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-   -   Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin? (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/radar-18-vs-24-inch-b-and-g-vs-garmin-230123.html)

Looking4Neptune 09-02-2020 13:44

Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
I will be replacing most of my electronics on my 2010 Leopard 46 cat. We will be in the Sea of Cortez next winter and heading to the South Pacific spring 2021. We are live-aboard cruisers and will be doing frequent multi-night passages.

I and am trying to decide on B&G vs Garmin for the overall system and the radar. I like some of B&Gs 'SailSteer' features but we are not racers. I like Garmin's ease of use.
1. How important is it to get the radar from the same vendor as the rest of the system?
2. How important is the increased resolution of a 24 inch radar over a 18 inch?
3. What else should I be considering in the radar choice?

thanks!

smac999 09-02-2020 21:51

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
the radar must be same brand as screen. pick what screen you like. then buy their radar.

Paul L 09-02-2020 22:08

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
The horizontal resolution is far better on the 24in vs the 18, for usually little added cost.

Tillsbury 09-02-2020 22:25

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Yes, choose your system first. The radome is just the bit you buy on top, very little difference really from one to the next with similar specs.

donradcliffe 10-02-2020 01:35

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
You won't need high resolution or big range in Mexico or South Pacific--very little fog.

Best radar is Furuno. You will be better off without an integrated electronics package where a single failure can result in loss of all electronics. The most critical system is probably the depth sounder.

a64pilot 10-02-2020 05:17

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
I’ve had both and why many extoll the virtues of the B&G 4G Radar, I’ve not noticed it to be that much better than the Garmin I had, it will work well up very, very close to the boat where it seemed the Garmin had a longer min range, by close I mean 50 feet or less. It can see the bow for instance.
I’ve never had need of that, but it shows a technical edge I guess.
My B&G needed an expensive heading sensor for the Radar overlay on the chart to function, my Garmin did not.
There are several boxes to install on my B&G, where the Garmin was one simple box and one wire, well three counting power, Radar and sounder xducer.

Good luck interpreting the B&G manual, the Garmin I don’t think in all honesty that I read the manual after the install, darn thing is like an IPad, it’s so intuitive you just know what to do.

However after having it for a very short time the screen starting blanking out, thing would just go dead, called Garmin and found out it was a “legacy” unit they they no longer supported it, but I was lucky there were a a few exchange units left, so if I hurried I could get it replaced, but it was no longer supported.

With a Garmin, you have better like Garmin charts, cause that is your only option, luckily for me the ones for the area I was in anyway were excellent.

The B&G I can select from several chart sources, currently using Cmap in the Bahamas as they are Explorer based, and use Navionics in the US as it has the satellite photos and other “gimmicks” that look cool.

My take was that the Garmin was much easier to install and use, much easier, but only had once chart source, and what really makes me dislike them is about the time you need to get it repaired, you may find your only option is to replace, and likely the whole thing as the old Radar dome may not play with the new plotter etc.

The B&G luckily so far I haven’t had to have it repaired, but hope they don’t orphan products as fast as Garmin does, and the B&G is probably a more “professional” piece of equipment, but isn’t nearly as user friendly, four years or so down the road I still discover features if you will and honestly do not use it to near its actual potential.
If Garmin wasn’t so quick to obsolete their equipment, and especially if they allowed outsourced charts, then there would be no comparison in my opinion, but the planned obsolescence thing will keep me away

captmikem 10-02-2020 10:40

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donradcliffe (Post 3071645)
You won't need high resolution or big range in Mexico or South Pacific--very little fog.

Best radar is Furuno. You will be better off without an integrated electronics package where a single failure can result in loss of all electronics.

I agree, I replaced all my electronics after a lightening strike, I went with Raymarine, MFD at the chart table and MFD in the cockpit. At night, coasting or in fog I run the radar continuously, if I split the screen things just get too small. I ended up using Raymarine's 'Rayview' on an Android tablet in the cockpit for the chart from the lwr MFD and the radar on the upper MFD. Although handy, it is just not convenient to have a tablet floating around the cockpit.

I have used just about every brand of radar made, and Furuno is always solid, easy to learn to read, you can pick out targets with FTC way up. And it is reliable and stable.

M

Cadence 10-02-2020 10:53

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donradcliffe (Post 3071645)
You won't need high resolution or big range in Mexico or South Pacific--very little fog.

Best radar is Furuno. You will be better off without an integrated electronics package where a single failure can result in loss of all electronics. The most critical system is probably the depth sounder.

:thumb: eg. the screen takes a sh==t and you have lost everything.

