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Old 15-11-2015, 08:58   #61
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
If you want radar, can afford it and are prepared to learn to use it, great, get it , it can be handy, but to suggest it is absolutely "needed" to go cruising is simply wrong and misleading.
No one said anything about putting a radar on a Daysailor....

But using your way of thinking, you can cruise without a GPS, VHF, SSBs, Depth Sounder, Wind Gauge, LIferafts and EPIRBs. Just grab a sextant, charts and only enter harbors in the daylight and are well charted.

I have sailed for over 30 years, Captained or AB on commercial boats and cruised my own boat 10K miles.

My opinion stands... I believe that most people who claim you don't need radar have no idea how to use it properly or to its full extent. Especially when they think radar is only used in the dark or when it is foggy.

Good luck...
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Old 15-11-2015, 12:29   #62
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
No one said anything about putting a radar on a Daysailor....

But using your way of thinking, you can cruise without a GPS, VHF, SSBs, Depth Sounder, Wind Gauge, LIferafts and EPIRBs. Just grab a sextant, charts and only enter harbors in the daylight and are well charted.

I have sailed for over 30 years, Captained or AB on commercial boats and cruised my own boat 10K miles.

My opinion stands... I believe that most people who claim you don't need radar have no idea how to use it properly or to its full extent. Especially when they think radar is only used in the dark or when it is foggy.

Good luck...
Im going to avoid the controversial words "need" and "want" and just say that for anyone who sails any kind of distances and/ or in crowded waters and/or in unfamiliar areas, then radar is really, really, really useful. Other than pottering around familiar waters in short distances, I would really hate to be without it.

I think Jeramiason is correct, that the more you understand how to use it (which requires serious study), the less willing you are to do without it. It's a tremendous enhancement to watchkeeping (even in daylight and clear weather), and is an invaluable aid to navigation and pilotage, besides the obvious benefits in collision avoidance.

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Old 15-11-2015, 12:31   #63
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

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Im going to avoid the controversial words "need" and "want" and just say that for anyone who sails any kind of distances and/ or in crowded waters and/or in unfamiliar areas, then radar is really, really, really useful, one of the most valuable devices you can have on board, only slightly less valuable than a depth sounder. Other than pottering around familiar waters in short distances, I would really hate to be without it.

I think Jeramiason is correct, that the more you understand how to use it (which requires serious study), the less willing you are to do without it. It's a tremendous enhancement to watchkeeping (even in daylight and clear weather), and is an invaluable aid to navigation and pilotage, besides the obvious benefits in collision avoidance.

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Old 15-11-2015, 13:12   #64
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

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No one said anything about putting a radar on a Daysailor....
Just grab a sextant, charts and only enter harbors in the daylight and are well charted.
Well, you're missing a couple things to do it the old-fashioned way: you forgot the compass for headings, lead line for checking depths, taft rail log or another means of helping you out with speed/distance. oh--then make sure you know where the wind's coming from you might want a bunch of tell-tales on things--and then of course, have a barometer aboard, a decent watch/chrono, and keep your senses about you to listen for things But, yeah, that's the idea if one wishes to be old-school. I have a friend in the UK who's in his 50's, been sailing since a child and is bored by the ease of doing things with modern depth sounders, GPS, etc. He routinely goes in and out of his home harbor in the fog just using his senses, lead line, and compass. Remember--recreational boating, including cruising, is exactly that: a hobby, recreational, and we make of it what we want it to be. If one want to be glued to the radar and chart plotter screens, that's their version of sailing, but not everybody's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
I have sailed for over 30 years, Captained or AB on commercial boats and cruised my own boat 10K miles.

My opinion stands... I believe that most people who claim you don't need radar have no idea how to use it properly or to its full extent. Especially when they think radar is only used in the dark or when it is foggy.

Good luck...
Interesting what you believe--that people who think radar is needed don't understand how it works or what it can be used for. LOL People do just have different opinions, and that's OK, you know? It sounds like your sailing and boating experiences are solid and similar to many on Cruisers' Forum.

Both of us engineers, my husband and I are devoted technophiles in too many ways. We look for excuses to play with (um, use) technology. Like you, both my husband and I have more than 30 years of boating experience--and he has years of professional use of radars as a military fighter pilot and aboard Navy ships. Both of us do not believe radar is *needed* on a recreational vessel (but think it's a really cool toy/tool).

While, like you, I may rely upon my boating experience for my thoughts about radar use for recreational vessels, David also has an advanced degree in signal processing, advanced US Navy training in the use of radar, and quite a bit of advanced training and knowledge of radar phenomenology, and the first thing he did when we got our radar last year was start planning his hack into the signal so he can do his own radar signal processing to compare to the manufacturer's efforts. Total technology lover--who STILL doesn't think radar is needed on recreational boast, but is a nice-to-have. So a total technophile who really understands radar inside and out with loads of experience with radar doesn't think it's needed on recreational sailboats. And that's the point--we all have our own opinions and that's just fine. They're opinions--that is what the OP asked for. This is not a "what's the right answer" type question.

If a person has the budget for radar and a place to put it--they probably have radar. In our case, we had the budget but couldn't decide for 5 years of sailing this particular boat where we were going to put it. Yes, we were reluctant to put the radar on the boat because we didn't have a clear/obvious place to put a broadband radar (what we wanted for our *toy*) which should be mounted relatively low for us to benefit from its capabilities.

Point--everyone has their own little reason for doing what they do--having radar or not. The added friction of figuring out where to put the radar on this boat was just enough for it to take 5 years for us to install a radar. 5 that we were sailing along the Pacific coast a couple thousand miles a year. We were finally forced to make a decision when we embarked on a trip last year that would require lots of night sailing in conditions of low visibility and expected stormy conditions in order for us to achieve our trip-specific goals. Our choice to use radar would enable lots of miles covered in less time so we chose to install it and use it for the trip.

