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Old 21-06-2013, 00:41   #16
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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Originally Posted by galacticair View Post
On the note of sailing in the Philippines, one of the greatest navigation hazards (other than reefs, hello US Navy), is the small unlit fishing platforms made up of tied-up oil drums that fisherman leave to float sometimes 50nm+ offshore (fish gather under the platform shade). Have sailed passed a few at night - not comforting at all.

Would any of the new gen radars pick up a 10x10ft steel floating platform that sticks up ~2 ft above water in flat seas? If so is 4G the way to go?
Yep! One of my main concerns. Up here in the N. Pacific we have all the Japanese Tsunami debris floating around. Some is the size of ships.

So sailing at night, here, has become more of a hazard then it's even been.
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Old 21-06-2013, 01:09   #17
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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How big are they? Even on my crummy old one I can spot flat surfaces fairly well. They stand out against the clutter with the trace on.
Off the top of my head I think the Philippines fishermen platforms are often about 10x10ft, maybe 15x15ft. Hard to tell when you are sailing by quite fast on a multihull! (which makes them even more of a worry)

On the note of 4G broadband radars, are those better for this kind of small target scanning <1-2mi vs. what Raymarine/Garmin market as HD? We currently have Garmin GMR 18 radar on board, and could easily upgrade to Garmin GMR 18 HD, just not sure it would be worth it, or even comparable to 4G... Panbo reviews of Garmin GMR HDs seem underwhelming but date from 2008-09...
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Old 21-06-2013, 03:03   #18
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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I've been following the radar threads but can't seem to come to a decision on which radar to buy.

At first I was going to go with the Simrad 4G system but the problems I've read are bad customer service and its ability to see weather fronts.
Also, I've considered the Furuno 1835 or maybe the 1715 due to the height of my mount which is self-leveling at about 12' above the water (18" above the boom on an arch).

Since I'm heading across the Pacific and down around the Philippines, the real question is which would be the best for this environment. I don't plan to add any bells/whistles, I just want to keep it independent from other devices (GPS, AIS, weather satellite, SSB, VHF).

But a contact alarm and day time visibility is necessary. I'd like to hear from those who actually use their radars frequently, or at least familiar with radar systems. I'm a bit dated, the last one I owned was an old Furuno back in 1982 with the peek-a-boo goggles. At least, I didn't have to buy paper rolls for it.
I'm going to post in more detail on this, but my Simrad (B&G) 4G radar has turned out to have a lot more range than I expected, actually a lot more than the Pathfinder 4kW radome system it replaced.

I get a steady lock on ships out in the Channel at 30 miles, and see them reasonably well at 40 miles, far beyond the practical range of my old system.

I have no idea whether this is representative; it does contradict what the test reports say. Maybe there's been a software update or something?

It has extraordinary resolution at close ranges (under a mile), but beyond a mile or so it doesn't look any different from a regular radar.

I have not tracked any weather with it, but the test reports say that it works ok for this.

I am quite pleased, although I would say that there is nothing really revolutionary about it, contrary to the claims. It is debatable whether the close-range resolution is really all that useful, and so it's not clear whether it has any practical advantages over the excellent Furuno conventional radars. On the other hand, it does not seem to have any disadvantages, either, at least in my case.

A couple of other notes:

1. There is a widespread conception that the continuous wave radars use a lot less power than conventional pulse radars. Seems to be false. They use less power, but not dramatically so.

2. You talk about using it as a freestanding system. I would think twice about this. With accurate heading information (a regular fluxgate is not enough) the radar overlay on the chart display is extremely useful if you're anywhere near land. I also like to have AIS overlaid. You orient yourself just much better. Downside is screen gets fairly cluttered if you are trying to use AIS and MARPA at the same time. Still, I would not go freestanding.

3. Continuous wave radars are practically instant-on. Not a really big deal perhaps, but could be quite useful if you need a quick view ("what's that over there?") and you've left the radar off or on standby to conserve power.
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Old 21-06-2013, 03:19   #19
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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I do have a Garmin GPS at the pedestal. But I haven't heard too much about their customer service. I don't mind integrating as long as all devices are not relying on one screen.
You might never need any customer service on a well-installed system. I've had various nav systems over the decades -- Garmin, Raymarine, now Simrad -- and never really needed anything. I've recently had some contacts with Raymarine tech support which were entirely satisfactory.

As to "relying on one screen" -- are you afraid of a common point of failure? Then just have two MFD's, then, each of which is capable of displaying everything. The new Raymarine and Simrad 7" MFD's cost peanuts -- about a grand. I would have added a second MFD at my helm if I could have found the space. Two MFD's which can do everything are a lot better than a dedicated plotter with no radar and a dedicated radar with no plotter.

Anyway, they are extremely reliable. I have two 8" displays -- one at the helm, one at the nav table. The new 8" displays have more resolution than the old 12" displays had, and are incredibly nice to use.
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Old 21-06-2013, 08:07   #20
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

All the digital units now have smaller wires... On your boat a 4kw Dome mounted high up, is the way to go. ON the Digital HD units, the resolution will be better, allowing you to see anything from seabirds to battleships.

As far as multifunction displays...

IMHO you want to display the radar on the MFD, especially in remote areas... The primary reason is that you can overlay the radar over the electronic charts and determine their accuracy, which in remote areas will be as much as a 1/2 mile off.

Overlay also aids in navigation... An example, a radar target appears, but you have no idea what it is on a radar screen... Now if the radar is over layed over the electronic chart, you can still see the radar target, but now it is over a buoy, instantly allowing you to determine what your looking at.

