Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-10-2014, 20:58   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seattle
Boat: Wauquiez Centurion 49
Posts: 720
Images: 13
Re: Radar - what to look for

The Navico/B&G/Simrad/Lowrance line takes many types of charts.

GPS Navigation
Navigation Waypoint Storage: 10,000 points total combined waypoints / route points
GPS Antenna Type 10Hz High Gain built-in GPS
Background Mapping Embedded World Background map. Provided with blank media for Navionics® or C-MAP MAX-N online download
Mapping Options Navionics®, C-MAP MAX-N, Insight, Insight Genesis, NV Digital and charts produced with Navico Mapcreator
__________________

__________________
CAELESTIS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2014, 21:32   #17
Registered User

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
Boat: 47' Steel Roberts Cutter
Posts: 237
Re: Radar - what to look for

i've worked with many diff radars, from the old phosporous-trace racal/decca's (you know - the 36 volt, 20 amp one where you put your face in the black hood/goggle thing!) to commercial and recreational furuno's, to new Garmins and raymarines. I have never had a problem with Furuno's, they always seem to be rock solid and reliable gear. but too damn expensive for recreational stuff (I didn't chose Furuno for my boat!).

Stepping back a bit, I have to say that the new (but still old pulse tech) garmins, furunos and raymarines are damned superb compared to older radars - even the raytheon pathfinders which were revolutionary in their day. Buying just about any one of them will give you an awesome tool.

so the advice given already here - pick your plotter first and then use that brand's radar - is in my opinion absolutely sound for recreational vessels. stick with the major brands and you should have a very good system.

I my opinion the instant on feature of the newer tech is not a big deal - if there is a remote chance I need my radar on, then I'll have it ready and warmed up well beforehand. That's only prudent and safe nav. if you are running so close to the wire in terms of battery capacity that you can't run your safety and nav equipment continuously while underway, then perhaps one needs to revisit the premise of the voyage... IMHO of course.
__________________

__________________
NSboatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 04:48   #18
Registered User
 
4arch's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baltimore
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 400
Posts: 232
Images: 1
Re: Radar - what to look for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
I'm pretty sure cmap charts are the explorer charts for the Bahamas. The B&G, Simrad, Lorance , as well as Furuno chart plotters can all use cmap charts.
The Explorer Chartbooks website fully explains the situation. Note that neither C-map nor Garmin offered full Explorer coverage of the Bahamas as of the time of the post but it appears Garmin still holds a slight edge in overall coverage. They also include Explorer pre-loaded where it is an add-on card for C-map.
__________________
4arch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 07:43   #19
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,748
Re: Radar - what to look for

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
We have two independent systems, both pulse type. The original Sitex system likely was bought as surplus from the Ark and I installed a Garmin system last winter. We run at least one system whenever the boat is in motion. The feature which is most important to me is the electronic bearing line which I use to assess converging paths. I don't think you can buy radar without that feature so its irrelevant to your decision. I couldn't see any reason to pay the premium which the Navico based systems currently command - YMMV. Although I occasionally overlay the radar on Garmin charts I don't actually find that feature particularly useful. I do use the radar to truth our location in narrow channels where I am concerned that the chart may not be accurate but again any system will be capable of that. Both my systems use 18 inch radomes - there are times when I wish I had a wider array because that would give me better target definition at distance. The wider your array the narrower the beam width you will be able to define which translates into target separation at long distances. So for example, a tug and tow at 3 miles may appear as only a single return which will morph into 2 signals as it gets closer. It doesn't make a whole lot of practical difference but at times a wider array would be "better".

A couple of comments:

1. When I bought my B&G 4G radar, it was not more expensive then the top model 24" 4kW pulse radars.

2. It's good you mentioned scanner size -- the 18" usually 2kW radars will give a lot less resolution and range, although Furuno makes one which is so good that it is supposed to be close to 24" scanners made by others. All of my comments assumed we were talking about 4kW 24" pulse radars.

