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Old 27-10-2011, 21:59   #31
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Re: Radar or Not ?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i still think is better to see what your are doing than to keep your eyes on a screen. only used my radar 3 times on way from ensenada to mazatlan. coul see fine--why use electricity for no reason.
The whole point of radar is that it can detect things you can't see.

One reason to use it when you don't think you need it is a legal one, you are required to use every available means to avoid a collision. So if you have radar, that means you are legally required to use it. And if you get into an accident in broad daylight and don't have it on, you can be found at fault for not using every tool in your toolbox.

And lastly, it's great to say that you've never needed it, but it's a far different thing to say there will never be unexpected fog and or vessels you may not see. Nobody can make such a statement. It's far better to have it and not use it than to actually need it and not have it.
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:05   #32
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Radar would be something important to have. It is nice to know when there is something out there. Also a look outl in case you have something that it can't pick up (wood/bad reflectivity) We have crossed shipping lanes in thick fog and using radar is best because tankers can come up amazingly fast & by the time you see them it can be too late. We got AIS also before cruising to Mexico- it was great seeing the cruise ships before they came up behind you in narrow areas like Cerralvo or Lorenzo channels. Both see things your eyes can't but nothing replaces keeping an eye on the instruments and horizon. Maybe you can look at used-check with someone in your area that you trust. Many working ones are replaced when people get AIS because the older radar doesn't work with the AIS.
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:29   #33
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Re: Radar or Not ?

If you can afford it, get radar. Consider it safety equipment. You can see things you can't see with the naked eye, and and it will help you avoid collisions at night and in low visibility. It is also a navigation aide.

AIS is also safety equipment, but Radar would be a higher priority and I would rank importance/usefulness of electronic aides as follows:
1) chart-plotter
2) depth sounder
3) radar
4) Wind and speed log
5) AIS
6) Compass (This is not electronic but is probably the highest importance of all and I wouldn't be without one, yet it gets the least use on my boat, so long as GPS is functioning.)
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:40   #34
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Re: Radar or Not ?

My new boat is the first one I've captained which had radar. Since I haven't navigated in limited visibility yet, it hasn't been needed. But I operate the radar all the time just to observe how different objects appear. The other boats only had paper charts, compass, and binoculars. Nevertheless, electronic charts, GPS and depthometer on the new boat sure make navigating a lot easier and surer. I consider radar the least important of my navigational tools, but I'm glad I have it.

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Old 28-10-2011, 00:27   #35
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Re: Radar or Not ?

Other than dead recogning before chartplotters radar was the primary method of plotting position when navigating the Great barrier reef.

Not having total faith in chartplotters yet i continue to check positions with radar. it is an important nav tool.

I must be too old school not relying on chartplotter and still using charts
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:03   #36
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Re: Radar or Not ?

If you are going to be operating in busy harbors at night or in fog then radar is pretty much mandatory from a safety standpoint. Get a radar that has AIS integration.
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:22   #37
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Re: Radar or Not ?

I was stoopid and did not have radar on my last boat and now it is on the reef!!!!

Get it for sure, better than any chart plotter, which often show me on the land out here in Indonesia.

At night or high traffic area it is always on, guard zone alarm alerts me to very small fishing canoes without lights.

Would never be without it.

Keith
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:27   #38
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Re: Radar or Not ?

Good post Keith.

We could always pick up reef breaks it allows night movement amongst GBR with care particularlly if are cays and islands nearby.

Cheers and good to here all is well with your new(current) vessel.

John
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:32   #39
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Re: Radar or Not ?

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
The whole point of radar is that it can detect things you can't see.
Don't forget the use of radar for determining precise range and bearing of things, even ones you can see.

Radar is the killer app for determining whether or not you are on a collision course with that ship, for example -- and this function is just as useful when you can see the ship, as when you can't. It's much more precise than using a hand-bearing compass.
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Old 28-10-2011, 04:35   #40
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Re: Radar or Not ?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i still think is better to see what your are doing than to keep your eyes on a screen. only used my radar 3 times on way from ensenada to mazatlan. coul see fine--why use electricity for no reason.
Try navigating in a Chatham, Cape Cod fog.....you'll use it three time in a minute.
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Old 28-10-2011, 04:44   #41
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pirate Re: Radar or Not ?

