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Old 17-12-2012, 09:50   #16
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Having recently been in a situation where we had zero or low visibility in fog, where neither Anchored fishing vessels nor speeding or trolling vessels returned our fog horn signals or used a vhf, and nearly being t boned by an idiot on a powerboat we opted to get it abd love new system.. When we are coastal our tablet or smart phones use Ship tracker to show the big boys. I figure offshore we can definitly rely on radar to help spot them. Still as cheap as AIS has gotten we may add that.
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:06   #17
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Re: son says radar

If you motor or run a genset a lot, most definitely get a radar! If you steer from a pilothouse and not from a cockpit, definitely get that radar. They are battery sucker-dryers, though. Mostly they are only pulling amps when actually radiating, though, so if you are nursing your batteries, you can run it long enough for a general lookaround and to plot significant contacts, and put it back in standby.

On ships we rely heavily on ARPA and simply could not do our job safely without it. Definitely get a radar with some ARPA capability. Just having the ability to automatically do a relative motion on another vessel is a huge advantage, even without a gyrocompass input. Relative motion on a fixed object gives you another means of calculating set and drift. It is great for looking at approaching weather. With ARPA, you know at a glance (with trails enabled) who is moving and who is anchored, who is closer than who, who is two seperate contacts and who is actually a tug and tow, etc etc etc. The more features, the better. If you can interface it with your ECDIS (chart plotter) and AIS, you have a tremendously powerful tool for piloting and collision avoidance.

The only two warnings I just have to convey are

1. Your eyeballs, if a contact is visible, and a good pair of binos, will tell you if a distant vessel has changed course minutes before your radar will

2. Don't forget what you are doing! Don't fall into the trap of burying your head in that radar and not paying attention to the world around you and your other piloting and navigating tools. Not to mention your own steering and course-keeping!

3. LEARN TO USE IT! Get familiar with all its capabilities and functions. It can do so much more than just tell you when something is "out there".
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:14   #18
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Re: son says radar

Depends on your sailing grounds. You would probably benefit from it where you are. I sail in FL and the Bahamas and have had radar for the past eight seasons. I turn it on when we splash to check that it's working. During the season I might use it once or twice but only to check squall activity. Could just as well do without it but I checked the "radar" box when I ordered the boat.
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:50   #19
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Re: son says radar

[QUOTE=Adelie;1109184]For Maine you want the radar, the incidence of fog there is very high and radar may show you things that won't show up on a chartplotter or AIS, specifically other boaters that don't have AIS, aren't making sounds as they are supposed to do but do have a decent radar reflector or return a good echo without a reflector.

I second this. I live and sail in Maine. Please do not sail or motor in the fog here while relying on a chart plotter or AIS. Mount your radar low enough to see vessels close to you as there are working boats and barges in narrow passages who depend on your ability to follow the rules of the road.
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Old 17-12-2012, 20:36   #20
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Re: son says radar

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Listen to your son. An "excellent sailor". I never heard a logical reason NOT to have a radar.
Says the guy with a 50' Alden in Rhode Island.

It's money.

There isn't any logistical reason to not have an AIS transponder either. But if you go through all the items that someone could possibly use onboard you will have shelled out a ton of cash. If the guy has a few spare grand lying about, well then rock and roll.

A lot of threads on here, and a lot of abandoned boats and dreams, are because of folks running out of money. Nearly everyone I know has their cruising and travel plans dictated by finances, so equipment decisions cannot be made in a money vacuum.
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Old 17-12-2012, 20:59   #21
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Re: son says radar

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Says the guy with a 50' Alden in Rhode Island.

equipment decisions cannot be made in a money vacuum.

I agree completely! Fog can be a dangerous place and sometimes unavoidable in the area(s) he indicated. How much money is your life worth - is a valid question everyone needs to answer for themselves.
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Old 17-12-2012, 21:01   #22
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Re: son says radar

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Listen to your son. An "excellent sailor". I never heard a logical reason NOT to have a radar.
+1
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Old 17-12-2012, 21:01   #23
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Re: son says radar

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Says the guy with a 50' Alden in Rhode Island.

It's money.

There isn't any logistical reason to not have an AIS transponder either. But if you go through all the items that someone could possibly use onboard you will have shelled out a ton of cash. If the guy has a few spare grand lying about, well then rock and roll.

A lot of threads on here, and a lot of abandoned boats and dreams, are because of folks running out of money. Nearly everyone I know has their cruising and travel plans dictated by finances, so equipment decisions cannot be made in a money vacuum.
This is general and not directed towards anyone.

I am a bit uncomfortable with the philosophy that because it costs money, a pleasure boater is excused from having what is considered mandatory and prudent equipment on a similar sized fishing vessel or water taxi, to navigate and avoid collisions in restricted visibility!

Personally, my opinion is if you cannot afford the basic equipment to operate in fog or learn to use it safely.. stay out of the water so you dont hurt anyone else!

Tired of this double standard amongst some newbies with a dream!
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Old 17-12-2012, 21:07   #24
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Re: son says radar

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
This is general and not directed towards anyone.

I am a bit uncomfortable with the philosophy that because it costs money, a pleasure boater is excused from having what is considered mandatory and prudent equipment on a similar sized fishing vessel or water taxi, to navigate and avoid collisions in restricted visibility!

Personally, my opinion is if you cannot afford the basic equipment to operate in fog or learn to use it safely.. stay out of the water so you dont hurt anyone else!

Tired of this double standard amongst some newbies with a dream!