3. EBL is an old fashioned and fantastically useful tool. Put the line on a target and within a few sweeps, you clearly see how you are crossing with it, and whether it's passing ahead or behind. I find it much more intuitive than getting it out of bearings from the AIS.

4. Chart overlay has two good uses, in my opinion: (a) as a continous check on the accuracy of the chart; (b) as a way to keep an eye on the radar without getting rid of the chart. I do not find that setting up radar in one "window" in the plotter, and chart in the other, works very well in my 8" SVGA displays. Maybe on a bigger one it would. I wish I had room at the helm for two MFD's like I often see on bigger yachts.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 07:51   #20
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,748
Re: Radar - what to look for

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSboatman View Post
. . . Stepping back a bit, I have to say that the new (but still old pulse tech) garmins, furunos and raymarines are damned superb compared to older radars - even the raytheon pathfinders which were revolutionary in their day. Buying just about any one of them will give you an awesome tool. . . .
I completely agree with this statement. The big difference is not between the FMCW radars and pulse radars, but between older analogue radars and everything which is available today. There has been huge progress in the last 5 years in DSP for pulse radars.

Navico would like for you to believe that FMCW is something new and revolutionary, as if it made pulse radars obsolete (hence "3G", "4G", etc.). But this is nonsense -- FMCW technology has existed since the 1950's. I did go with Navico FMCW radar myself and am pleased with it, but there is really nothing revolutionary about it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NSboatman View Post
I my opinion the instant on feature of the newer tech is not a big deal - if there is a remote chance I need my radar on, then I'll have it ready and warmed up well beforehand. That's only prudent and safe nav.
I agree with this. My radar is running 24/7 when I'm in open water. I think it's an essential safety tool and I would never save power on it, any more than I would switch off my nav lights to save power. I realize that different boats have different power budgets, but if I was so short of power that I had to save power on the radar, I would seriously consider expanding my battery capacity, charging capacity, etc. The Navico radar only uses 20 watts -- less than a set of incandescent nav lights.

For the same reason, I do not find the "instant-on" feature to be interesting.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 08:01   #21
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,748
Re: Radar - what to look for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
Dockhead, You've said this before and I was puzzled then, so I thought I'd ask now. It seems to me that instant on would be a really big advantage. Say you set up the radar to do a sweep every few minutes or so. With the FMCW radar, it's consuming NO power during the "off" periods. With pulse radar, it's consuming much higher standby power to keep the magnetron warm. In this scenario at least, the FMCW wins hands down WRT power use. I agree that in continuous on, the difference is likely not as great. Am I misunderstanding something, or is this just not a typical use case?
You are absolutely right, but for the reasons explained above, I have always left my radar running 24/7 and never use radar in standby mode.

I consider radar to be an important leg of my three-leg watchkeeping system, visual, AIS, and radar, even more so now than before. My previous radar (a Raymarine Pathfinder) was much less useful in this regard because it produced a lot of false targets, so you couldn't really leave the guard zones set all the time. The new radar has such fantastic resolution, compared to the old one, that the guard zones almost never produce a false alarm. That allows me to keep a guard zone set all the time, so the system is keeping a continuous watch for objects appearing in the given zone, which is a fantastic enhancement to watchkeeping.

I would consider it actually irresponsible to turn the radar off, when this tool is available (and Rule 5 of the Colregs require you to use everything appropriate which is at your disposal).
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 08:23   #22
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Radar - what to look for

I have a Furuno MFD black box. For me the additional reliability was worth the additional cost. With a modern radar you want a minimum of chart overlay and AIS overlay all on the same screen. Having an AIS transceiver puts you on the vast majority of the commercial guys screens and on some of the yachties screens....since you are in the market for upgrading your electronics. Being seen can be just as important as being able to see better with a radar.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 08:54   #23
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,033
Re: Radar - what to look for

Again, thanks folks. I take from this discussion that either technology will work equally well, and that the real differences come down to the choice of display, and cost. Thanks for the tips about the Explorer charts. Would not have even considered this. I'll look into it.

