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Old 11-07-2017, 07:09 PM   #41
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Thanks again for everyone's posts. I read them all. Luckily, this morning I. Southport was clear so we departed at 8AM and safely arrived at Bucksport Marina at 4PM. It was a beautiful and uneventful journey. We plan to continue to Charleston this weekend. Now my attention turns to the low ceilings forecasted tomorrow which may prevent me from flying home from Myrtle Beach International to Burlington, NC. Thanks again. This forum has been invaluable to me over the last few months.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:59 PM   #42
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Regardless of your comfort level, there will most certainly be someone else out there that is navigating beyond their comfort level who is "sure" they can handle it . . . And that is where the trouble begins, have another cup of coffee, relax, go down below and do some housekeeping in the engine room and wait for the fog to lift.
Great advice!!!
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:47 AM   #43
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I'm surprised how many pleasure boaters, especially anglers in small boats, wander around in fog without the use of radar, radios or foghorns.

I run all the time with the radar on to keep my familiarity and proficiency up to par. If the radar or autopilot are not working, I won't enter the fog.

When I enter fog, if it's not already engaged, I'll use the autopilot to allow for better course control while I scan the gauges. I use my Fogmate foghorn control on my air horns to announce my presence. I continually scan multiple GPS displays and cross check them with the radar. The radios are tuned to 16 and 13 or the local VTS Ch 14.

When done right, I find it takes great concentration in congested or constrained waters. It's much like flying an instrument approach in instrument meteorological conditions. I normally don't socialize much during these stretches when guests are aboard.
Exactly.

Maybe because I am so new to boating, I always assumed that every system, AIS, Nav lights, Radar, Autopilot, etc, is turned on when the engine is turned on.

I've never operated Dauntless without the Radar on. I always thought every boater was the same. How else can you understand what your Radar can see or not see, if you are not looking at in good visibility?

In 2016 when I had my nephews on the boat, during the first weeks, I had them ID each radar contact on the Navigation Chart (Radar only does radar, no charts)

Once I left the US, I no longer had any charts on the Raymarine Radar. I quickly realized that I preferred the separation, as it made me meld the different returns in my head and identify each return on the chart.

Also, you need to manually adjust your radar for different sea conditions to optimize its capability. Another reason why you must run in in good visibility, how else will you know how to adjust it when you can't see anything??

FLIRs were not made for fog. I think they will not work very well and even more problematic is that they may not be showing you what you think it is. But I have not tried them myself.
Only radar can "see" thru a medium, such as fog.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:59 PM   #44
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Another good reason to always operate the radar when underway is to promote the longevity of your radar system. Keeping the radar operating on a continuous basis keeps the electronics warm and drives out moisture. Keeping the antenna active keeps corrosion down on the operating mechanism and will help keep spoking off the display. Keeping the display active will help maintain some screens refresh rate. Few trawlers operate frequently enough to actually wear out the radar. Corrosion will be your worst enemy. YMMV
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:48 PM   #45
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Most 'older' radars will have a magnetron life limited to about 3,000 hrs. Dependent upon how they are used and which exact model you get radar units that are newer can achieve about 2-4 times that life cycle.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:19 PM   #46
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You are quite correct regarding the magnetron life of older systems. Most are becoming obsolete and are beyond their design life. Keeping them active will help retain their refresh rate and screen contrast. Sadly, 3,000 hours of actual cruising is far more than 90% of cruiser will do in their entire life. YMMV
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:28 PM   #47
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While using the radar under all conditions is good training, many of those thousands of hours would be wasted as training too.

Open water with few contacts or narrow, windy ICW where paying attention is probably more important than radar fiddling has limited training use.

Train when its valuable, but every hour underway isnt all that valuable.

If you need that much training, maybe instruction is in order more than endless hours with little real value experience.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:49 PM   #48
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Cruising New England and the Maritimes, you can't really say "don't go in fog" or you never would. We left Halifax last year in almost zero visibility, and that's a busy harbor. We did check in with traffic control and have AIS, so that helped.

We have a routine. When the visibility gets below 1/2 to 1/4 mile or so, we flip on the lights, foghorn and radar, and all eyes are on lookout. Then keep going.
I agree with you. Lost count of the number of times we ventured out in fog especially when heading home. With radar and GPS I find it no big deal BUT NEVER AT 8 KNOTS.

Proper caution, radar observance, sounding device (horn) and reduced speed have always safely got us to our destination.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:18 PM   #49
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8 knots is hardly the determining factor.....location and obstructions would be my orimary concern.

8 knots might be my top speed in fog, but then again...location and expected hazards are the limiters.

I spent a big part of my career in the USCG flying around blind in fog, low clouds at 80 knots....knowing where you were and what you might encounter was the trick. That was pre radar and gps, even loran for what I flew.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:04 PM   #50
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8 knots is hardly the determining factor.....location and obstructions would be my orimary concern.

8 knots might be my top speed in fog, but then again...location and expected hazards are the limiters.

I spent a big part of my career in the USCG flying around blind in fog, low clouds at 80 knots....knowing where you were and what you might encounter was the trick. That was pre radar and gps, even loran for what I flew.

To each his own and what he is comfortable with. In heavy fog, I sometimes crawl. If there is 50-100 yards visibility then faster but never on plane
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:11 PM   #51
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My speed in the fog varies depending on the proximity and quantity of traffic. I donít run with the radar on unless there is reason to believe it will be needed. That said if I think I see fog or heavy rain ahead, it goes on. I do turn all instruments on before leaving the dock and that includes testing the radar. If Iím running at night the radar is on. The first day of any vacation trip is run with the radar on as a get reacquainted to all systems.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:59 PM   #52
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To each his own and what he is comfortable with. In heavy fog, I sometimes crawl. If there is 50-100 yards visibility then faster but never on plane
My point being... the diffetence between 5 to 8 knots is not enough for me to change much habit wise.

5 to 8 is one thing...10 to 12 or more starts to change the equation in very reduced visibility.

Sure there are circumstances to crawl, but only visibility is only part of the situation.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:13 PM   #53
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I was told many years ago, if you have RADAR, it should be ON regardless of the visibility.
That is your best legal defense in case of an accident.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:34 PM   #54
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I was told many years ago, if you have RADAR, it should be ON regardless of the visibility.
That is your best legal defense in case of an accident.
Only if you cant articulate clearly why the prevailing conditions just didnt warrant it and it in many cases it is a distraction rather than assistance to the one watchstander recreational mariner.

Then again, you better have your ducks and credentials in a row, no matter what you say.

Then again, if you had a collision in clear blue and 22, not sure how much the radar on or off matters. If you have that collision and still had the radar on, and it had ARPA or similar, you are cooked more than saying it was so nice I didnt think it necessary.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:16 AM   #55
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My point being... the diffetence between 5 to 8 knots is not enough for me to change much habit wise.

5 to 8 is one thing...10 to 12 or more starts to change the equation in very reduced visibility.

Sure there are circumstances to crawl, but only visibility is only part of the situation.

^^^^^^
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