Small boat radar

PabloPicasso

Well-known member
Joined
12 Feb 2010
Messages
2,191
How practice is it or small sailing boats to carry and run radar?
What system would suit a sub 30ft jester challenge type boat?
And how much will it all cost?
 

jac

Well-known member
Joined
10 Sep 2001
Messages
9,181
Location
Home Berkshire, Boat Hamble
Modern systems are certainly feasible for installation for sub 30 footers. Cost is a bit of a how long is a piece of string question as it depends so much on type of system, e.g. Broadband or not, size of radome, size of screen, where installed etc but as an example I have seen packages for sale with everything for about £1800 but shop around and am sure you can get cheaper.

The issue really is power use. The radome and a big screen can draw over 40 watts each I.e. Pushing 8 amps. That is 192 Ah in a 24 hour period. That is easy to cope with if you're running an engine for 4 hours a day plus whatever you might need for fridge, lighting, comms etc. however if you are just sailing then you either need big batteries if your use is going to be limited to say 24 hours or generous charging ability if you want ongoing use. Pushing that demand in would need around 800 Watts of solar in European waters just to,power the radar.

So can it be fitted? Yes.
Can it be used a lot? not without extensive investment in power management, storage and generation.
 

Gwylan

Well-known member
Joined
31 May 2007
Messages
3,651
Location
Moved ashore
How practice is it or small sailing boats to carry and run radar?
What system would suit a sub 30ft jester challenge type boat?
And how much will it all cost?

Why radar?

A plotter with AIS option or simple AIS receiver should do most of the things you might want.
 

Ric

Well-known member
Joined
8 Dec 2003
Messages
1,723
I have a Raymarine Digital radar on my 31ft sloop (gimbal mounted too!). I sail long-distance single-handed, so it is worthwhile for me. As Jac says, efficient energy management is the key. I only use the radar on night passages, and I have wind, solar and hydro-power.
 

Seajet

...
Joined
23 Sep 2010
Messages
29,178
Location
West Sussex / Hants
I have a JRC radar with 12" radome on my Anderson 22, whose only charging is by 30 watt solar panel + charging coil on an outboard ( rarely used ) into a 100A/H gel leisure battery.

Being a modern digital set I can run it in bursts, ie to have looks what's around in bad vis in the shipping lanes.

No chance of trundling along with it running all the time like a fishing boat, but still useful and being active it doesn't depend on someone else's AIS or electrics etc working, also can be used for nav like landfalls if required.

A reliable battery monitor is essential.
 

Seajet

...
Joined
23 Sep 2010
Messages
29,178
Location
West Sussex / Hants
AIS is a jolly good thing, but it relies on everything on someone else's boat / ship working, while a radar is a self operated active sensor which should show me what's really going on, unless faced with stealth adversaries !

It could be said ' plotters, charts and tide tables show the depth where you are ', but not many people rely on that instead of a depthsounder of their own.

Both radar and AIS are handy, and in the perfect world where everyone can afford everything, they, combined with a plotter showing both, supplement each other very well.
 

doug748

Well-known member
Joined
1 Oct 2002
Messages
12,680
Location
UK. South West.
I have a JRC radar with 12" radome on my Anderson 22, whose only charging is by 30 watt solar panel + charging coil on an outboard ( rarely used ) into a 100A/H gel leisure battery.

Being a modern digital set I can run it in bursts, ie to have looks what's around in bad vis in the shipping lanes.

No chance of trundling along with it running all the time like a fishing boat, but still useful and being active it doesn't depend on someone else's AIS or electrics etc working, also can be used for nav like landfalls if required.

A reliable battery monitor is essential.


V interesting, that is a pretty skinny battery set up you have there.

Does the JRC fire up right away or does it have to warm up? Do you have it on stand by? What does it draw? Not thinking about it - just interested.
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
24,169
Location
SW Scotland
AIS is going to help you get into an estuary in fog or at night and help to avoid vessels and objects not transmitting? I don't think so.

Who needs a radar to get into an estuary in fog or at night if they have a working plotter, or even a basic GPS intelligently used?
 

GrahamM376

New member
Joined
30 Oct 2010
Messages
5,526
Location
Swing mooring Faro
Who needs a radar to get into an estuary in fog or at night if they have a working plotter, or even a basic GPS intelligently used?

If you read the post I answered, he stated as his second option simple AIS receiver should do most of the things you might want.

If cash were a problem, I would go for radar + cheap gps over a plotter every time - in fact that's what we did years ago with a Furuno 1623 on our first boat, have the 1712 on this one.
 

bbg

Active member
Joined
2 May 2005
Messages
6,780
Who needs a radar to get into an estuary in fog or at night if they have a working plotter, or even a basic GPS intelligently used?

+1
As the OP mentioned Jester Challenge, I have the following thoughts. If this is for a small boat going Transatlantic single handed, power consumption will be an issue.

I would prioritise the following ahead of radar:
- AIS receiver/transmitter either standalone like the Vesper Wathcmate 850 or something that shows on the plotter. I don't know whether the Vesper unit will feed information to a plotter but if it does that might be a nice setup, so you have two screens available, possibly in different locations, if you want them
- radar target enhancer such as SeaMe. I believe these come with the possibility to rig them up to an alarm. The alarm will not be very useful in coastal sailing as you will be getting painted with radar all the time, but it could prove handy offshore.

