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Old 07-01-2017, 10:20   #1
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Radar solution ideas

Hi All, any recommendations or input on my radar selection would be appreciated. Use case is Lake Superior, fog and night sailing are the two primary use cases on a 36' mono. Likely be stern pole mounted. Ideally the goal is to be very self sufficient and go long distance/very remote areas.

Option 1- add used/eBay radar dome to my existing Raymarine C80 chart plotter. Not thrilled about this option, highest power usage/radiation close to cockpit/lowest performance of radar and throwing money against old technology. Broadband systems seem like a great advantage for sailboats and the radiation reductions seem like a big deal- range not too much of a concern.

Option 2- Furuno Wireless iPad only solution. Simple install, middle of the road pricing, performance should be good. Cons are likely would never integrate with future systems, iPad only I'm up in the air on. I'm sure I'll start with iPad navigation apps this season. Resale value of this system is likely low but the then again electronics never add much anyways.

Option 3- whole hog, rip out the Raymaine C80 system and go with something new for a plotter/radar combo. Most expensive, complicated perhaps with potential to mix and match systems (autopilot, instruments etc.). I haven't concluded on iPad vs. dedicated MFD yet. Neat features, forward scan sonar, sailsteer, IPad display mirroring etc.

Options I missed?

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:34   #2
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Re: Radar solution ideas

It is a personal choice but I would just add an analog dome to the C80. Don't be so worried about radiation and power consumption. Not much difference in actual use and you would not keep it on all the time anyway.

Leaving the C80/E80 generation, you will need to upgrade the network to 2K and replace a number of devices. You will not gain anything other than visually better charts and instant on radar. I would not go wireless on the radar yet.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:07   #3
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Re: Radar solution ideas

I can't see a lot of advantage to the wireless radar idea. First, you still need to run power wires. Second, on the two I've helped install, the iPad can only connect to one wifi source at a time. If you wanted to put other nav data in the iPad, you'd have to switch the wifi source every time. But maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:31   #4
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Re: Radar solution ideas

Hi marty9876, Iím hesitant to offer this b/c itís not what youíre asking about. However, I cruised Lake Superior for a decade without radar. My opinion is that itís not really needed on the Big Lake.

Thereís plenty of fog, especially earlier in the season, but once you leave the few populated zones, thereís not much traffic out there. If your focus really is long distance remote cruising on Lake Superior you really wonít be seeing many other boats. A good watch and common sense always worked for me.

Radar for fog bound anchorages might be useful, but patience and a good chart (and chart plotter) always worked for me. Donít get me wrong Ö nothing against radar. Iíve installed one now that Iím down on the St. Lawrence. But if collision avoidance is your issue, then I wouldnít worry about it on Superior.
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Old 07-01-2017, 13:46   #5
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Re: Radar solution ideas

#1 You are not in the Philippines and faced with hundreds of unlit tiny wooden fishing boats nor floating steel drums. So the advantage of broadband 3G 4G aka solid state are nil.

#2 Power power power leads you to the Furuno 1623 with watchman feature which will turn itself into standby mode automatically. Total investment about $1200. Used 1622 on line now for $600.

#3 With limited season better to focus on sailing.

#4 Furuno wifi just under $1000 will not go into watchman mode per my questions to furuno. Hence will use more power than 1623.
Also 1623 will use less power than solid state units if set for 10 or 20 minutes off 1 minute on.

#5 Conditions of early spring led themselves to more bullet proof radar which is dedicated display in my book.
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Old 07-01-2017, 14:24   #6
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Re: Radar solution ideas

As you can see, you will get a lot of different suggestions.

Mine would be to rip everything out and spring for a new system while you can still sell your C80.

The price of new plotters/MFD's has crashed compared to a few years ago, and a new modern radar and MFD is already not all that expensive.

The new radars are a lot better than the old ones, and the new plotters have a number of advantages, too. The killer advantage of the new radars, in my book, is the superb target discrimination, which makes radar guard zones really useful for the first time, since there are so few false alarms. This is a tremendous enhancement to watchkeeping, even in good visual conditions.


Range is not a problem on the broadband radars. I am using a Navico/Simrad/B&G 4G radar, but Furuno and Raymarine have new doppler radars which may be even better. Shopping around will be rewarding. There are great deals now on the second generation B&G plotters with 4G radar, if you don't mind being a half step behind the state of the art.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:58   #7
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Re: Radar solution ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
It is a personal choice but I would just add an analog dome to the C80.
I'm chewing on this, between a used dome and modifying my dingy motor hoist into a radar pole(?) This could be a $1000 endeavor with a DIY approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svinshallah View Post
...the iPad can only connect to one wifi source at a time.
I keep forgetting this, thanks. While I don't have any other wifi needs yet, I'm a computer geek and can see the need for a boat based wifi network and having to switch wifi networks all the time would be annoying at the least. Furuno Wireless I think is last on my option list currently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
. My opinion is that itís not really needed on the Big Lake.
Appreciate the input and echo's a line of thinking I have. We are new boat owners and have not don't much sailing outside of ideal weather conditions (daytime/BVI/fair weather sailing etc.). Last year we went out for a peak in the fog just out of Port Superior marine we got pretty nervous. This may end up more of a wife acceptance factor decision/a new toy for me to play with than anything. We'd be sailing with a young child (3 now) which factors into things. I pitched the no radar play and it was not well received by the wife.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As you can see, you will get a lot of different suggestions.

Mine would be to rip everything out and spring for a new system while you can still sell your C80.
Struggle is where does the ripping stop... Plotter, instruments, auto pilot controller, compass, Navpod enclosures etc.

Biggest unknown for me us how much is DIY'able. I'm above average in DIY skills across most all things (electrical, plumbing, automotive etc.) just no experience in boat stuff yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
#3 With limited season better to focus on sailing.

#5 Conditions of early spring led themselves to more bullet proof radar which is dedicated display in my book.
Thanks for all your points. As always, comes down to priority/price/justification. For some reason I'm focused on only one display, space/layout/frequency of usage makes be think for this application (seasonal, pleasure craft) taking up the space for a dedicated display may not fit my goals.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:21   #8
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Re: Radar solution ideas

Fully agree on the single display desirability. It saves space, allows for radar overlay on chart, AIS, etc. You can always display radar and chart side by side if you wanted different scales, etc. Thus the question for you becomes how much of the equipment you want to upgrade. My advice would be to think critically what capabilities you gain and lose in each case.

I would also suggest you install it on the mast. You get more range, radiation is out of the way and it looks good. Also, easy to do yourself but pulling the cable could give you a headache or two.
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:27   #9
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Re: Radar solution ideas

First, you are so lucky to be sailing on Lake Superior! It's a very special cruising ground.

Sailing out of Duluth/Superior in fog I wished I had radar. The big ships are on AIS but there seem to be a lot off fast fishing and pleasure boats who also assume nothing else is out there. Cause let's face it you usually have that beautiful piece of water to yourself.

I would go for something that integrates with my plotter. In my experience, the phone/tablet/computer solutions are great suppements but when the proverbial hits the fan they are tend to be asleep, wet, out of batteries or otherwise incapacitated.
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