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Thread: Is radar worth it?

  1. #1
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Default Is radar worth it?

    How often do you use your radar out on PWS? Iím wondering if investing in radar for my boat is really worth it.
    It doesnít seem like there is that many foggy days in PWS to justify forking out $1200 for a basic 15mi unit.
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
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  2. #2
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    have it on the boat i'm selling and used it only a few times( 14 years) not sure i would bother on my next one. if i traveled at night or much in fog i would reconsider. and for fog travel slower and use gps/map plotter.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
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  3. #3
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    Default Radar

    I currently live in Valdez and last year we did not have very many days where radar was needed. However, the summer before if you did not have radar there were not many days you could boat safely. The fog can come in very fast in PWS and one time two summers years ago (before radar), we were out in the narrows checking shrimp pots and by the time we made it to the Valdez Arm it was total fogged in. I do have a gps/chart plotter and we did use that to return to the harbor (very slow). However with the number of boats and other things a guy can run into in PWS I would strongly reccommend a Radar, if it prevents one boating accident it is money well spent.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. #4

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    If money were no object, then I'd have a radar. Unfortunately, money is an object for me. I say if you won't miss the $, install the radar.

  5. #5

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    Mine sometimes picks up a shrimp pot bouy on a nice day, good thing when your scanning the chartplotter with the radar overlay on.
    Went out of Surprise cove one evening to drop shrimp pots, miscalculated how long it would take, tried to get back inside the cove in pitch black darkness...yeah needed the radar, the chartplotters track lines, and some patients. The entrance to Surprise cove seemingly shrinks to the width of a mosqitoes butt when its pitch black out! Radar is just like another piece of the safety puzzle. Sounder, GPS, compass, life raft, etc...

  6. #6
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Put your money into a good plotter and if it gets foggy just go real slow & if possible have someone on the bow listening or better yet just anchor up and wait for it to lift. Nothing beats a powerful spotlight getting into small cove or bay to anchor up in. Those basic units just don't see that good in my opinion.

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  7. #7
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    I've had my Garmin 3010c unit for a year now, and my $.02 is that I didn't need it this year . . but I did the year before on my old boat when I didn't have it. When the fog rolls in, it makes a big difference getting home because you can see the other boats (that might not have radar) operating in your area. The chartplotter gives you the lay of the terrain - but I want to have at least a chance to avoid someone else out there - or that 40' connex that got washed overboard from Tote's ships .

    Cheers,

    SH

  8. #8
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    Default time

    My .02 if you spend enough time on the water you will eventually come across days/nights that you will really wish you had it, can you live without it, sure, look at the weather today in Whittier http://akweathercams.faa.gov/viewsite.php
    (one of those no radar no move kind of days)

    I run around 50-55 days a year have had many "misses" without it and have finally come to the conclusion that this spring there WILL be a new radar system installed. If you can afford it, do it!

  9. #9

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    If I am not mistaken, I believe there is something in the golden rules of boating that if you have a operational radar on your vessel and hit something or someone elses vessel who does not have a operational radar, your picking up the check. (...Someone can probably give more details and clarify what I am talking about.) I also like to run with mine on all the time so when I do need it I know what to look for and its just second nature to operate.

  10. #10
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    I suppose at some point in time Iíll have one on my boat. At the helm of a 66ft FV in and around South Center back in the late 80s it was essential, but that was before GPS and Loran never seemed to get the job done.

    So wondering if the basic 15 mile units selling for less the $1500 are worth it?
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  11. #11
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default Radar?

    So what will these pick up. Other boats, land object, rock outcroppings? will they pick up floating logs, debris? Whales? How tall above the water surface does some thing need to be to be seen by radar?
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

  12. #12
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Kings View Post
    So what will these pick up. Other boats, land object, rock outcroppings? will they pick up floating logs, debris? Whales? How tall above the water surface does some thing need to be to be seen by radar?
    Most if not all of the lower end units(cheap ones) won't pick up much of the low lying stuff like logs, debris but should see other boats(maybe & if they are aluminum all the better) and should see the land mass but you have to remember it might be picking up land that is aways in from the beach you will run up on. In my experience you need the more powerful(= more expensive) radars to really see well in the fog and to pick up low lying objects. I think the one on my boat is a 3 or 5KW model and it sees petty good in most cases except if its raining really hard then thinks up close seem to disappear unless i turn on the rain clutter feature, it makes it see better thru the rain but smaller targets also seem to disappear.

