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Old 04-02-2009, 21:33   #16
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Yes I have one and use it, even on bright clear days it is a great tool for plotting distance, bearing, and speed. For sailing at night or in fog or unfamiliar places I consider it essential. About ten years back I was sailing from Ucluelet to Bamfield across Barklay Sound without radar while the fishing fleet was heading out on a course perpendicular to mine. Naturally a real pea soup fog rolled in and covered everything. That was an intensely interesting morning that I will not forget or repeat. Radar at my helm alows me to go where I want with much greater safety and confidance. Jesse
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Old 04-02-2009, 22:08   #17
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I just bought the last Garmin gms21 that Defender had. Got it on clearance for $500.00 bucks brand new. Seemed like a good deal?
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Old 04-02-2009, 22:36   #18
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Like everything on your boat you have to weigh as much as you can. Cost vs. gain, complexity vs. simple, percieved safety vs. not safe,.....

I operate a large vessel (125') with every professional piece of electronics you can imagine and some you can't. I have a ton of experience with so much of it.

When I bought my 34' sailboat, I took one look at the dinky radar (a good one I was told Furuno) And made the decision to simplify by trading it for a giant (biggest they make) Fortress anchor. I have never regreted it.

I will trade the ability to see some targets on a limited range and clairty for AIS reception. If you have not see AIS in action you should find someone willing to show you. We call them our 50 mile radars. You can see around corners, up rivers, over hills etc. I would prefer to have it also transmitting as this is the ultimate radar reflector. I see it as very much simplier, less likely to need service (radars need often). It must burn a mininmum of juice compared to the radar. We operate both 10kw and 25kw Black box Furuno's with True north/ARPA/etc. It is not as accurate as AIS in calclating CPA. Your radar is usfull for a narrower amount of needs than the AIS. At a fractiont the cost and juice and complexity.

All just my opinion, not trying to step on any toes.

I know, I know it will not show any boats less than 60ft. It has it's limitations, but the advantages are so profound. I will take a AIS over a radar any time. With a decent pltter you have the land nailed already so plotting is redundant....well so is hand bearings and a lead line.....:-)
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Old 04-02-2009, 23:28   #19
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now is the worst time EVER to purchase radar because...

...Navico (aka B&G, Eagle, Lowrance, Northstar, Simrad) recently announced a solid-state broadband radar for marine applications. The scanner will transmit at 1/2,000 of the power of a 2kw magnetron. As I understand it, the new radar won't require any warmup period.

Best bet is to wait a few months. Radar just got better. If nothing else, you'll be able to purchase my old radar cheap when I upgrade to solid state.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:07   #20
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Seacap

This is off the subject, but nice boat. A BCC...do I dare to dream of such a day. So how does she handle!
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:39   #21
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I got a Vigil RM many years ago to cruise up in Maine. It was very handy. I used it for watch assistance when single handing offshore. Set a guard zone and it woke me up from my brief naps for a look see. Loved that.

The radar died when it suffered water damage when water jug stowed about the "brain" leaked and the circuits corroded. I didn't replace it right away.

One day we left the Vineyard and it sunny with a nice SW breeze. At we headed west we encounter a low lying dense fog YIKE and almost got run down by the ferry from Falmouth. Wife insisted I get a new radar or she wouldn't come aboard. The fog lifted and she berated me for the next 10 hours till I fell asleep in Pt Judith.

I decided to get an MFD with radar only. Got the Raymarine C80. Then I added the plotter feature. It's fine, with chart overlays. Very cool. and MARPA even cooler. Don't care for the user interface of the Ray. Too many menus and not easy for my old brain to remeber how to get to certain commands buried in the menu structure. Don't like their zoom scales and scrolling. But love the split screens where you can see the chart and another the radar with or without overlay.

It's a safety feature. Simple as that.
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:45   #22
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Get a chartplotter with Radar overlay. Most if not all allow Chart, radar or both, or split screen. You do not need to energise the radar if it is clear and wonderful. The overlay feature will show you marks that are not on station and other useful stuff.

You will not need a watermaker if you get run over by a tanker.
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:33   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
...Navico (aka B&G, Eagle, Lowrance, Northstar, Simrad) recently announced a solid-state broadband radar for marine applications. The scanner will transmit at 1/2,000 of the power of a 2kw magnetron. As I understand it, the new radar won't require any warmup period.

