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Get a new radar?

ColinR

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2001
Messages
479
Mine got water in the radome, probably when the mast was being stored down over the winter and although its not that old its not economical to repair. I've had radar for about 15 years, use it very occasionally but a few times it has been a godsend. Shorthanded at night when fog descended in the middle of the Channel, before AIS was the norm, for example. But I'd say its been the most problematic bit of electronics on board. The radar engineer stressed not to cut the data cable at the bottom of the mast if at all possible, so now I'm sailing in an area where the mast must come down for the winter, it involves a fiddly process of removing the cable from the radome, unthreading it from the mast and the reverse at the start of the season. Plus its power hungry in use and requires experience to really understand what its telling you. But it is definitely another pair of eyes in some situations.

Chartplotters and AIS have changed the picture since I first got radar. I notice a lot more yachts don't have radar now. On the other hand some boats don't have their AIS on, or maybe don't have it? And of course AIS relies on the other guy having it turned on. So should I bite the bullet and get a new one or go without?
 

PilotWolf

Well-known member
Joined
19 Apr 2005
Messages
4,600
Location
Long Beach. CA.
Not sure where you’re located but the Barge I’m the Southampton area used have a whole barn full of radar parts. Maybe just replacing the radome part might be an option if it’s not that old?

W
 

Stemar

Well-known member
Joined
12 Sep 2001
Messages
17,027
Location
Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
It depends what kind of sailing you do. Crossing the channel in dirty weather, absolutely you should replace it. OTOH, a fair weather sailor like me has managed for 18 years without on my boat and not missed it. If my budget was big enough, yes, I'd have both, but AIS would be my first priority, radar some way second, though I will confess, I was very glad to have it on a friend's boat finding my way through Ichenor reach one moonless, starless night.
 

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
30,234
Location
Essex
Radar pole on the transom works for me.
That was my solution too, with ease of service and separation from the mast as part of my motive. The irony is that the mast has never been down and the only service was the replacement of a working unit for a more modern one.

As Stemar says, it depends on what sailing you do. If you are regularly in open water then it is highly desirable. I think that I used it in anger about once every three years and still thought it good value.
 

V1701

Well-known member
Joined
1 Oct 2009
Messages
3,897
Location
South Coast UK
If you only use it very occasionally replacing it with an AIS transceiver could be a more effective use of your money. A long serving commercial skipper recently told me they pay a lot more attention to AIS than radar nowadays...
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,259
Location
Southampton
The radar engineer stressed not to cut the data cable at the bottom of the mast if at all possible, so now I'm sailing in an area where the mast must come down for the winter, it involves a fiddly process of removing the cable from the radome, unthreading it from the mast and the reverse at the start of the season. Plus its power hungry in use and requires experience to really understand what its telling you.
Modern radars don’t suffer either of the first two issues - they use standard ethernet instead of proprietary signal cables, and use much less power. Some interpretation is still needed, but I’ve been very impressed with the target-tracking features on my new one compared to old. Most recently when my AIS receiver failed in very thick fog just after leaving Cherbourg to head home.

Pete
 

Neeves

Well-known member
Joined
20 Nov 2011
Messages
8,176
Location
Sydney, Australia.
It depends where you sail and what 'sort' of sailing

Many small boats, local fishermen, don't use AIS (nor lights you can see, easily), thunderstorms are not yet equiped with AIS but then whales don't show up on radar very well and have not yet invested in AIS.

On Australia's east coast we don't have much commercial traffic but what we have is generally quite large, we do have local fishermen well offshore, whales and thunderstorms in long lines sweeping across the Tasman, we don't have AIS, we do have Radar, Radar is good as it tells you exactly how far away something is 50m or 40nm (and if the thing is a rock in an anchorage - its does not have AIS either).

If we were sailing in HK, Singapore or crossing the English Channel we would have both. Crossing the Atlantic, radar. Finding a buoy in for - radar.

Jonathan
 
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