Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-03-2010, 05:54   #1
Registered User
 
OrangeCrush's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Boat: Shannon Pilothouse 38
Posts: 614
Best Garmin Radar Compatible Chartplotter?

I am looking to put radar and and a gps chartplotter on my Pearson 26 for a big cruise this summer that I am planning up and down the Maine coast.

Since I don't have either right now, I am planning on saving a few bucks by getting a plotter that accepts and displays the radar feed. I am going to get an 18" GMR Dome and mount it on a platform on the mast above the spreader.

My budget for the whole operation is about $1500, and since the dome is at least $800, the platform is $200 and the cable is $60, I would like to spend no more than about $500 on the plotter.

I have been looking at the following Garmin plotters...
3205
2010c
2206c
3006c

Any opinions? Also, should I spring for the GPSMAP models or stick with the standard? Is a 5"screen big enough? Does it make sense to get one without color if I can find a bigger screen? Any other radar compatible models I'm forgetting?

Thanks a lot,

Jack
__________________

__________________
OrangeCrush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2010, 08:14   #2
Registered User
 
bloodhunter's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Baltimore MD
Boat: Morgan 45 Enchantress
Posts: 171
Images: 11
Can't speak from experience since I've never run a radar overlay on a 5-inch screen. But assuming you are going to mount the GPS at the helm, I would think that you'd be hard put to get very much useful from a screen that small without spending too much tim,e concentrating on the screen rather than the boat. Just my 2-cents.
__________________

__________________


SV Enchantress
located Herrington Harbour South, Friendship MD
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof
bloodhunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2010, 09:25   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,826
I have a Garmin 5208 with the 18HD. I know it's out of your price range.
I would have gone with a bigger screen, but I didn't have enough room for it.
My older eyes still strain a little with an 8 incher.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2010, 23:06   #4
Registered User
 
Mango Bob's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: So Cal
Boat: Amel Mango 52'
Posts: 24
Don't do it!

There are so many software programs out there for your notebook computer where all the charts are free online! Your GPS and radar can UPS right into your notebook and you save a bundle. Buy the radar and make sure it's compatible for USB output then just use your notebook as the portable hub and you'll avoid the three-year fixed electronics upgrade shuffle.
__________________
Mango Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-03-2010, 23:02   #5
Registered User
 
JiffyLube's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oceanside, Ca.
Boat: Islander Freeport 36
Posts: 567
Images: 8
I have the Garmin 3210 with the Garmin GRM41 radar (both discontinued), with the radar overlay. If I had to do it over again, I would use a stand along radar.

There are two problems with the overlay: 1. The overlay radar targets are to light in color for good target recognition compared to using the radar screen only. To make the overlay work so you can still see the chart, there has to be a certain transparency level to the chart screen which dilutes the radar target color. By switching back and forth between overlay and radar, you will see a noticeable difference in target recognition.

2. Adjusting radar on a chartplotter is much harder to do, because all adjustments are done through software menus. Adjusting radar on a stand alone unit using knobs and switches is much easier to do, and much less confusing while on the move.
__________________
JiffyLube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2010, 05:24   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango Bob View Post
Don't do it!

There are so many software programs out there for your notebook computer where all the charts are free online! Your GPS and radar can UPS right into your notebook and you save a bundle. Buy the radar and make sure it's compatible for USB output then just use your notebook as the portable hub and you'll avoid the three-year fixed electronics upgrade shuffle.
Hello bob, what do you use at the helm postion to see the charts on the laptop? What free chart plotting software do you use. Thanks chris
__________________
cvondo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2010, 18:59   #7
Registered User
 
OrangeCrush's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Boat: Shannon Pilothouse 38
Posts: 614
So I think I am going with the Garmin 3206 plotter (with the GMR 18 HD dome). I have a couple of questions.

1) The antenna is built in, but some come with an external antenna. Others seem to come with a WAAV sensor. What is the difference and which do I need for the gps to work properly?

2) The garmin plotter advertises preloaded detail-rich charts for US waters, but Garmin still sells SD cards for different areas. Do I have to spend money on those to get the full charts if I buy this plotter? Those things are expensive!

GARMIN GPSMAP 3206 GPS Chartplotter - 010-00527-00 - Garmin 3206 - Garmin Networking - Garmin Marine - Garmin GPS - Marine Networking
__________________
OrangeCrush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2010, 20:07   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,826
The SD cards aren't needed, but they're really nice for extra things like aerial photos of marinas and other shoreside details. They include website addresses, phone numbers, amenities etc.
If you're coming into a marina which you've never seen before, it's nighttime and stormy, the SD card is a great tool.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2010, 21:24   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Roy M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA
Boat: Searunner 40 trimaran, WILDERNESS
Posts: 3,041
Images: 4
I've installed a number of units with built-in GPS antennas. Generally they are just fine. If you had the display tucked deep inside a heavily built dodger, you might need an external antenna, but you should try it first.