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

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    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  13. #13

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    My two cents:
    I have the Raymarine c-series, I have a separate depth sounder/fish finder so it is always visible on its own and I am not flipping through screens. The unit can have all three things going at once, I run with the radar overlayed on the chart plotter. The radar color is pink against the blue water and tan land masses, the depths are all over the map like a paper chart. It sees stuff sometimes before me on a clear day when its busy with traffic. If I am cruising fast and scanning all the other stuff on the dash and outside, it gives a nice heads up as to some things to get ready for. When I was shopping for a radar/plotter I started at the bottom of the price range and learned about them and soon realized its a classic get what you pay for situation. There are plenty of affordable ones out there that aren't worth the box they come in, but many that are truly worth what you pay for if you learn how to use them correctly...And, running in poor visibility, regardless of the quality of radar you have, still means going slow and cautious.

  14. #14
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    For me it would have to be a stand alone radar/display unit. I already have a GPS/Plotter and separate fish finder along with backup digital in-dash sonar, so can’t see spending the money for a network combination display; that seems to be the tread though: all in one systems.
    Don’t like having all my eggs in one basket, but that’s just me.

    Here's an example of what I've been concidering http://www.expeditiongps.com/site/1495790/product/25023
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  15. #15
    Member AkBillyBow's Avatar
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    Myers, are you happy with the Raymarine C series. That is what I am looking to buy. I first wanted the C120, but think I will go with the E120. I am looking for opinions before I shell out all that cash. Trying to decide if Raymarine is the better way to go, or if Garmin is better.

    Thanks...AkBillyBow

  16. #16

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    My cousin runs charters on his time off from running Crowley tugs, he also refits big vessels, he likes Furuno on his Bertram. My father runs charters on his time off and dumps pilots on the tankers, he likes his giant "old school" unit. My brother-in-law likes his Garmin on his C-Dory. I think my Raymarine is the newest and simplest to use out of them all, and West Marine will deal with any fix-it issues here in Anchorage. Furuno has no shops here, Garmin I don't know about -except that store on Old Seward. The Furuno, I believe, has an odometer in the GPS, I have yet to find one in the Raymarine. I have a back up Garmin GPS, but it is not comparable to the Raymarine, the Garmin is much older. I think the Raymarines have a good look, are easy to use, and seem to be on big rigs you see around these days. Remember the antenna (gps and radar -separate) is an additional cost, mounting it (PYI masts are awesome) and electronic map cards are additional also.

  17. #17
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myers View Post
    Furuno has no shops here.
    Actually, there is:
    Alaska offshore marine
    2241 Cinnabar Loop
    Anchorage, AK, 99507-3139
    907.333.4012

    www.glaciercraft.com
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  18. #18

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    Oops, sorry Furuno. My mistake thinking there wasn't a shop for them, I actually have been to that shop, its a good one! Vitmarine on the web, is good also, got a Flowscan from them, nice guys to talk to.

  19. #19
    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkBillyBow View Post
    Myers, are you happy with the Raymarine C series. That is what I am looking to buy. I first wanted the C120, but think I will go with the E120. I am looking for opinions before I shell out all that cash. Trying to decide if Raymarine is the better way to go, or if Garmin is better.

    Thanks...AkBillyBow
    akbillybow I have anr E120 and a E80 at the helm and aft of the boat. the platnium chip is really neat to use with the 3D. It's a really user friendley system and the split screen is so much nicer than going with a monitor for radar, sounder, gps induvidually
    Boatless

  20. #20
    Member NewMoon's Avatar
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    Breausaw, I like your C-Dory pic!

    We cruised SE AK in a 22 the summer of 1996 - churned up a bunch of butterflies when we got caught in 25' waves for upwards of an hour, but the C-Dory never took a drop of green water over the bow. One seaworthy boat.

    We didn't have radar on our 22, so when it was foggy we just stayed put. Works OK if you're not in the middle of a long crossing when the fog sets in.

    We have a 4KW 24" dome Furuno on the 26' cruiser we have now, and like its target discrimination, but that small one would be a whole lot better than nothing when you get caught in the fog. It happens to us several times every summer in SE AK and BC.

    Check out Consumer Marine Electronics - that Furuno 1715 goes for $1369.
    Richard Cook
    New Moon (Bounty 257)
    "Cruising in a Big Way"

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