means different behavior and different risks. It's maybe not a problem if you're doing strictly coastal sailing in good viz and shorter passages, but anything more starts to become challenging.

To the uses already mentioned, I would add two things:

1. Guard Zones.

Radar guard zones are a tremendous enhancement to watchkeeping even in good visibility. I would just not go out on a dark night without radar guard zones set. Offshore even in good visibility, when you might not see another vessel for hours or days at a time, there is just no way a short handed recreational boat is going to have someone staring over the bow every minute. But the radar set doesn't blink.
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.
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 04:37   #15
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,956
Re: Radar in the days of GPS and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Albeit, standing offshore until Sunrise, is still a very prudent, & likely, much underused technique any more.
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.......
__________________

El Pinguino is online now   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 20:32.


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.