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Old 07-10-2010, 06:10   #31
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Radar is one of those areas where you get what you pay for. If I was out every other day in the fog, I would have at least a 24" Furuno radome with a big color display. However, I'm not, so I replaced my 20 year old Furuno 1800 with a 1715. I can see that I have lost some resolution with the smaller radome, and the black and white LCD screen does not show squalls as well as the old cathode ray tube, but I can certainly use it to avoid boats and buoys in the fog, as well as getting into places at night.

Personally, I would never buy a Sitex, having tried to deal with some of their products in the past. Reliablity is very important to me, and the only time my Furuno let me down it was because the Admiral had wedged a can into the terminal strip for the radar cable.

As a potential boat buyer, I always look at the choices the PO has made for electronics. If they scream 'budget boat', it probably means that the PO has also scrimped on the maintenance.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:37   #32
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I'm not being cheap as you intimate, it has to do with ROI, my needs.

I had a Sitex Loran back in '79 was flawless for 20 years.

They get right on the phone here locally on LI, to bad I can't buy direct.

A 36.7 all up is 175K
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:41   #33
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Many years of radar experience. The new broadband radars are a different technology to their older cousins. They consume much less power, but provide a better picture for shipping etc. What they are not so good at, is detecting cloud formations (particularly squalls).

Using a 4kw radar continuously is a significant power consumer.

Personally if you can afford the package that includes the radar, large display, AIS MARPA and fluxgate, then you have a great tool ONCE YOU HAVE LEARNT TO RECOGNISE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:46   #34
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I hope the learning curve is fast!

I agree 70knot squalls are hard to handle by surprise in fact it maybe more the primary benefit all others coming second
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:16   #35
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Actually, on the East Coast USA, we depend more on our 3g internet connection and Nexrad weather radar for storm information. It gives course and speed for each cell, plus some indication of damaging winds.

I'm not saying that you are going scrimp on maintenance, its just that if I was in the market for a Bene 36.7, I would buy the one with the Simrad autopilot and the Furuno radar, all other things being equal. When I was Bene shopping, I had my choice of boats similarly priced, and bought the one where the PO had the higher end electronics, AND upgraded the prop, windlass, wiring, batteries, roller furling, and other goodies.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:56   #36
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I work with both analog and digital radars and while the display on the digital is very tough to beat, the cost makes me reconsider.

- I'd look for the radar with the biggest antenna/dome because that will give you the best resolution.
- I'd look for one with plenty of power so that you get some good long range detection and consistent tracking.
- I'd look for one with a big screen. When you get a dozen targets on the radar, a 5" screen can make detection and analysis difficult.
- I'd give some consideration to color although the standard two color displays give the same info.
- I'd really consider adding ARPA (MARPA) as it will do a lot of the number crunching for you. Many low end ARPA cards will track 5-6 targets, giving you much of the course/speed/cpa/tcpa info you'd get from AIS.
- If radar overlay or ARPA data was available on my chart plotter, that'd be nice too.
- I'd look hard at how you get things done on the radar. Some manufacturers seem to think you need to think in RPN, others think just the way you do. If you've got to dig out the manual to figure out how to do things, you might want to reconsider.
- My radar would: be reliable; allow me to set guard bands and alarms; allow me to sleep the radar; provide an external alarm trigger (I sleep pretty soundly and all those buzzers sound alike); and be user friendly.
- I would probably pass on a new manufacturer. I'd be willing to pay the extra for a company that's been in the marine radar biz a while, has several ranges of products, and most of the hardware and software kinks worked out.
- If radar were really high on the need list (not want, not "be nice") then I'd be looking at X-band as it'll give you a lot better image than S-band. The disadvantage to X-band as it sees through rain better than S-band, and S-band's where I want to look to find that hole in the deluge. However, if you're coming into safe haven at night, in a driving rain storm, X-band is the way to go.

So: big antenna, high power, big display, time delay, external alarm, and ARPA are the things I consider most important. The rest of the items are nice, but not needed.

I'd want the radar as high as possible and gimbal mounted so that it stays close to horizontal in most situations. I'd prefer a closed array as, if properly installed, the antenna and motor are better protected (This doesn't mean that you should neglect pulling the cover off and looking inside the enclosure, at least during your haul out.). For me, that means on the forward edge of the mast about waist height above the spreaders and that may mean a modification to the jib or staysail.

If I were to cruise the high latitudes or in areas where fog was an acknowledged condition (BTDT), then I might move it up on the list. I'm interested in warmer weather cruising or leaving the anchorage later in the morning, after the fog's burned off. IMO, radar is one of those things that'd be nice if, after all the other important things are done to make the boat seaworthy and safe, and I had this wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket, I might splurge on.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:06   #37
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Hi Doug now that was super helpful and non bias.

Thank you.

Mini Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (or MARPA) is a radar feature for target tracking and collision avoidance. Targets must be manually selected, but are then tracked automatically, including range, bearing, target speed, target direction (course), CPA (closest point of approach), and TCPA (time of closest point of approach), safe or dangerous indication, and proximity alarm. MARPA is a more basic form of ARPA.

Is that a function of the dome or plotter?
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:03   #38
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Ill second have the same but 4208 hd radar image is spectacular
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:53   #39
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So I'm looking at a few boats (upgrading) and am completely new to radar. One boat very high on the short-list has a Raymarine (Raytheon) radar dome and a display that I didn't identify on my first look-see (going back today to take another look). Both are likely 8 - 10 years old. It has a separate GPS without a plotter.

My question: If I bought the boat, I would like to upgrade to a combo plotter/radar display. I would prefer not to also get a new radar dome. Are there issues with connecting new equipment to the old dome? Are these things fairly standard and do they "talk" to eachother across brands?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:15   #40
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I was going to buy an older dome, its an issue you need to take the serial # off the dome and call to find out
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:23   #41
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One point of info...I have never seen a Navy ship which did not have a Furuno...no exp. with other brands, good, or bad, But I love the furunos.
I sold marine radar to companies/fish conglomerates and ocean going merchant fleets, as opposed to pleasure craft. For the smaller boat market the main object in the contract is "We have to get Radar because the insurance company and Coast Guard says so, what's the cheapest you got?" Furuno beat us on price most of the time. When they wanted a good radar, Furuno was an also ran. (NOTE: This was 20 years ago, Furuno is still in business, my company isn't selling radar in that market any more.)
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:25   #42
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Raymarine does not support the old Raytheon radars and will not even talk to you about them. As a matter a fact they do not answer phones. We sent a e-mail to see if they supported the old Raytheon domes (our insurance company needed a answer to settle the claim) and did not receive a reply back from Raymarine for over two weeks! Needless to say I decided to cross off Raymarine as a replacement to our old Raytheon lightning damaged radar system due to poor customer service.

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Old 07-10-2010, 15:18   #43
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I agree 70knot squalls are hard to handle by surprise in fact it maybe more the primary benefit all others coming second
Where the heck are you sailing? Newfoundland or something I would guess.

I have never seen 70 knot squalls over open water. Not that I have not been.

My experience with using radar to predict squalls tells me it is a waste of time with small units unless there is a lot of rain in the squall.

And when there is, I can see the squall coming.

Maybe big open array antennas help, but how many cruising boats have them.

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Old 07-10-2010, 15:38   #44
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So I just got back from the boat and I was wrong. It was not Raytheon. As it turns out it is something called "JRC". I have never heard of JRC. Does anyone have any experience with them (or know anything about them)?
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Old 07-10-2010, 18:23   #45
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Just google for JRC. Still in the business.

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