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Old 29-03-2007, 20:39   #1
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small radar

i wasn't planning to get radar, because of the cost.
However i see Northstar have a small radar which costs only US$1,200. Now I am tempted?
I know big is always better but as I plan to cruise in the tropics I know radar would be of considerable benefit.

My question is, if a small radar (NEW) is worth the money or am I just wasting my money on something that is too small to be of any use.
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Old 29-03-2007, 22:07   #2
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Aloha Beau,
I think that if your radar will pick up images at 16 miles it is plenty "large" enough. Mine only goes to 8 miles.
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Old 30-03-2007, 00:01   #3
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i have a Furuno 1623 on the c30, very good screen, 16 is plenty IMHO, let's face it that's 2 hours in every direction, plenty of time to identify and avoid potential issues.
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Old 30-03-2007, 02:27   #4
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hi Beau
could you post details of the Northstar radar....
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Old 30-03-2007, 03:06   #5
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Northstar Marine Electronics: Welcome to Northstar - Marine Electronics
Northstar USA: Northstar

Northstar Radar: Northstar Digital Radar

For more info' click on < Resources > then < Manuals >
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Old 30-03-2007, 05:38   #6
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If you look around for sales and closeouts after new models appear, you can find some amazing deals. We purchased our Raymarine 72plus radar chart plotter with the 2kw dome for 24 miles. Cost $1,400USD brand new (not an open, but a closeout) from Defender.com The new one which was color was $3,500USD. That saving went along way to pay for other things for the boat.

If you don't need or necessarily want all of the latest and greatest of equipment. Make your list and watch your sales. i have seen Furunos for as low as $700USD.

Hunt around there is money to be saved or an upgraded model from the same price out there somewhere.

I love our radar and we use it all of the time not just for other ships but storm watches as well.
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Old 30-03-2007, 10:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latitude9.5
i have a Furuno 1623 on the c30, very good screen, 16 is plenty IMHO, let's face it that's 2 hours in every direction, plenty of time to identify and avoid potential issues.
I think a 16 mile radar is fine on a small boat. You won't see an object near the surface 16 miles away anyway. I don't see how you came up with the 2 hours number. If you are headed north at 6kts and a container ship is headed south at 26kts, that is a closing speed of 32kts. Even if you could pick it up at 16 miles, it would close 30 mins. More likely you won't pick it up till 8 miles and it will close in 15 minutes.

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Old 30-03-2007, 11:16   #8
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I believe that if you can get more for same price go for it, assuming similar quality.

Our radar is mounted on the mast about 25 feet off the water. Many times we have identified and tracked large vessels while passagemaking at the edge of the 24 mile radar limit. I like to see them early as possible.

In passagemakeing we actually use the radar to look for storm cells. Many a time we were able to alter course to bypass these cells. In one 3 day occasion sailing from Los testigo to Dominica we used the radar to locate the squall areas. We would then adjust course towards them and take advantage of the localized wind shifts to help get us easting. As the winds generally move in a semi circular pattern around the squall we were able to catch a wind shift that was to the SE or S which let us reach almost due E from the prevailing ENE. We stair stepped our way to dominica this way. We also got a couple of good fresh water rinses for the boat this way.
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Old 30-03-2007, 15:09   #9
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thank you everybody.
I am particularly interested in the weather capabilities as detailed by sv-makai. Are there particular wave lengths or features that I should look for in a radar that can give me those features.
I have found the best price for a Northstar system on GPS | Fish finder | Boat part | Marine Supply | Marine Electronics the smaller unit has only three wavelengths whereas the next one up has four.
Any comments?
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Old 30-03-2007, 17:57   #10
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It not a paticular wave length( though some waves are a bit better) most of the radars are in the same range. It is matter of setting the controls. In the case of our Raymarine unit you can set the unit on automatic and it will adjust various gains to cut through rain and background clutter, but it usually sets it to eliminate the most clouds and background clutter.

We set the gains manually it was some trial and error to find the setting the provided the best combonation to see heavier clouds that could produce rain and making it too sensitive where all clouds were picked up.

We then programed this setting in. This way we could change settings should conditons warrent but be able to always go back. It did put more returns on the screen, but we rather see more and figure out what it is than screen it away and be suprised later. In heavy traffic areas we would detune so as not to be overwhelmed by traffic clutter and then at the press of a button we could switch back.

The other advantage is the setting didn't preclude ship hunting. in most cases the more sensitive control settings allowed us to pick up thing that might have been tuned out at longer distances or more questionable returns.

If I wasn't clear let me know and I will try to reword.
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