Pizzazz 10-02-2020 10:58

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Furuno used to have the best radar, today the field is more even. I would say that Raymarine has the edge today (the CG went from Furuno to Raymarine for their ten year cycle) but from your point of view all radars are the same, the differences are small. I suggest you focus on the chartplotter interface you like the best, then add the corresponding radar.

The difference between 18" and 24" radome is 5 degrees horizontal resolution vs. 4 degrees horizontal resolution. This is only significant if you have two boats very close to one another and you want to see them as two targets instead of one at a distance. It is not worth it. If you could go to a 6' radar, that would be a big difference.

Radar works much better with an expensive heading sensor. This will also make your autopilot work better. It is definitely worth investing in one if you are upgrading today. One of the best new (last 20 years) features of radar is reliable MARPA, which in turn depends on the heading sensor and the software, Raymarine and Furuno are the best here) which allows you to track and measure the speed of nearby boats. I use it a lot.

So, if you want my recommendations, first decide if you are replacing the autopilot or not. This is the most expensive equipment to replace. Then decide on the chartplotter, then add the radar. I am a Raymarine fan and I also like Garmin. Furuno I find too expensive for what it is and navico I dislike because I do not like their MARPA implementation :).

SV Pizzazz

joelhemington 10-02-2020 12:29

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Looking4Neptune (Post 3071297)
I will be replacing most of my electronics on my 2010 Leopard 46 cat. We will be in the Sea of Cortez next winter and heading to the South Pacific spring 2021. We are live-aboard cruisers and will be doing frequent multi-night passages.

I and am trying to decide on B&G vs Garmin for the overall system and the radar. I like some of B&Gs 'SailSteer' features but we are not racers. I like Garmin's ease of use.
1. How important is it to get the radar from the same vendor as the rest of the system?
2. How important is the increased resolution of a 24 inch radar over a 18 inch?
3. What else should I be considering in the radar choice?

thanks!

If you're set on a complete change out, then check out NTE, a French company with a stellar reputation among those in the know. They offer a navigation package, complete with N2K trunk, for about $7,000.

CarinaPDX 10-02-2020 13:01

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
It is a constantly evolving market but a few points pop out.

Solid state radar is better for close-in maneuvering than traditional radar. The latest Doppler solid state radars offer a modest improvement again. Pretty much any radar will do the necessary job but when buying new why not go with the latest tech? Furuno, RM, and the Navionics stable (B&G, Simrad, Lowrance) all offer Doppler solid state radar; it appears that Garmin is using a non-solid state digital radar, a decade-old technology.

It is much more important to get a chartplotter that you are happy with than parsing the tiny differences in radar scanners. In this regard I find Furuno head and shoulders above the rest; Raymarine comes in second. I would actually avoid B&G and Garmin. Furuno and Raymarine have owned the commercial fishing market for years, and for good reason. I could write down a long list of advantages for Furuno, such as their broad choice of charts and their long support life (my 10-year old MFD8 is still serviced, new free NOAA chart updates come out annually, new Navionics and C-map charts can be bought) but I encourage the OP to download the manuals of the various chartplotters under consideration and read through them. You will find that Furuno has the most features and flexibility, followed by Raymarine. The rest have pretty simplistic (unhelpful) manuals and a real lack of flexibility. A recent thread here was trying to resolve a problem with a GPS output not being seen by the chartplotter; there was no user-accessible ability to see the N2K PGNs received, nor the explicit selection of location data source - i.e. nearly impossible to troubleshoot. What a pain... Please read the manuals and think about the differences in capabilities.

ARPA is a CG standard which defines radar features that presents target and collision information in a similar manner as AIS. For it to work a 10Hz electronic compass and knotmeter are required. Furuno has ARPA; Raymarine and others have MARPA (mini-ARPA) which is similar but does not meet the official specs. ARPA is helpful, and one of the several good reasons for having a proper N2K e-compass.

Personally I consider the choice of autopilot a separate issue: while it is convenient to control from the chartplotter I don't find that feature very compelling, nor do I want to have the chartplotter operating to control the AP. Make the AP independent.. YMMV.

On any new install the system should be NMEA 2000 (N2K) based. Using Airmar smart speed and depth transducers and an N2K backbone is absolutely the way to go. Use the officially-recommended DeviceNet cabling, not the proprietary connectors many vendors offer. Simrad cabling and connectors are simply junk - avoid. Since all of the major vendors use re-labelled Airmar sensors just buy the Airmar brand. Maretron is a great source of high quality DeviceNet cabling; I particularly like their Multi-port box, which is far tidier than using multiple tee connectors (I use three of the boxes).