The hidden expense is installing the radar cable and power cables in the mast. They should be lead inside their own conduit to protect the cables from chafe as the boat thrashes about. Also, I always seem to run into some kind of a problem with leading the cable into the cabin top, so I always pull the stick, install a conduit, mount the radar support and antenna in a horizontal position at waist level, not bouncing about twenty or so feet in the air. It gives me a chance to remove all the mast head sheaves for inspection and maintenance, check the vhf antenna, masthead and steaming lights, etc. Then, carefully inserting the cables and wiring into the cabintop is so much easier. Remember, modern electronics use fewer wires so you can cut the connectors off to make insertion easier. Talk to your dealer about the best options for your particular unit.

P.S.: I absolutely love overlay. It dramatically reduces the learning curve of interpreting those little blobs on the screen. And while you are at it, consider getting AIS. It provides even greater value for you installation, especially if you are transmitting your own info to other vessels so equipped.
__________________
Roy M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2010, 21:49   #10
Registered User
 
JiffyLube's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oceanside, Ca.
Boat: Islander Freeport 36
Posts: 567
Images: 8
Many boats have their radar mounted up the mast, but a growing number are mounting them on poles. It really depends one what you want to see with your radar. If you want to see targets closer in around you then mount the radar lower on a pole, and if you want to see targets farther out to the horizon then mount up on the mast. Poles are much easier for mounting, and the radar unit does not sway as much because it's lower to the water. Either way the radar is mounted, a self-leveling mount is the way to go.
__________________
JiffyLube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2010, 21:55   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Roy M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA
Boat: Searunner 40 trimaran, WILDERNESS
Posts: 3,041
Images: 4
The levelers are nice, but costly. OrangeCrush made it clear in his opening statement he has a tight budget. And, the poles end up costing as much as the mast installation, at least here in San Diego, plus they reduce the range of the radar.
__________________
Roy M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 08:36   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,826
Putting the radar on the mast gives you a pole.
Who says it has to go up any specified height?
I am moving my radar from the arch because I needed that space for a big PV panel.

As I'm not sailing offshore anymore, the radar is going on the mast at just above the first set of spreaders at about 18' off the water. This will give me better close up target detail and a smaller polar moment of inertia aloft.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 09:17   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
sandy daugherty's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Annapolis
Boat: PDQ 36 & Atlantic 42
Posts: 1,178
The 3206 and GMR-18 (if not the 18HD) will do what you want. But there are some gotchas:
The 3206 is elderly technology, and uses the old Garmin propritary datacards, not SD cards. I'm not sure how long Garmin will provide updates for the unit.

Overlay is good: it graphically represents relations that old-timers spent years learning to understand when using separate screens. It will be a bit on the small side, but having it at the helm, within an arms length of your nose, is a major benefit.

If the unit is capable of MARPA tracking, it will need another box, a flux gate compass that talks fast.

Running the cable down the mast to the helm will be your biggest headache, but understand this. The GMR 18 has an effective range of x miles, and if its radar horizon is less than that, there will be stuff hidden below the horizon that you could otherwise see if the radar were high enough. I calulated that and came up with 22' above the water as a good compromise. Thats on a cat that doesn't heel. You should make your own decision and factor in some heel.

A good GPS display, and a radar image for reassurance, are must have items in limited visibility. But you should make sure you have enough amperage to keep them running. Someone else here can give you better numbers, but I'm guessing you will need at least a 105 Amphour deep cycle house battery that can be charged by the engine, and a completely separate starting battery. Until it grew legs, I had a good little Honda EU2000i that was very useful.

There will always be comments from the laptop crowd, but few of them feel quite so strongly after a blue-water trip with a strange destination. For navigating in fog and rain, a dedicated, waterproof gadget at the helm, built for the purpose, is a more prudent choice than a mare's nest of BestBuy cables and kluge software! I carry both a netbook and a purpose built Boat Computer, but I navigate by Garmin.
__________________

__________________
sandy daugherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chartplotter, garmin, radar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Garmin Chartplotter ? cliffdykes Marine Electronics 7 28-03-2010 06:32
WTB: Garmin Map Chip for Chartplotter bobelon Classifieds Archive 3 12-12-2009 13:08
Garmin GPS Chartplotter? Steelshooter Marine Electronics 17 23-11-2009 11:09
Chartplotter & Radar - Garmin or Raymarine Maduro Marine Electronics 15 25-07-2008 03:01
Garmin chartplotter and WAAS Chrisc Marine Electronics 2 19-11-2006 06:02



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:33.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.