Moderarate plotter ais radar setup

nmeyrick

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I'm looking to add my first plotter to my 38' sailing boat, and i think that the ability to view ais in the cockpit is a valuable addition to safety. I would like to add radar on the same screen, but don't want to go for some power chomping top price superyacht system.

Appologies if this has been covered already but I have looked and not found much recent and relevant. So far the options I have considered are:

standard horizon 300i - looks like a good plotter. I have read comments though that the ais and radar implementation are not great. Anybody who has this setup care to comment? Also only available with sites radar which I can't find much about, but seems to be a relatively low power old style kit.

Garmin 4008 or 750 - marine superstore has these bundled with a radar at a keen price. Looks very good and seems to get good comments. Downside is that the charts are garmin proprietary. As far as i can see when we sail to the med next year we would need something like 5 cards for full coverage, at around 300 a pop. Also some concerns about long term support as I gather they have abandoned old models in the past.

Lowrance hds 7 - again looks a good piece of kit. Good range of radar scanners. Works with navionics charts which appear to be the most cost effective.

Possibly raymarine c70 - more expensive but has MARPA which none of the others seem to.

I'd be keen to hear peoples comments on these, or any other options to consider in a similar price and size range, particularly Toughts on using with ais and radar. I'd also like comments on:

MARPA - is this worth having or does ais largely take away the need by covering the big stuff, leaving you only the smaller craft to monitor manually

Type of radar scanner - the unit I am replacing is an ancient furuno which looks like it came off the set of Das Boot and is currently non operational. what are the benefits of 12 vs 18 or 20 inch? 2 kw vs 4?

And how about old stlye vs digital pulsed vs broadband ie FMCW? I have read good things about the latter and it has lower power requirements, but I have also read about reduced range and interference problems. But I see that several manufacturers now sell these so have the issues been resolved? Has anyone used one?

I'm off to foxs on Sunday to play with a few different sets so appreciate any thoughts

Neil
 

Georgio

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Hi Neil,
I have a CP300 and connecting it up the the AIS transponder was easy-peasy.

I believe you can connect it up to a Sitex radar dome but, as you may remember, I have a seperate JRC radar.

Works well, not a lot of money, a bigger screen would be nice but the bigger the screen the more power it uses and the more expensixe it is. In the end, for my use it was a good compromise.

I also liked the look of the Lowrance HDS7 and whould have been happy using that as an alternative.

G
 

maxi77

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Having seen a dual display radar and plotter on a small screen in my opinion it is pretty useless. Equally as some others have mentioned superimposing plotter/radar/ais on one screen can also be confusing. I have radar and plotter/ais on two screens and find that quite easy to use. Of course if you were looking at a bigger screen then side by side displays may work
 

Georgio

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Peter makes a good point, overlaying Radar AND AIS onto a moderately sized chart plotter screen will not be great. It would work ok on a larger screen but this has additional cost.

I personally like having individual devices/screens for chart plotter and radar but I realise that the market is moving toward converged technology/devices which in many ways does make sense but also puts all the eggs in one basket.
 

knuterikt

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I'm looking to add my first plotter to my 38' sailing boat, and i think that the ability to view ais in the cockpit is a valuable addition to safety. I would like to add radar on the same screen, but don't want to go for some power chomping top price superyacht system.

Appologies if this has been covered already but I have looked and not found much recent and relevant. So far the options I have considered are:

standard horizon 300i - looks like a good plotter. I have read comments though that the ais and radar implementation are not great. Anybody who has this setup care to comment? Also only available with sites radar which I can't find much about, but seems to be a relatively low power old style kit.

Garmin 4008 or 750 - marine superstore has these bundled with a radar at a keen price. Looks very good and seems to get good comments. Downside is that the charts are garmin proprietary. As far as i can see when we sail to the med next year we would need something like 5 cards for full coverage, at around 300 a pop. Also some concerns about long term support as I gather they have abandoned old models in the past.

Lowrance hds 7 - again looks a good piece of kit. Good range of radar scanners. Works with navionics charts which appear to be the most cost effective.

Possibly raymarine c70 - more expensive but has MARPA which none of the others seem to.

I'd be keen to hear peoples comments on these, or any other options to consider in a similar price and size range, particularly Toughts on using with ais and radar. I'd also like comments on:

MARPA - is this worth having or does ais largely take away the need by covering the big stuff, leaving you only the smaller craft to monitor manually

Type of radar scanner - the unit I am replacing is an ancient furuno which looks like it came off the set of Das Boot and is currently non operational. what are the benefits of 12 vs 18 or 20 inch? 2 kw vs 4?

And how about old stlye vs digital pulsed vs broadband ie FMCW? I have read good things about the latter and it has lower power requirements, but I have also read about reduced range and interference problems. But I see that several manufacturers now sell these so have the issues been resolved? Has anyone used one?

I'm off to foxs on Sunday to play with a few different sets so appreciate any thoughts

Neil
With limited space at the helm I think that MFD is the way to go.

I have a 8.4" MFD that can be used in split screen mode and I think this works fine.
Anything smaller would be difficult to use in split screen mode.

It can show the radar picture in one half with or without radar overlay and the chart on the other half. It's easy and fast to switch between different display modes.
But it's important to see it by yourself before buying.

I feel that showing AIS targets on the chart display should work ok.

Increasing the width of the radar antenna give better separation of targets (genarally), but also increased windage. Closed antennas are normally considered best on a sailboat.
4 kw give better range at the cost of increased power consuption.
Personally I selected a 2kw closed antenna for the radar.

If I was in the market today I would have looked closly at the broadband radars - they consume less power (power is always an issue on a boat that sails) and have better target separation. I dont feel that the range is that important.
 

PeterR

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I have a Raymarine C70 with AIS and radar all integrated and it works very well despite the small screen size. For ships transmitting AIS data MARPA is much less reliable than AIS. MARPA takes far longer to stabilise, if it ever does.

Many will disagree with me but whilst I can see the value of a plotter on deck for pilotage, serious navigation and in particular the use of AIS and radar can only be practised properly below deck, certainly away from the helm. To get full AIS data including CPA you need to centre the cursor on a target. That can be difficult enough at the chart table let alone whilst trying to cling on and steer at the same time. With an AIS on the steering binnacle to contact a dangerous target you would need to go below find a piece of paper and a pencil (plus probably for most of us our reading glasses), go back on deck find and write down the MMSI, go back down below and type the number into the radio. Similarly, although a radar image can be observed at the helm as soon as you want to start altering the gain, clutter etc or set the VBL or VRM it is practically impossible whilst steering and even on autohelm you have to avoid the wheel catching you. The worse the weather gets the more difficult it is to use these gadgets in the cockpit. You don't see any open 60s etc with their nav kit on deck and even for us coastal cruisers the conditions can become an issue.

For instance last year we were on passage from the Scillies to Milford Haven. The forecast of SW F6 turned out to be wrong yet again. As we surfed at up to 17 knots with an average passage speed of 10.5 knots before winds in the high 30s gusting to high 40s the helmsman was working overtime and had no time to look at or fiddle with nav instruments. The rain was horizontal and visibility stopped at the mast. Radar and AIS was essential to dodge tankers and fishing boats There is no way I could have operated the kit on deck whilst trying to keep out of the way of the helm and keep my glasses dry but down below it was no problem.
 
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