Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-28-2019, 05:47 PM   #1
Member
 
City: East Lyme
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Wanderlust
Vessel Model: 1988 46' Grand Banks Classic
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 21
Radar Training

I have been boating for over twenty years in the northeast US. To maximize the short summer boating season I am faced many times with cruising in the fog. Traveling in the fog is not without stress. I am not concerned about the stress but I do admit that I could be more proficient with my use of radar. Can anyone recommend expert good hands on radar training? Since my use of radar is based on reading and usage I really think I would benefit from expert training. Standing by for your advise.
__________________
Advertisement

jrhodes777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2019, 06:26 PM   #2
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5,771
I am not aware of any hands on training. What I recommend is to use your radar when it is daylight and good visibility so you can see what is on the screen and what is around you. Then you can compare the two and see what something looks like on the radar and what it looks like in real life. The more you use it the better you will be when you need it. Maybe see if anyone in your marina is knowledgeable about using radar and ask them to ride along with you. Practice with the advanced settings so you will learn about manual tuning although usually the automatic tuning is good enough.
__________________

__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2019, 07:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
firehoser75's Avatar
 
City: Nanaimo
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Pilitak
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 324
Years ago, I purchased a radar training simulator from a company in Seattle. As an example, I have attached a link to a British online simulator course, guided by an instructor. I was happy with what I gained from my DVD (however, different time, different company, and I have not seen this material). Comodave's suggestion is very good as well, but you might just make the same mistakes over and over. There is a local Radar book by Kevin Monahan a very well respected retired Coast Guard officer. It is very good and could be used in conjunction with Dave's advice.

Good luck,
https://www.oceantraining.com/acatal...g-courses.html
__________________
Tom
Nanaimo, BC
firehoser75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2019, 07:08 PM   #4
Guru
 
Lepke's Avatar
 
City: Between Oregon and Alaska
Country: US
Vessel Name: Charlie Harper
Vessel Model: Wheeler Shipyard 83'
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,606
There are courses for professional mariners, there are many, here's one:
https://www.starpath.com/catalog/courses/1801bc.htm
ditto what Comodave said. Use the radar all the time and teach yourself on radar returns you get from boats, ships, land in clear weather. It's an visual interpretation skill that improves with practice.
In the fog, don't go any faster than half the distance it takes to stop.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2019, 07:20 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Doug's Avatar
 
City: Victoria, BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Timeless
Vessel Model: CHB 34
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 202
You might try your local US power Squadron. Iím sure they would have a course. I used to co-instruct a Canadian Power & Sail Squadron radar course. While somewhat dated it covered the theory and included a simulator which would run on a PC.
Doug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2019, 07:22 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
firehoser75's Avatar
 
City: Nanaimo
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Pilitak
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 324
Jrhodes,
While I don't disagree with either Dave or Lepke, I still feel that to get the maximum benefit (and confidence of how to use it) from your radar, some "instruction" is needed. If you buy one of the courses shown in the links above, or read Kevin's book (or someone else's book), you will learn the correct way to set up your radar for the conditions you are encountering, what controls to adjust, how much to adjust and why. With this knowledge, you can then practise with your radar learning to read the signals, learning how and what to adjust, etc., so that when really needed, you will feel confident that you understand what the screen is showing you!
Great advice about the speed in fog. A lot of boaters go WAY, WAY, too fast for the conditions. Very dangerous in my opinion.
__________________
Tom
Nanaimo, BC
firehoser75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2019, 09:48 PM   #7
Guru
 
Sailor of Fortune's Avatar
 
City: Florida
Country: usa
Vessel Model: "Ho"made
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,837
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrhodes777 View Post
I have been boating for over twenty years in the northeast US. To maximize the short summer boating season I am faced many times with cruising in the fog. Traveling in the fog is not without stress. I am not concerned about the stress but I do admit that I could be more proficient with my use of radar. Can anyone recommend expert good hands on radar training? Since my use of radar is based on reading and usage I really think I would benefit from expert training. Standing by for your advise.
Northeast Maritime (fairhaven or New Bedford) Hold regular instructional classes for professional mariners. all you have to do is sign up, and pay the learning fee. well worth it
__________________
Jack (Steve?)
Sailor of Fortune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 957
Kevin Monahan's book referred to above, 'The Radar Book', is available from Fine Edge publications in the Seattle area, as are the Waggoner cruising guides and the excellent Douglass 'Exploring' guides that extend up to SE AK.

