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Choosing the right radar unit

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Austin Moran, May 17, 2015.

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  1. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    I am new to the forum and am looking for some advice on choosing the best radar unit. I am coming from a sailing background of many years and have never owned a boat with radar. I am now in the process of negotiating a deal on a Hatteras 54' motor yacht. She already has a fairly old Furuno radar, and I'm thinking that it will probably need to be upgraded. I've looked at online stores, and frankly, am not sure what I even need. Can someone point me in the right direction? Open Array? Dome? etc

    Thanks in advance,
    Austin
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Wait.

    You just mentioned radar but not the plotter and all the other equipment. Being "fairly old" doesn't tell us a whole lot. But if what it has is in working condition then I'd suggest working with it a little and then figuring out what you feel is appropriate long term. That's why I say "wait." Now if it's not functioning that's a different story.

    Your survey should include information on all the electronics, their condition, and their usefulness today. It should include recommendations on what needs to be replaced or upgraded.

    I would also suggest some training, ideally on your new boat by an experienced captain, who can educate you on your equipment. While doing so he can point out what he considers deficiencies in your electronics.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Being based in New England a radar is indeed critical because of frequent thick fog.

    Furuno is pretty much the standard in radar but pretty old is pretty vague... If it s an old CRT model then indeed upgrading maybe a good idea... If it s more recent color LCD, it may be all you need. I am using a 12 year old furuno which is perfect.

    One feature which I find absolutely critical in any radar is Trail. This shows you the trails left by echos over the last few minutes giving you an instant big picture of where other boats are coming from, a rough idea of their speed and show any change of course right away. I ve run many times in the southern New England pea soup with that 12 year old furuno Navnet and the trails really made it easier.
  4. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    Thank you, Pascal and OlderBoater, I very much appreciate your reply. I am certainly going to hire a captain who is familiar with Hatteras to spend a few days with me, going through all of the shipboard systems with me.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The old CRT radars actually give a better picture as to the shape to the vessel and such on the screen, LCD's pixels don't allow as much definition as CRT. If the radar you have is functioning properly, it may be wise to keep it. New radar's do have advancement in other area's over the old units such as showing ARPA data and stuff. Without knowing the model of what you have, it's hard to advise you. I prefer the Furuno equipment and my second choice on a boat your size would be Garmin. If you're not tech savvy Garmins menu's are a bit easier to learn/navigate through than the Furuno's. But if you're replacing the radar and the other electronics are old, I'd recommend a multi-function unit with chartplotter and fishfinder functions and 2 screens per helm area if possible, or at least on the FB.
  6. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    Thanks Captain J! I think I am going to spend some time aboard learning the current systems. The Furuno Radar (CRT, not sure what the model is) is serviceable, so I will spend the summer with it and then later decide if it might be best to replace it.

    Best,
    Austin
  7. TeKeela

    TeKeela Member

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    It sounds like you have an 18xx or 19xx series Furuno radar. It is an open or closed array? Closed would be an 18xx series, open would be a 19xx series. Most all Furuno equipment is bench serviceable. I find Furuno radars to be excellent.

    Regarding an open vs closed array. An open array will be better, the bigger the antenna, the narrower the beam width, the better the target discrimination. Not to say that a closed array won't do the job. Rule of thumb, biggest antenna you can afford. But at least the 18" dome preferably a 4ft array, ideally a 6ft. Dreamy an FAR21xx.
  8. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    Great advice! She has an open array. Not sure the model...but based on the feedback, I think I am going to hold off replacing it until I get a better understanding of it's strength and weaknesses.

    Thanks,
    Austin
  9. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    I still don't have the model number, but here is what I do know:
    Furuno 72 Mile Color Radar- 6' Antenna

    Furuno GPS

    Furuno Weather Fax
  10. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    I am new to the world on power boating, so I can't answer that. I've owned other sailing vessels, but have never had radar on any of my boats (even my 42' ketch).

    Thanks,
    Ausitn
  11. TeKeela

    TeKeela Member

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  12. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    Thanks, TeKeela, that's the radar (white face on the antenna).
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    If it ain't broken, don't fix it :)

    It s always a good idea to spend some time using the boat and stuff before jumping into spending thousands of dollars On upgrades you may or may not need.

    Personally I m not a big fan of overly integrating electronics especially on boats like yours where you have plenty of helm space. I like the redundancy of keeping things separate, especially depth finder. No benefit in having it integrated on your plotter.

    Using th boat for a while may also make you realize that you may end up spending a lot more time driving from the lower helm or from the upper helm... Meaning you may not need dual displays at both helms.

    I ve seen too me any owners jump in and spend $10k+ on fancy electronic package they never use...
  14. Austin Moran

    Austin Moran New Member

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    Thanks Pascal! That's sound advice, for sure. I am going to follow your advice and wait to see how things go!
  15. maldwin

    maldwin Senior Member

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    I just made that mistake: Replaced the 2008 NavNet on my NORDHAVN 43 with a 12 inch TZ Touch 2 on the flybridge, a 15 inch in the pilot house, as well as a solid state radar. Found out after the fact that Furuno no longer supports Navionics in the US. You are stuck with C Map if you want to use Furuno in the US. Pulling everything off during the Fall yard period. Expensive mistake.!!
  16. maldwin

    maldwin Senior Member

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    Another reason I hate this product is the fact Furuno has taken the auto course up heading option away. You now have to use North up or the screen moves around. Lastly the iPad app isn't ready. I feel very misled
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What's wrong with C map products?
  18. maldwin

    maldwin Senior Member

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    Maybe only that I prefer Navionics. I don't like the fact Furuno advertises that Navionics is compatible, when they are not in the US
  19. maldwin

    maldwin Senior Member

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    Anyone have any creative thoughts for the disposal of this Furuno equipment. I am considering a Viking funeral during FLIBS, or Newport Boat Show?
  20. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I've been building up a mini reef at Great Sail Kay.