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Other than dead recogning before chartplotters radar was the primary method of plotting position when navigating the Great barrier reef.

Not having total faith in chartplotters yet i continue to check positions with radar. it is an important nav tool.

I must be too old school not relying on chartplotter and still using charts
Not that old school..... else you'd still be triangulating with compass bearings...
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Old 28-10-2011, 05:17   #42
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Re: Radar or Not ?

OK,
This post is pretty timely for I was also considering radar. So my question is this.....Broadband or digital?
I guess I need someone to nudge me one way or the other....
I am leaning towards Broadband for the low power draw, instant on, and extreme close range. The digital or "old school" radar has longer range and maybe a bit cheaper. Longer range could be real useful for seeing storms approaching, but I've been through many storms before.
Thoughts?

Tom
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Old 28-10-2011, 05:55   #43
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Re: Radar or Not ?

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Originally Posted by Tortuga's Lie View Post
OK,
This post is pretty timely for I was also considering radar. So my question is this.....Broadband or digital?
I guess I need someone to nudge me one way or the other....
I am leaning towards Broadband for the low power draw, instant on, and extreme close range. The digital or "old school" radar has longer range and maybe a bit cheaper. Longer range could be real useful for seeing storms approaching, but I've been through many storms before.
Thoughts?

Tom
I have to try one before I could answer absolutely...if broadband can pick buoys out of a choppy inlet during moderate rain/heavy fog...it would definitely get my choice. Long range RADAR to me is less of a big deal if you can afford AIS and SIRIUS weather for your chartplotter...those add to the other functions that RADAR often supplies...picking out larger ships bearing down on you FAST and picking your way through a line of bad storms.

Soooo...RADAR that can actually pick out things like small boats and buoys in a rough inlet would certainly get my vote...after many years now operating in small, choppy inlets and harbors as a commercial guy...that's where I think RADAR earns it's pay.
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Old 28-10-2011, 06:31   #44
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Re: Radar or Not ?

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Originally Posted by Tortuga's Lie View Post
OK,
This post is pretty timely for I was also considering radar. So my question is this.....Broadband or digital?
I guess I need someone to nudge me one way or the other....
I am leaning toward Broadband for the low power draw, instant on, and extreme close range. The digital or "old school" radar has longer range and maybe a bit cheaper. Longer range could be real useful for seeing storms approaching, but I've been through many storms before.
Thoughts?

Tom
I installed a Navico (Lowrance) BR24 broadband radar with HDS 7 display this year, after many years using 4KW analog Raymarine radar. I would choose it again for the far superior close-in resolution, the instant-on and the lower power draw.

For long-range use the 4KW was probably equal or a bit better, but I never did a side-by-side comparison. At long range settings you lose the resolution to distinguish small targets with both. Any radar can see a big ship or heavy squall at long range, but as a coastal sailor it's the nearby stuff that worries me in fog or at night so I almost always operate the radar in the 1/4 mile to 4 mile ranges, and only occasionally zoom out beyond that (mainly when further off the coast).

As a coastal sailor with cellular broadband aboard I haven't relied on either radar for storm tracking, as within ~15 or 20 miles of the coast I can get near-real-time Doppler weather radar images through the Internet on my smart phone and on the netbook. I also have AIS, and find that very helpful for tracking the big stuff.

One comment on the Lowrance HDS7: Even though it claims to come with the detail cartography for the US, the quality of the built-in charts is not sufficient for safe navigation, IMHO. I found several mistakes in the New England area (we're not talking remote rarely-traveled areas) and ended up buying the Navionics chart chip; far better quality cartography.
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Old 28-10-2011, 07:32   #45
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Re: Radar or Not ?

SailFastTri,
Thanks for the comparison, that's the help I was looking for. As I said, I was leaning towards the broadband and since we're only traveling at 6 knots +/- storms don't approach that fast, at least not as fast as if we were on a power boat traveling at 25 knots....
Anyone else have first hand experience cmparing both types of radar?
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