A very basic self-training method that I use is to have the radar running and observe what targets it is giving vs what I see in real time, then adjusting the monitor to optimize the plot. I'm particularly concerned that I pick up all boats moving around me and that I can adjust for rain clutter if necessary.
__________________
Ken on Hatt Trick
Ken E. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 12:06 AM   #9
Guru
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
City: Whitby, Ontario
Country: Ontario
Vessel Name: DIRT FREE
Vessel Model: Benford Fantail 38
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,503
State University New York Maritime College Has courses starting at 4 days and up to an entire semester.

My course was 11 weeks at Georgian Centre for Marine Training but included a full bridge simulator time along with ARPA, MARPA
__________________
If you can live with the consequences, go for it - wg
Y'am what y'am an' thats' all that y'am - Popeye
I had an allergic reality - Jillie the Bean
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 06:10 AM   #10
Guru
 
Cigatoo's Avatar
 
City: Narragansett Bay
Country: New England
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 36
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 829
[QUOTE=Sailor of Fortune;815412]Northeast Maritime (fairhaven or New Bedford) Hold regular instructional classes for professional mariners. all you have to do is sign up, and pay the learning fee. well worth it[/QUOTE

I have been eyeing that radar course in New Bedford. Is a week long but will allow me to add a certificate to my ticket. Been a long time since I sat in a classroom for a week. Lol

https://maritimetraining.northeastma...imited-course/
Cigatoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 06:35 AM   #11
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4,103
For a start....Get a grease pencil.... you can note and track the various targets on the screen. Maybe designate a target on the screen and make notes of their progress on some paper.
Determine a "guard zone" and realize that will change depending on the density of boats in your immediate and projected path.
There is a difference between being in a herd of trawlers and in the middle of a boat race.
You can find and take courses but, practical experience and the application of your skills are important.
So many things in life are like a sharp knife. Gotta remember to keep the knife sharp.
__________________
Did Noah have a get home-engine?
OldDan1943 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 07:06 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 162
I would second using Monahans Radar Book for base learning. Would add that you'll also need to use your instruction manual for your particular gear.

Reason for suggesting a self learning approach is there are many tidbits to using radar that are only occasionally useful so if you try to learn them all at once before you have actually absorbed the base operational approach, you'll likely forget them (at least that's how I learn).

My knowledge is dated so modern radar has probably solved many of the issues with older CRT sets, but inexperienced operators invariably over-tuned sets to eliminate all clutter and thereby obscure all but the juiciest targets.

I also think it takes a while to get a feel for what zoom level to operate given conditions. This is coupled with shifting the screen. For example, my go-to setting for offshore transit on my 7-kt boat is 6-mile range, but I'll shift the center down 2-miles so I have about 8-miles in front, and 4-miles behind. Occasionally I'll zoom out to scan horizon or tinker to see how far off a target is (mostly out of boredom). Of course, in tighter quarters - a river perhaps - you'll want to zoom-in more.

Once these base skills are known, you can layer the cool features atop even though AIS has rendered many obsolete. MARPA/ARPA, bearing lines, ranges, etc. are still fun to tinker with as it gets you comfortable working through the commands in your particular set

In working through, you'll have to decide whether radar /chart overlay works for you. Personally, I'm not a fan - I'd rather run a split screen (one chart, the other radar) than a single overlay, but most people prefer overlay.

Bottom line, in my opinion, there are some basic skills that the Radar Book can assist with - tuning being number one, even if your auto tuning is satisfactory it's still good to know difference between gain and clutter/rain. It will give you the confidence to start learning and improving. From there, shift to the instruction book. For my personal style of learning, much of this is best suited to longer passages offshore where i can set aside navigation responsibilities for a few hours. Finally, be selective about the advice you receive and accept. Some areas of the country are more prone to conditions that require radar (pacific coast comes to mind). Others are not (Florida). Many boats have radar, but relatively few operators know how to use them suitably - and they don't often know what they don't know.
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 07:47 AM   #13
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
I am not aware of any hands on training. What I recommend is to use your radar when it is daylight and good visibility so you can see what is on the screen and what is around you. Then you can compare the two and see what something looks like on the radar and what it looks like in real life. The more you use it the better you will be when you need it. Maybe see if anyone in your marina is knowledgeable about using radar and ask them to ride along with you. Practice with the advanced settings so you will learn about manual tuning although usually the automatic tuning is good enough.
I agree with this. It's how we learned. It takes practice both underway and while at anchor.
Also not mentioned is you want to make sure YOU can bee seen. A radar reflector of some sort is a must have.
__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 08:41 AM   #14
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,995
Florida is a big state with several climatic zones.