BTW, I do have a AIS receiver (not a transceiver ... don't need a debate about this choice). I like AIS. It's proven to be a useful tool when passing through commercial areas. I plan to feed this data into the radar display.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 09:11   #24
Registered User
 
Terra Nova's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Marina del Rey, California
Boat: Freya 39 cutter- Terra Nova
Posts: 3,649
Re: Radar - what to look for

Walked into West Marine, one day when they were having a sale. On the display table was a complete, new, monochrome, Furuno 24-mile radar, for $1,000. Easy decision to figure out which radar I wanted on my boat.
__________________
1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
"whatever spare parts you bring, you'll never need"--goboatingnow
"Id rather drown than have computers take over my life."--d design
Terra Nova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 09:18   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 146
Re: Radar - what to look for

I have the Garmin set. Chartplotter/sounder/ HD bottom view. radar. Use the radar coming into busy areas/strange areas to double check charts, in low vis weather, at night, and sometimes cause I want to play with settings and am on boring stretch. Upgraded from a turn of the century (fun to say that) Raytheon. The difference is shocking. But as an earlier comment said: in certain situations it is really nice the rest of the time the chartpltter and maps tell the tale.
__________________
rbrentp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 09:23   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kimberton PA
Boat: Cabo Rico 38 / Bayfield 32
Posts: 573
Images: 1
Re: Radar - what to look for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
You are absolutely right, but for the reasons explained above, I have always left my radar running 24/7 and never use radar in standby mode.

I consider radar to be an important leg of my three-leg watchkeeping system, visual, AIS, and radar, even more so now than before. My previous radar (a Raymarine Pathfinder) was much less useful in this regard because it produced a lot of false targets, so you couldn't really leave the guard zones set all the time. The new radar has such fantastic resolution, compared to the old one, that the guard zones almost never produce a false alarm. That allows me to keep a guard zone set all the time, so the system is keeping a continuous watch for objects appearing in the given zone, which is a fantastic enhancement to watchkeeping.

I would consider it actually irresponsible to turn the radar off, when this tool is available (and Rule 5 of the Colregs require you to use everything appropriate which is at your disposal).
I thought it may be something like that. I don't have nearly the experience as you or many here. I'm just trying to learn and figure out my own best plan for an electronics suite, so I'm interested in the thoughts and use cases of those that have the experience. I see your point about 24/7, for near shore use and in higher traffic areas, but what about for offshore where you're likely to be out of most lanes and have few contacts. It seems to me that setting radar for 1 sweep per minute, or even once every 30 seconds would show any contacts at ranges of interest, and yet still drastically cut power use. I'm not arguing at all, I'm just trying to understand how more experienced folks use radar in offshore sailing. I'm sort of coming at it from the other end, ie: several cruisers I talked to only turn their radar on when in higher traffic areas or low vis. because it uses too much power to leave on all the time. So for those folks, running a sweep every minute would be a huge step up in awareness. I guess my question is how much of a step down in awareness is a once a minute sweep vs. continuous.
__________________
Saltyhog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 11:22   #27
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,580
Re: Radar - what to look for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
....... I see your point about 24/7, for near shore use and in higher traffic areas, but what about for offshore where you're likely to be out of most lanes and have few contacts. It seems to me that setting radar for 1 sweep per minute, or even once every 30 seconds would show any contacts at ranges of interest, and yet still drastically cut power use. ....
Most cruisers in offshore situation with good visibility do not have the radar turned on at all. We may, occasionally turn it on a at night if we see something we want to track, but it gets used lightly offshore in good visibility.
__________________
Paul L
http://svjeorgia.blogspot.com
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 12:03   #28
Registered User

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
Boat: 47' Steel Roberts Cutter
Posts: 237
Re: Radar - what to look for

I concur that offshore, and in good visibility, many cruisers do not run their radars at night, or set them up to do periodic sweeps. The advent of AIS has provided an excellent new tool that probably reduces radar use offshore - but it dangerous to presume that all significant targets will be AIS active.