I realize that Furuno costs a lot more than the others - a premium which I reluctantly paid - but the difference over the years has more than justified that cost. Otherwise buy RayMarine.

Greg

[Edit: For reliability there should always be an alternative means of displaying data, in addition to the chartplotter.]

GWilly 10-02-2020 13:21

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Two comments. The first is to go with what is easiest for you to operate. Everyone has their preference. Mine happens to be Garmin.

Two, the old adage of ďGo big or go homeĒ is certainly true. Iíll let you ponder that one for a while.

Good luck.

Pizzazz 10-02-2020 14:04

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
One more point, following Gregís excellent summary. Do not underestimate the cost of sensor replacement if you need to do it. One way to go is to stick with analog sensors that you convert to N2K with an itc box ($250) that you typically install near the mast, it takes speed, depth, wind and temp and puts them on the network. The other way, to replace all the sensors with N2K, could easily blow away your budget and require a haul out.

Paul L 10-02-2020 17:43

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pizzazz (Post 3071926)
Furuno used to have the best radar, today the field is more even. I would say that Raymarine has the edge today (the CG went from Furuno to Raymarine for their ten year cycle) but from your point of view all radars are the same, the differences are small. I suggest you focus on the chartplotter interface you like the best, then add the corresponding radar.

The difference between 18" and 24" radome is 5 degrees horizontal resolution vs. 4 degrees horizontal resolution. This is only significant if you have two boats very close to one another and you want to see them as two targets instead of one at a distance. It is not worth it. If you could go to a 6' radar, that would be a big difference.

Radar works much better with an expensive heading sensor. This will also make your autopilot work better. It is definitely worth investing in one if you are upgrading today. One of the best new (last 20 years) features of radar is reliable MARPA, which in turn depends on the heading sensor and the software, Raymarine and Furuno are the best here) which allows you to track and measure the speed of nearby boats. I use it a lot.

So, if you want my recommendations, first decide if you are replacing the autopilot or not. This is the most expensive equipment to replace. Then decide on the chartplotter, then add the radar. I am a Raymarine fan and I also like Garmin. Furuno I find too expensive for what it is and navico I dislike because I do not like their MARPA implementation :).

SV Pizzazz

A Furuno 19in radar had a horizontal resolution of 5.2*. A 24in dome is 3.9*. In a 360* circle that is more than 30% higher resolution. The higher res will help in a number of situations, like distinguishing a tug with a tow from a single blob, small boat or mooring float from sea scatter, etc. The additional cost is about usd $400. To me it is definitely worth it when you are spending that much on a new electronics setup.

Pizzazz 10-02-2020 18:10

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul L (Post 3072228)
A Furuno 19in radar had a horizontal resolution of 5.2*. A 24in dome is 3.9*. In a 360* circle that is more than 30% higher resolution. The higher res will help in a number of situations, like distinguishing a tug with a tow from a single blob, small boat or mooring float from sea scatter, etc. The additional cost is about usd $400. To me it is definitely worth it when you are spending that much on a new electronics setup.


It is a fair point. But letís put this number in perspective. Say there is a tug towing a barge 1 nm away from you. If the distance between the two is 500 ft or more both radars will show two blobs. If the distance is less than 400 ft, both radars will show one blob. If the distance is between 400 and 500 ft, only the larger radar will show two blobs. It is an improvement but not that significant. It is much better to spend the extra money on the 4G signal processing vs the larger radar.

Paul L 10-02-2020 18:27

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pizzazz (Post 3072239)
It is a fair point. But letís put this number in perspective. Say there is a tug towing a barge 1 nm away from you. If the distance between the two is 500 ft or more both radars will show two blobs. If the distance is less than 400 ft, both radars will show one blob. If the distance is between 400 and 500 ft, only the larger radar will show two blobs. It is an improvement but not that significant. It is much better to spend the extra money on the 4G signal processing vs the larger radar.

Sure, if you assume the tug is at right angles and the radar image is perfect. That's not the way it is in practice under stress. The larger antenna will have better discrimination in real conditions for little extra cost. The radar needs to be able to remove sea scatter and rain while still not loosing small targets as well as continually process Arpa targets. A larger antenna makes this more successful.
Going to 4kw from 2kw antenna also makes viewing storms easier and seeing through heavy rain.

ArmyDaveNY 11-02-2020 23:44

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
In addition to the previous points, consider support. I have found Garmin and B&G support to be good. Raymarine support is good IF you can get through to them. We have a dealer line and we don't even try on Mondays and sometimes Tuesday. I had a local Coast Guard commander buy some $30K worth of gear and it took many weeks to finally get a second level technician and finally get things sorted out. Please note that this is in the U.S. so perhaps things are different elsewhere.