Best bet is to wait a few months. Radar just got better. If nothing else, you'll be able to purchase my old radar cheap when I upgrade to solid state.

Thanks for that. I want radar for our July trip to Nantucket. It's February now, I can wait a few months more. Besides what you typed, electronic things always seem to come down in price. In general, another 4 months wait would make sense anyway.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:09   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
...Navico (aka B&G, Eagle, Lowrance, Northstar, Simrad) recently announced a solid-state broadband radar for marine applications. The scanner will transmit at 1/2,000 of the power of a 2kw magnetron. As I understand it, the new radar won't require any warmup period.

Best bet is to wait a few months. Radar just got better. If nothing else, you'll be able to purchase my old radar cheap when I upgrade to solid state.
TINSTAAFL - that transmitter power has to come from somewhere and range demands power. No way out of it - there is no free lunch here. However, keep in mind that even though something like 2kW may be thrown at the antenna, a radar isn't pulling down 2kW (that'd be about 165A at 12V). In most contemporary radars, the draw comes from the motor spinning the antenna and the display's backlighting, not from the magnetron. The trick is to pump up a capacitor and dump the accumulated charge in one big rush, giving a lot of power for a very short amount of time.

Yes, there's a lot to be said for having a signal source that doesn't need to be heated (avoiding, for example, physical wear from the expansion and contraction as the filament heats up the magnetron), although, in practical terms of use, it's highly unlikely that waiting 60 or 90 seconds will make much difference. The one plus here is that "instant on" will make timed scans easier (blink - it's on; blink - it's off). Past that... eh, no big change here.

The real advantage in the new radars is the potential for enhanced signal processing, pulling true targets out of the noise. Whether the improvement is enough to justify the cost is, IMHO, an open question.

Finally, remember "He who lives on the leading edge gets sliced by it". Being an early adopter is not for the faint of heart or thin of wallet.
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Old 21-03-2009, 19:31   #25
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Has anyone experience with AIS?
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Old 21-03-2009, 21:00   #26
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There are people who HAVE Radar on board and there are
People who USE Radar on Board.

If you are in the practice of using it, then sailing without it is like sailing blind.

There is no correct answer but for me, it is the most important piece of electronic nav equipment on board
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Old 21-03-2009, 21:31   #27
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On Exit Only, I commonly use radar for three things.

1. I put an estimated bearing line on ships to make sure we are not on a collision course. It keeps me honest.

2. I put an estimated bearing line on thunderstorms to make sure we are not on a collision course with a cumulonimbus cloud. I am allergic to microbursts.

3. I use radar to measure distance off just in case there is a chart or GPS problem. Example --The charts of Nuku Hiva were a couple of miles off the GPS readings. Example --The international dateline goes through Taveuni, Fiji. On one side of the dateline the Fiji charts have an easterly correction, and on the other side the correction is westerly. When things are confusing, I check them out with radar to confirm where I think I am.
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Old 21-03-2009, 22:19   #28
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I have a Morgan 27 and I made my own radar pole and mounted a Furuno 1715 on the stern, last year, about the middle of the day, July 3, headed for the fireworks site, the fog rolled in. We had a power boater follow us, cause he did not have radar. I love it at night, and as you know, there's lots of junk to run into out there.
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Old 21-03-2009, 22:37   #29
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I had one on my current boat, hadn't had one before, by the time I got around to experimenting with it the screen unit decided to give up the ghost, $500.00 later it still doesn't work. also being down below it wasn't all that user friendly, so will I replace it? No, I have managed 45+ years of sailing without one and havn't been in a situation where I perhaps wished for one. So one 10 year old 16/21 Furuno Scanner up for grabs. The screen never came back from the repairer after the 4th attempt to get it working.
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Old 22-03-2009, 04:26   #30
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Have a 36 mile Icom on this boat with LCD screen. I always have it on while coastal cruising. The inside passages on the B.C. coast are notorious for fog. I like to use it while cruising in hi traffic areas also. Great for determining where everybody is in distance and motion pattern with respect to you. Helps to determine boats that could be on a collision course from a long distance. Its a tool that I have practiced using alot during the last 20 plus years, saved my butt a few times at night.
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