We do not seem to have a sea clutter problem with a backstay mount at about 10 - 12'. Perhaps it is attributable to the gimbal which keeps the antenna
horizontal. I will readily admit that we will not see kayaks from 8 miles, but they are not the problem. Tankers and fast ferries are and they provide a target well above the water
, Hopefully if we cannot pick up a bouy (which has not been a problem) the chartplotter
will show it. We have not felt limited by our 20 year old Raymarine Autohelm Radar
RL7 except for size of screen
and monochrome. Admittedly operation is in fog
with little sea often or nightime in good weather
. Our coastal use is perfect for the backstay mount.
I have used much more current
installations at night in seas with mast
mount at 32' and could do mapa on "contacts" 16-18 miles out. Even in seas of 6-8'. That was nice to know and anticipate. The choices get more real at 3-5 miles however, which happened to be when AIS
started working, which is a huge help with identification and VHF
I imagine if or coastal cruiser were to be re purposed with a new radar
, and goals more distant, we might want the advantage of picking up local weather
with it on the mast, plus the weight of the thing would not be as citical, but the windage would still be an issue with these huge domes. All the excess cruise gear
is what slows us up and changes polars.. Anyway I've not noticed problems with sea clutter or missing "contacts" with the backstay mount and I think the gimbal adds effective height as compared to fixed mast mount... don't know how much but it depends on heel.
I guess the two locations are good for different reasons.
Thanks for bringing out the differences.
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