I particularly like the comment about ease of use. I recommend you actually play with the ones you are considering. Garmin is exceptionally intuitive and easy to use. B&G is good but not quite as easy to use.



I cannot comment on the Furuno as I have never used those. Good luck with your purchase.

slug 12-02-2020 01:02

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Looking4Neptune (Post 3071297)
I will be replacing most of my electronics on my 2010 Leopard 46 cat. We will be in the Sea of Cortez next winter and heading to the South Pacific spring 2021. We are live-aboard cruisers and will be doing frequent multi-night passages.

I and am trying to decide on B&G vs Garmin for the overall system and the radar. I like some of B&Gs 'SailSteer' features but we are not racers. I like Garmin's ease of use.
1. How important is it to get the radar from the same vendor as the rest of the system?
2. How important is the increased resolution of a 24 inch radar over a 18 inch?
3. What else should I be considering in the radar choice?

thanks!

Sailboats are sensitive to weight and windage aloft

Smallest is always best

Looking4Neptune 12-02-2020 20:50

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Thanks to all for the replies. My take-aways: (I am commenting only on B&G vs Garmin)
1. B&G has a number of great sailing oriented features that Garmin does not. (Mostly talking about Sailsteer and laylines. I am not a racer so the start-line functions are not a factor for me.)
2. Garmin has a more intuitive interface.
3. Garmin products go obsolete with no support more rapidly.
4. Spend time using each to see which you prefer. It comes down to personal preference.
5. Choose the vendor based on system functionality, then buy their radar.

One difficulty in 'spend time using each' - I have been down to West Marine where they have both but it is not conducive to getting familiar with the interfaces. Their are no manuals available and the demo systems don't allow you (or I could not figure out how) to try many of the normal scenarios I think would be important to me.

boatpoker 12-02-2020 21:05

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by a64pilot (Post 3071697)
Good luck interpreting the B&G manual, the Garmin I donít think in all honesty that I read the manual after the install, darn thing is like an IPad, itís so intuitive you just know what to do.

I've found that over the last thirty years and hundreds of deliveries Garmin was the only brand I didn't need the manual at the helm.

boatpoker 12-02-2020 21:23

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Looking4Neptune (Post 3073456)
3. Garmin products go obsolete with no support more rapidly.

On two occasions I bought obsolete garmin units on E-Bay. In both cases Garmin sent me the missing connectors I needed ..... no charge.

bstreep 12-02-2020 22:44

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
I'm late to this discussion. But I thought I'd throw in a couple of quick thoughts on our recent purchases:


1) Raymarine is WiFi - just run a 14 gauge wire to the unit. This was huge to us. And yes, it works. Every time.



2) If you ever need Raymarine support, call and then ask for 2nd level support. The 1st level is idiot - I know way more than they do. Or, do like I do and say "I'm sorry, I'm old, I can't hear, and I can't understand you. Can I please talk to someone in the US?"

Paul L 12-02-2020 22:54

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slug (Post 3072981)
Sailboats are sensitive to weight and windage aloft

Smallest is always best

It's lighter if you don't have one at all. The difference in weight and windage between an 18in vs 24in system is nominal.
Mounting on a stern pole offers less weight up high and functions just fine.

Dockhead 12-02-2020 23:47

Re: Radar: 18 vs 24 inch? B&G vs Garmin?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by a64pilot (Post 3071697)
. . . what really makes me dislike them is about the time you need to get it repaired, you may find your only option is to replace, and likely the whole thing as the old Radar dome may not play with the new plotter etc.

The B&G luckily so far I havenít had to have it repaired, but hope they donít orphan products as fast as Garmin does, . . .


I wouldn't hope too much for this.


Navico "orphan" their products with blinding speed. They so little care about the existing client base that when v2 of the GoFree app was released several years ago, this didn't support the first generation of Zeus plotters -- which had only been out of production for 3 or 4 years by that time -- and v1 was no longer available. You were prompted to upgrade, and if you did -- poof, no more GoFree. Barstewards.


The problem here is that they treat these expensive marine electronics as if they were mobile phones, and support them as if normal use is to use them for two years and throw them away. I would not again buy marine electronics which are treated like that, if I have any choice.


When I got rid of my Raymarine Pathfinder radar and plotter, this gear was more than 10 years old, but was still fully supported by Ray. Don't know if it's still like that with Ray, but marine electronics should have planned useful life of at least 10 years and should be supported like that. I can't imagine Furuno orphan their products in 3 years like Navico do. A pox on them.


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