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Old 22-10-2015, 09:09   #1
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Radar or not ....

I am in North Florida, just about ready to head for Miami and then crossing to the Bahamas. As of yesterday, our old Raymarine Radar system has bit the dust. It's an old analog system so no support or parts or any help whatsoever from Raymarine.

I have neither the time nor money to replace the radar dome and chartplotter right now. I have two Garmin GPS units that are used for navigation. We rely on the radar primarily for night cruising and storm tracking. No fog in the Bahamas Mon!

My question: can I get by w/o radar for one season in the Bahamas on our 40ft sailboat?

Thanks......
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:21   #2
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Re: Radar or not ....

I don't see why not, I like having one, but wouldn't cancel a trip if it didn't work
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:56   #3
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Re: Radar or not ....

Don't have one, not going to get one. But then I'm one of those darned minimalist's.......


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Old 22-10-2015, 11:11   #4
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Re: Radar or not ....

We've sailed w/o one for many years. We splurged in 2014 to get radar b/c we knew we'd be in very foggy waters (BC and AK) for the year. It was worth it--yes, but I'd sail most places without it no problems--and we'd sail up there w/o it if we had to. The thing we had which made a big difference when sailing w/o radar is the AIS-enabled DSC radio by Standard Horizon (um..gx2100?) it was so worth it--you can see commercial traffic and the minute you make a DSC call to them, you pop up on their screen so they see you as well. That's a GPS enabled system, so you have your location on your radio (lat/long) so no chart plotter needed. Even has waypoints you can set and will give you bearing/distance to your next one.
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Old 22-10-2015, 11:13   #5
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Re: Radar or not ....

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Originally Posted by Training Wheels View Post
Don't have one, not going to get one. But then I'm one of those darned minimalist's.......


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A minimalist..... with an iPad??? Ha! that's a new one.
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Old 22-10-2015, 11:24   #6
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Re: Radar or not ....

Smaller and lighter than a PC!


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Old 22-10-2015, 12:16   #7
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Re: Radar or not ....

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Originally Posted by nknowland View Post
...As of yesterday, our old Raymarine Radar system has bit the dust. It's an old analog system so no support or parts or any help whatsoever from Raymarine.

I have neither the time nor money to replace the radar dome and chartplotter right now...
Sounds like you long ago got your money's worth out of the old radar, which you could cheaply replace with a used one, without breaking the bank. You always have a choice between replacing broken stuff on the boat and going cruising.
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Old 22-10-2015, 12:33   #8
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Re: Radar or not ....

Sure you can get by without it. I love radar, but not like you cant do one season without it.
Things it was useful for on one trip alone to the Bahamas:
- later arrival than planned and entering first check in harbor at night.
-Avoiding thunderstorms headed our way from many miles away.
-Avoiding 2 Waterspouts crossing the steam.


Things it was useful for in other situations:
-going into a blind bay/leeshore, gale winds on the stern, unable to confirm the bay entrance by sight.
-threading thru a large fishing fleet, closely spaced in dense fog
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Old 22-10-2015, 12:37   #9
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Re: Radar or not ....

We cruised Florida and the Bahamas for thirty years without radar and never missed it, but then we didn't have refrigeration or a depth sounder either,- 'no problem. We only felt the need for the radar when we started cruising among the rock and fog of New England and I would not be without it there!
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Old 22-10-2015, 13:58   #10
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Re: Radar or not ....

On night passages it's just one more helpful thing to have, but like others have said I would sail without it.
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Old 22-10-2015, 14:25   #11
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Re: Radar or not ....

Oh my gosh, cruising without radar! My first trip to the Bahamas was five months on a Catalina 25 with no refrigeration, instruments, batteries, or really any equipment. Had a fantastic time.
Your situation is basically a budget consideration and what you feel you are comfortable with. If your experience tells you that you will continually be un-sure of your navigation or safety margins, get the radar. Or if you are going to enjoy your time cruising without it, toss it and head out. Either way you will the envy of the majority of cruisers who will be at the dock growing weeds on the keel and dreaming.
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Old 22-10-2015, 14:54   #12
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Re: Radar or not ....

if you find yourself not sailing at night or in fog despite having radar support, ditch the radar requirement.

there are areas where Eyeball MkI will not spot the horde of unlit fishing canoes no matter how hard you try.

it's a question of objectively assessing your sailing behavior and requirements.
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Old 22-10-2015, 16:09   #13
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Re: Radar or not ....

Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your ideas and remarks. Sailing w/o radar ... Yes, what a dilemma these days! The Raymarine came with the boat so I was spoiled with radar/chartplotter from day 1. The suggestion re: the AIS/DSC radio is one I'm seriously considering ... it will take care of the night sailing and is a good upgrade. Easier right now, too.
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Old 22-10-2015, 16:27   #14
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Re: Radar or not ....

Sailing in the Bahamas, the only times I have used it (other than when crossing the stream at night) were for pop-up squall tracking and distance ranging from islands to avoid shoals - something radar does not do especially well.

By all means, go!
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Old 22-10-2015, 16:39   #15
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Re: Radar or not ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by nknowland View Post
Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your ideas and remarks. Sailing w/o radar ... Yes, what a dilemma these days! The Raymarine came with the boat so I was spoiled with radar/chartplotter from day 1. The suggestion re: the AIS/DSC radio is one I'm seriously considering ... it will take care of the night sailing and is a good upgrade. Easier right now, too.
AIS/DSC does not replace radar for night sailing.
dump that impression and keep a good watch.
AIS's main advantage is that other ships can see YOU better. It only let's you see other people that transmit AIS.
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