It can get some pretty dense fogs up in the panhandle in late fall or early winter.

Certainly bad enough to affect Naval flight training in Pensacola and the Coast Guard over in Mobile, Al.

It doesn't matter where you are..... if you're going to have radar and think you're going to use it to successfully do anything, you really need to know how to use it whether you're self-taught or professionally taught.

Almost every place I've ever been there somebody at a dock that knows how to use a radar pretty darn well ......usually they're not selfish with that knowledge.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 10:02 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
City: Owings, Md
Country: US
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 398
I'm not familiar with your town/harbor but I suggest seeking out a local charter fishing captain with the same radar unit and hire him/her to spend some time with you on your boat adjusting your unit, going over the pertinent adjustments for common conditions in your area. For example, the charter captains in my area run boats similar in size and similar in navigational equipment to recreational trawlers and most are capable of tuning their units to pick up crab trap buoys (we call them crab pots).
Gdavid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 10:10 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdavid View Post
most are capable of tuning their units to pick up crab trap buoys (we call them crab pots).
I'm impressed - no way the radar I've been using can reliably pick-up a grapefruit-sized crab pot buoy. What type of radar do you have, and how far from a trap can you pickup the echo?
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 10:29 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
City: Owings, Md
Country: US
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I'm impressed - no way the radar I've been using can reliably pick-up a grapefruit-sized crab pot buoy. What type of radar do you have, and how far from a trap can you pickup the echo?
I am not as proficient myself, partially because I'm new to the unit and don't have it dialed in yet, it may not be capable, secondly, it has been years since I was in the charter business and ran frequently in the dark. The captain I know, who is was most proficient, was able to accomplish this with an open array, 4kw Analog Raytheon made in the mid-nineties. I'm certain the new digital units are far superior. These buoys are at least twice the size of a grapefruit but still pretty small. Range was only about 70 yards and certainly not 100% effective but it was accurate enough to pick up a line of buoys so you could stay outside of them. Weaving in and out of the buoys at cruise speed (generally between 13-20 knots) would be impractical without tossing the customers to the deck. At that speed the buoys would most likely be pushed aside by the bow wave or cut by the prop but at idle speed going through the harbor, a buoy would be much less likely to be displaced by the bow wave and entangled by the prop. While traps aren't set within the harbor, it is very common for trot lines to be strung across the harbor and set before first light.

I doubt the best expert could train a weekend warrior to his level of proficiency in an couple of hours but it would give you about the best chance of getting your unit set up right.
Gdavid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 10:44 AM   #18
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
Years ago, I purchased a radar training simulator from a company in Seattle. As an example, I have attached a link to a British online simulator course, guided by an instructor. I was happy with what I gained from my DVD (however, different time, different company, and I have not seen this material). Comodave's suggestion is very good as well, but you might just make the same mistakes over and over. There is a local Radar book by Kevin Monahan a very well respected retired Coast Guard officer. It is very good and could be used in conjunction with Dave's advice.

Good luck,
https://www.oceantraining.com/acatal...g-courses.html
Alas, "not suitable for Mac"
__________________
Did Noah have a get home-engine?
OldDan1943 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 10:52 AM   #19
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,941
Any modern radar should be able to pick up small floats..... in calm conditions. But calm conditions are the key. With any sort of chop you will lose them in the clutter
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 12:34 PM   #20
DDW
Guru
 
City: San Francisco
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
For a start....Get a grease pencil.... you can note and track the various targets on the screen.
On an old CRT radar, sure. I would not do that on a modern LCD display unless you are about to throw it out.

Fortunately foggy conditions are often calm. In a seaway or real weather, you will not pick up crab pot buoys or even small boats.
__________________

DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×