I was taught commercial old school, which specifically references the colregs and sets up typical on-watch duties to maintain an acceptable degree of situational awareness. To me, the crux of the matter is in the definition of this.

On a well lit night, in good conditions, little to no traffic, with an able watchstander and experienced visual lookout, I have no issues NOT running the radar. Nay, in fact I would postulate that a tuned-in watchstander (human), with well-adjusted night vision, keen and attuned hearing, and a sharpened sense of awareness that comes from relying on all of ones senses in an open cockpit; would be in better command of situational awareness than one who is constantly losing their night vision and sense of awareness from fiddling with knobs on a chart plotter or radar. I can say that this has saved me from collisions with floating objects on many occasions - things that I would definitely not have seen if I were relying solely on radar and plotter. Plus - It's a lot nicer!

However, if i am uneasy at all about the conditions, the traffic, watchstander ability (including my own - fatigue for example), the equipment on the vessel itself, or anything else... I'll use every dang input for situational awareness that I can get my eyes, ears and hands on. And I'll still try to step out of the cockpit many, many times during the watch to look and listen.

obviously YMMV...
__________________
NSboatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 12:10   #29
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,363
Re: Radar - what to look for

I haven't bought a radar in quite a while, but I did notice that the "Clutter" etc settings became automatic at some point... I would want one that you could switch to manual on refining those type of settings... re: Sea Clutter, Rain Clutter etc.... you need to be able to tune out the white caps etc...
I definitely think I would want the sweep more often than once a minute! But maybe I'm just old fashioned... If I was tracking a water spout "nearby" (and have!) I'd want to be able to predict what it's doing quickly...
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 12:18   #30
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,748
Re: Radar - what to look for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
I thought it may be something like that. I don't have nearly the experience as you or many here. I'm just trying to learn and figure out my own best plan for an electronics suite, so I'm interested in the thoughts and use cases of those that have the experience. I see your point about 24/7, for near shore use and in higher traffic areas, but what about for offshore where you're likely to be out of most lanes and have few contacts. It seems to me that setting radar for 1 sweep per minute, or even once every 30 seconds would show any contacts at ranges of interest, and yet still drastically cut power use. I'm not arguing at all, I'm just trying to understand how more experienced folks use radar in offshore sailing. I'm sort of coming at it from the other end, ie: several cruisers I talked to only turn their radar on when in higher traffic areas or low vis. because it uses too much power to leave on all the time. So for those folks, running a sweep every minute would be a huge step up in awareness. I guess my question is how much of a step down in awareness is a once a minute sweep vs. continuous.
Even arguing is allowed as long as it's respectful! No, these are perfectly reasonable questions

And yes, I don't see anything categorically wrong with setting the radar to wake up and make a few sweeps every certain number of minutes -- if your radar has that capability. In open water and especially when there's not heavy rain or high seas to interfere with radar reflections, that should be ok.

There are few hard and fast rules about how to do your watchkeeping, other than keeping a visual watch. You have to decide for yourself what level of awareness from which systems make you comfortable that you have reduced the risk of running into something to an acceptable minimum.

When you have a good radar which doesn't give false alarms, the guard zones are really fantastic tools. As I mentioned above, I personally rely on them more and more, and less and less on the visual watch, in more open water with less traffic. I like to keep the radar running continuously for the most intense possible watch from that system, but that doesn't mean that this is the only way to do it -- that you have to decide for yourself.
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
radar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Radar or no radar?? beetlejuice30 Marine Electronics 54 28-10-2013 13:43
Looking / Q's about 03S9144 Radar Wire for Model 1622 Radar Unit dougsimpson1988 Marine Electronics 0 20-01-2013 18:09
For Sale: JRC 24-mile RADAR - Display + Dome - JRC RADAR 2000 synchronicity98 Classifieds Archive 5 12-09-2012 07:15
Radar System vs Radar Detector johnar Marine Electronics 14 16-12-2009 17:51
Radar Reflector throwing off Radar? alexleclainche Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 2 21-04-2008 20:21



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:38.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.