Finally, lots of boats have radar, but probably less than half of them have any idea how to use them. Because of that people make comments like, we don't have fog here so I don't need a radar. Radar is an incredibly valuable tool on a boat. Once it is installed on your boat, take a class and learn how to use it and you will realize that it is more important than you think.
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Old 21-06-2013, 08:32   #21
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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All the digital units now have smaller wires... On your boat a 4kw Dome mounted high up, is the way to go. ON the Digital HD units, the resolution will be better, allowing you to see anything from seabirds to battleships.

As far as multifunction displays...

IMHO you want to display the radar on the MFD, especially in remote areas... The primary reason is that you can overlay the radar over the electronic charts and determine their accuracy, which in remote areas will be as much as a 1/2 mile off.

Overlay also aids in navigation... An example, a radar target appears, but you have no idea what it is on a radar screen... Now if the radar is over layed over the electronic chart, you can still see the radar target, but now it is over a buoy, instantly allowing you to determine what your looking at.

Finally, lots of boats have radar, but probably less than half of them have any idea how to use them. Because of that people make comments like, we don't have fog here so I don't need a radar. Radar is an incredibly valuable tool on a boat. Once it is installed on your boat, take a class and learn how to use it and you will realize that it is more important than you think.
That's part of the fun here. I already have a Garmin with charts for the USA, BC and the Philippines. So the question is; can they be routed into a Simrad or Furuno? I'm sure the Garmin radar it would work. There is so much research to do to see what works with what, and how. I lean towards the KISS methodology but I want to be safe as I can afford too.
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Old 21-06-2013, 08:39   #22
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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Those are pretty cool, it's just hard for me to part with the $4K plus the days of crawling around installing cables. But from what I've seen they do look terrific.
Yea, I don't see where you really need Radar on a cruising boat. Its nice and I like having it, but not super necessary. The 24in units defiantly have better resolution.
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Old 21-06-2013, 09:04   #23
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

I cannot speak to the other manufacturers, but I have used Furuno radars since I started commercial fishing in 1968, and in commercial shipping since 1980, and they are reliable and a good work horse. I would have an interface with the GPS and AIS, and opt for the ARPA feature if available, they are invaluable for collision avoidance. I like the idea of the radar and ECDIS combined to provide a more complete picture of the coast line. Any tool that can help you navigate and stay out of trouble with other vessels is a good idea. Insuring that you are operating the equiment properly is essential. Where I work we have a lot of dugout canoes fishing at night with no lights and most radars only pick them up intermittently, it pays to be on your toes and watch for the flikering bic lighters that are the tell tale to let you know there are fishers in the area. We rarely get fog.
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Old 21-06-2013, 09:10   #24
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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IMHO you want to display the radar on the MFD, especially in remote areas... The primary reason is that you can overlay the radar over the electronic charts and determine their accuracy, which in remote areas will be as much as a 1/2 mile off.
An excellent point
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Old 21-06-2013, 09:12   #25
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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That's part of the fun here. I already have a Garmin with charts for the USA, BC and the Philippines. So the question is; can they be routed into a Simrad or Furuno? I'm sure the Garmin radar it would work. There is so much research to do to see what works with what, and how. I lean towards the KISS methodology but I want to be safe as I can afford too.
Alas, not. So far no radar interoperability across platforms.

You will need the Garmin radar, if you want to keep the Garmin plotter (and I'm assuming it's an MFD capable of displaying radar, right?).
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Old 21-06-2013, 09:36   #26
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

[QUOTE=Dockhead;1266247]As to "relying on one screen" -- are you afraid of a common point of failure? Then just have two MFD's, then, each of which is capable of displaying everything. The new Raymarine and Simrad 7" MFD's cost peanuts -- about a grand.QUOTE]

Are you serious?! A grand is peanuts???!!!!! What currency are you using, rubles?!
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Old 21-06-2013, 09:48   #27
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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Alas, not. So far no radar interoperability across platforms.

You will need the Garmin radar, if you want to keep the Garmin plotter (and I'm assuming it's an MFD capable of displaying radar, right?).
Actually no!
It's just a 441s that does have NEMA 2000 and 0183 ports but it's just a chart plotter w/sonar (capable) that I keep on the pedestal for instant reference.

With the radar I'll be getting a MFD but was hoping the NEMA 2000 could tap in the charts. Otherwise I'll need to get maps/charts for what ever I chose. And the maps will need to cover the S. Pacific, which I made reference to in the OP. I suppose I'll have to get the GPS option with the radar.
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Old 21-06-2013, 10:08   #28
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

[QUOTE=DefinitelyMe;1266481]
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As to "relying on one screen" -- are you afraid of a common point of failure? Then just have two MFD's, then, each of which is capable of displaying everything. The new Raymarine and Simrad 7" MFD's cost peanuts -- about a grand.QUOTE]

Are you serious?! A grand is peanuts???!!!!! What currency are you using, rubles?!
That's the point of this thread, is to find a happy medium w/o spending a small fortune on electronics that I may never use. I'd like the GoFree wifi but one needs the NSS (touch screen), but I'd rather have the NSE, and Furuno doesn't use wifi at all. But sometimes I hate touch screens!
I still need to get a good laptop too.

I've waited until the last (on boat rebuild) to buy electronics. Now it's time. I just don't want to over do it.
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Old 21-06-2013, 10:13   #29
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

On mine I have the JRC 12" unit with a claimed 16 miles. Realistically, I think it's good to 8. I have it on a 10 ft. SS pole off the back of the boat. It didn't break the cruising kitty which is important to me.
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Old 21-06-2013, 10:40   #30
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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Are you serious?! A grand is peanuts???!!!!! What currency are you using, rubles?!
Consider the boat he has and you will understand why his sense of scale is a bit skewed.
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