Oh--and the long-term boat radar goal for my radar signal processing husband--it is to have 2 radars--one long range up high in the rig and the broadband one we installed down lower--and that's so he can play with both data streams as he pleases and output his own visualization stream of what the boat is experiencing between that and all the other sensors aboard. Technophiles need no encouragement about what to do--or not to do--with technology, they just do it as they please and don't worry about what others think is needed/wanted or not.

Enjoy your sailing
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Old 15-11-2015, 15:49   #65
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

I think it's fair to say that in terms of boating when someone says "do I need _____", we can translate that as "how important is _______ to sailing?". I mean, come on. You really don't "need" an anchor. You could theoretically travel from mooring to slip or just sail and motor forever. But an anchor greatly improves your sailing/cruising experience. Kind of like radar, just more so. Keeping it real, you really don't "need a boat", for that matter...yet.
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Old 15-11-2015, 16:19   #66
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

IMO the anchor isn't a very good analogy for radar. I tend to look at whether the desired item has been in use on ocean going boats for hundreds of years. Those tend to be necessities. Anchors, sails, motive power (e.g. engine or a galleon full of slaves rowing it's similar), compass, rudder, keel (or rocks), buckets, bailers, bilge pumps...and on it goes.

Since an awful lot of world cruisers in the 2nd half of the 20th century have done so w/o radar, it doesn't seem so important as numerous other things. I think 100 years from now...or even 20...people will have forgotten there was a time before radar. Then again, maybe not: We have a letter that was written from a great uncle to my husband's mother when she was a child during WWII (he was an admiral responsible for ONR during WWII including the US Navy Research Lab and their work with radar during WWII was one of his delights)...the letter explains what radar does and then goes on to say that one day radar will be used by all navies and all boats and because of this people, soon, won't recall a time without it.
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Old 15-11-2015, 18:49   #67
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
No one said anything about putting a radar on a Daysailor....

But using your way of thinking, you can cruise without a GPS, VHF, SSBs, Depth Sounder, Wind Gauge, LIferafts and EPIRBs. Just grab a sextant, charts and only enter harbors in the daylight and are well charted.
You tend to be good at making assumptions based on scanty information. Nobody said the 23 foot trailer sailer was a daysailer! nor was my old 26 footer.

You can cruise simply, without much in the way of electronics, or even engines just as you can load the boat up with every modern electronic aid under the sun.

It's really down to your style and what you want.

One way is not better than the other, they are just different ways of enjoying the sea, the wind and the nature around us.

In general I prefer to minimise the amount of electronics aboard for my satisfaction, simplicity and cost reasons.

This is an old school approach that sometimes can limit options and either cause you (for prudence, or good seamanship) to stay at sea, or in port. But it is a perfectly valid and workable choice.

One question. Would you go to sea if your radar was broken or would you spend say a week or so in port waiting for a replacement parts to arrive?





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Old 15-11-2015, 19:55   #68
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

Well kids i have gone ahead and having the system installed and its going on the stern. At the same time I am also installing a hoist for my dinghy motor on the same pole. After all the comments everyone has submitted it ran about 50/50 for an against. My decisions was based on this...better to have it and not need it..than...need it and not have it...only time will tell if that will pay off... I got one year to get to know and understand it and it's limitation as well as mine. Again to all that commented I appreciate it and I thank you
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Old 15-11-2015, 20:06   #69
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

All the best with it. I am sure you won't regret having it and it will be very usefull at times.

Best advice I can give is to use it often in good weather so you get comfortable with it.

Even do some blind navigation exercises were you stay below and try to con the boat in via radar, while someone is watching out for you.

We run training courses for the local maritime police where we cover the windows and get them to maneuver into bays with just radar, while we stay outside making sure all is safe.
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Old 16-11-2015, 03:29   #70
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Re: Do I need or can i justify Radar

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Well kids i have gone ahead and having the system installed and its going on the stern. At the same time I am also installing a hoist for my dinghy motor on the same pole. After all the comments everyone has submitted it ran about 50/50 for an against. My decisions was based on this...better to have it and not need it..than...need it and not have it...only time will tell if that will pay off... I got one year to get to know and understand it and it's limitation as well as mine. Again to all that commented I appreciate it and I thank you
Good call! Cheers.

Now a radar course would be an excellent next step. The RYA offer a good one (don't know about your area).

A couple of radar tips, if I may:

1. Small boat automatic plotting (MARPA), in my experience at least, doesn't work very well. Learning to do a normal manual plot is really worthwhile. You might rarely do a full plot, but understanding the principles will give you a different level of understanding of how your radar works.

2. Small boat radars are much more accurate as to range, than they are as to bearing. Word to the wise.

3. The EBL -- electronic bearing line -- is worth its weight in gold, but keeping in mind the immediately previous tip. But the EBL will actually help you overcome the limitation in small boat heading accuracy, because it lets you see the average bearing over a number of sweeps.

4. Not all small boat radars tune themselves well automatically.

5. Most people on small boats keep their radars set on Heading Up mode, Relative Motion, all the time. This is probably the most useful mode, and most intuitive to visualize radar image. But the other modes are also very useful in certain situations.

6. Radar guard zones are incredibly useful, especially on long passages. But they are not a substitute for visual watchkeeping!! By the way, there are lots and lots of different uses for radar guard zones. I use mine even for an anchor alarm on occasion.

7. The "trails" function is extremely useful. You can do a down and dirty plot just by putting a ruler on the trail. Obviously, be careful with that as accuracy is limited compared to a real plot.

8. By all means, read the manual thoroughly. But do take a course. There are things a good instructor can teach you, which is hard to get from a book.


Good luck!
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