I think these are sufficient for a transatlantic in a small boat. The times one would expect to need radar are very limited offshore.
 

Seajet

...
Joined
23 Sep 2010
Messages
29,178
Location
West Sussex / Hants
V interesting, that is a pretty skinny battery set up you have there.

Does the JRC fire up right away or does it have to warm up? Do you have it on stand by? What does it draw? Not thinking about it - just interested.

Doug,

remember I don't need an engine starter battery - must admit I'm slightly surprised myself but it's all self sufficient on cruises, inc cabin & nav lights ( only partly LED as yet ), plotter, VHF, autohelm & 2 depthsounders, though only 1 at a time usually.

The radar takes 90 secs to warm up but thereafter can be left in standby - TBH I forget the drain but it's commendably low - so say cross Channel or in bad vis it's left in standby.

The one silly thing I did re electrical drain was to try a pukka marine CD/radio etc, that proved too much so I sold it on.
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
24,169
Location
SW Scotland
If you read the post I answered, he stated as his second option simple AIS receiver should do most of the things you might want..

Oh, I have no problem with the notion that radar does stuff which AIS doesn't, though in my first year of using AIS I was surprised at how many aids to navigation on the west of Scotland have a real or virtual AIS presence. It's just that "entering an estuary in fog" seems like a job for GPS, with or without plotter, rather than radar.
 

jac

Well-known member
Joined
10 Sep 2001
Messages
9,181
Location
Home Berkshire, Boat Hamble
Oh, I have no problem with the notion that radar does stuff which AIS doesn't, though in my first year of using AIS I was surprised at how many aids to navigation on the west of Scotland have a real or virtual AIS presence. It's just that "entering an estuary in fog" seems like a job for GPS, with or without plotter, rather than radar.

Agree that GPS is vital for that and AIS may help but the only gap that leaves is smallish ships. trawlers etc. that may also be avoiding the big ship channels but that don't have AIS transponders. Even a collision with a 40 ton boat would spoil your day.
 

lw395

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2007
Messages
41,952
Oh, I have no problem with the notion that radar does stuff which AIS doesn't, though in my first year of using AIS I was surprised at how many aids to navigation on the west of Scotland have a real or virtual AIS presence. It's just that "entering an estuary in fog" seems like a job for GPS, with or without plotter, rather than radar.

They used to use radar before GPS, specifically for entering channels etc in fog.
It's much easier in a channel you know, takes skill to use in a strange place.

I looked seriously at getting radar after a bad few days waiting for a vis window to get home from France.
Sat in a yacht club on arrival, I found a YM article showing that 4 out of the 5 yachts run down in fog in the channel in the past 'n' years had had radar.
I decided my £2k was better spent sitting in French cafes waiting for the fog to go....
 

Seajet

...
Joined
23 Sep 2010
Messages
29,178
Location
West Sussex / Hants
lw395,

I would not argue with that !

Though maybe what really got those boats was ' Got to be back at the office Monday syndrome ', which I reckon has caused more grief than anything else in the history of recreational sailing...
 

GrahamM376

New member
Joined
30 Oct 2010
Messages
5,526
Location
Swing mooring Faro
Oh, I have no problem with the notion that radar does stuff which AIS doesn't, though in my first year of using AIS I was surprised at how many aids to navigation on the west of Scotland have a real or virtual AIS presence. It's just that "entering an estuary in fog" seems like a job for GPS, with or without plotter, rather than radar.

As Jac says, radar will show things that AIS, GPS or chart plotter won't. I'm not anti AIS but get the feeling that some posters on the various threads are fooling themselves by thinking it's the best safety equipment around, which is far from the truth when considering how many of the (possibly many) vessels in close proximity are actually transmitting and how many others + solid objects aren't.

As Seajet says, small boat radar isn't the heavy current draw many think, for instance the Furuno 1623 draws only 8 watts on standby or watchman and 36 watts when actually transmitting. Radar has given us the opportunity to go out on days where we wouldn't otherwise and takes a lot of stress out of sailing at night in heavy traffic areas - well worth the money.
 

GrahamM376

New member
Joined
30 Oct 2010
Messages
5,526
Location
Swing mooring Faro
..............Sat in a yacht club on arrival, I found a YM article showing that 4 out of the 5 yachts run down in fog in the channel in the past 'n' years had had radar..............

Unfortunately, just having it isn't enough. It needs to be switched on and located up top where it can be seen from the helm and practice is needed to understand how to adjust it and, what one's seeing. When we first got ours, many hours were spent practicing in daylight.
 

pmagowan

Well-known member
Joined
7 Sep 2009
Messages
11,701
Location
Northern Ireland
I have a garmin radar system along with a MFD on my boat, 28' wooden sloop. It sucks about 6 amps at 12v when being used and I generally only use it when the engine is on (which it tends to be in foggy conditions). It works fine and has been very useful on more than one occasion. I also have AIS which is useful for keeping track of some big ships that could pose a danger. I have a 120AH house battery which I never like to discharge over 50% (or even near) so it does somewhat limit the length of time radar can be on while sailing, especially if I am using some other electronic gadgetry. When you can't see more than 50 feet ahead a radar seems to pay for itself quite quickly. It is also a source of information generated by your own boat rather than relying on external information such as GPS. This means that it can be very useful for confirming that everything is working right and your position is accurate, something you tend to question in the disorientation of fog.
 
Top