Good point. Any commercial vessel would be required to have RADAR.
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Old 17-12-2012, 21:32   #25
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Re: son says radar

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Good point. Any commercial vessel would be required to have RADAR.
Not at least in the OP's home waters. US regulations only require a RADAR on commercial vessels with more the 16 persons on board (crew or passengers). The regulations specify that "if equipped with a marine radar the vessel's captain and first mate must hold radar observer certification".

Curiously, despite what most here think about radar reflectors, they are required on non-metallic commercial vessels:

Quote:
46 CFR 28.235
Vessels must be equipped with anchor(s) and chain(s), cable, or rope, appropriate for the vessel and the waters of the vessels intended voyage. Nonmetallic hull vessels must be equipped with a radar reflector unless the vessel rigging provides a radar signature at six miles.
The rules may not be keeping up with the times, but that's how they are today.
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Old 17-12-2012, 23:01   #26
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Re: Son Says Radar

I have both a chart-plotter and radar. They offer different data, and the two together give a lot of help in low visibility. I recently came through the Golden Gate (San Francisco) with about zero visibility. I encountered three vessels - a freighter, a tug and a sailboat. I knew where I was (GPS) and their positions and headings (radar), and therefor knew what I had to do (two I just kept on course, and with the tug I got the **ll out of the way ASAP!!). I would not have gone into that situation without the proper equipment, but feel that I was safe with the use of these two systems. Either by itself would not have been enough. In response to an earlier post, I have been on many boats (including mine) where it was quite easy to man the helm and use the radar and chart-plotter. Radar is a bit tricky to learn, but well worth it. If you can afford it, it is a very nice addition. Best to you.
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Old 17-12-2012, 23:24   #27
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Re: son says radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
This is general and not directed towards anyone.

I am a bit uncomfortable with the philosophy that because it costs money, a pleasure boater is excused from having what is considered mandatory and prudent equipment on a similar sized fishing vessel or water taxi, to navigate and avoid collisions in restricted visibility!

Personally, my opinion is if you cannot afford the basic equipment to operate in fog or learn to use it safely.. stay out of the water so you dont hurt anyone else!

Tired of this double standard amongst some newbies with a dream!

This is a good point, but one I have heard before, and one that I have only heard from boaters who have achieved at least a reasonable degree of financial security. Impoverished boat owners have a different perspective. The oceans are not merely the playground of the wealthy. Po folks keep off the grass? LOL.

I am a big proponent of radar, AIS, EPIRB, SART, liferafts, gumby suits, and the like. If you can afford them, you should have them. If you can't afford them, you won't. It is that simple, and poor or working class are not going to allow themselves to be excluded from the waters that their "betters" are free to enjoy.

While we are on the subject of what one should be required to have in order to have a boat, how about a license? As a professional mariner I would certainly like to see all recreational boaters be required to hold a license of some sort. Rich or poor. In a collision, practically always both vessels are found to be partly at fault. If one vessel is a yacht and the other is a commercial vessel, the master and the mate on watch of the commercial vessel at the time of the incident risk losing their licenses and their livelyhood. The "captain" of the yacht goes and buys another yacht. The typical yachtsman doesn't even have a deep and abiding knowledge of the Rules of the Road. Every person driving a car in the U.S. has to have a drivers license. I think every person operating any vessel of any sort in U.S. waters or under U.S. flag should have to have a license as well. This is a lot more important than having a radar, however important that might be. But there is another side to that coin, an opposing viewpoint, and while I vehemently disagree with it I acknowledge that viewpoint exists and that my own will probably never be immprtalized in legislation.

The current required safety equipment is a good compromise between what one ought to have, and nothing at all. I could say that there is no such thing as a good compromise, but a line has to be drawn somewhere and unfortunately for both poor and wealthy, it falls roughly halfway between. And there it will stay, I imagine, for quite some time to come.
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Old 17-12-2012, 23:54   #28
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Re: son says radar

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
You want radar if you are going to be out there at night or in restricted visibility.

You want a plotter so that at a glance you can see where you are and what you are heading towards.

Both devices provide the same information and also provide different types of information.

Having a plotter or a radar does not make the other less useful. The more navigation tools that you have, the safer you are, provided you know how to use them and know how to analyze the information they provide.
Provided you know how to use it, provided you know how to analyze, provided, provided - that's a lot of provisos. It's worth saying that just having a radar set is useless or worse than useless if you either don't know how to use it or haven't worked it into your processes in an effective way. YMMV, but I have not gotten much value out of mine when running the boat alone. I have needed to have someone else on the helm and be below concentrating on operating and interpreting the radar to get value from it.

Now that was the old radar with no chart overlay and funky tuning - maybe the new one will be easier and less distracting to use. The point is that the gear by itself is nothing; it depends on you and how you work whether you will really get a useful increase in situational awareness, or whether it might even be a dangerous distraction.
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Old 18-12-2012, 05:32   #29
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Re: Son Says Radar

Radar is a very useful tool, but you need to take the time to learn how to use it properly. It is useful for navigating, checking the weather (squall activity) and for monitoring other vessels in your vicinity. Learn how to use it in good weather and it will serve you well when the visibility is reduced in fog or rain. I would put radar above AIS in the equipment list.
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Old 18-12-2012, 05:49   #30
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Re: son says radar

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............... I have needed to have someone else on the helm and be below concentrating on operating and interpreting the radar to get value from it.......................
We find that our success in fog requires one person fulltime assigned to the radar screen interpreting targets and another at the helm. For us, cruising in fog is an intensive edurance task.
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