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Old 10-05-2018, 09:24 PM   #1
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Recommendations for best bang for your buck Radar...

This is for our 47 Marine Trader. She’s got no electronics. A depth finder up top only and a pretty old VHF.

I did some reading and read that radar can pick up things like crab pots? That’s amazing. Our Mainship had an old 1996 radar that could kinda pick up channel markers, but nothing smaller.

I plan to use an iPad for navigation.

I’d love to hear thoughts on radars. Also I’ll be installing it myself, so there’s that.

Also, do they have repeaters or something for the lower helm?

Thanks guys.

Edit: sorry this should have been in the electronics section.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:31 PM   #2
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I guess the real question is do you want a dedicated radar or a multi-function solution (MFD). Simrad has some great package deals that include radar, sonar, and GPS solutions. I run a go-fast fishing boat and have an MFD that is primarily for radar but is backup GPS and sonar also.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:37 PM   #3
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I have a Raymarine system. 2 12Ē MFDs, AIS, radar, VHF, GPS and depthsounder all integrated. I have had excellent support from Raymarine. I would love to have the new Axiom system with the Quantum radar but I canít justify starting over unless I get a new boat.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:41 PM   #4
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I didn’t even think about an intergrated system. I know it’s easy to go overboard with electronics, so I have to find a happy medium.

We plan on sailing the crap out of this thing, so nice electronics would be nice.

Are these systems able to be installed by a average people or do they have to be professionally installed?
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:50 PM   #5
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I always install mine so I know it is done correctly and I also know how it goes together if I have problems. I also run new power up the the bridge with 3% loss and a new ground. New breaker distribution panel just for the electronics. The new stuff is pretty much plug and play. I bought my system through Anchor Express(maybe). They had really good prices and shipped the whole order for $12 bucks. A different company wanted $140 just for shipping. Raymarine was very helpful when I had a question. It is nice since I can display any data on either MFD except for the engine room camera will only display on the MFD that it is cabled to. I usually have a chart and radar on split screen on one display and the engine room camera and depth sounder split screen on the slave MFD. Adding the second MFD was power and one cable. When I powered it on the first time it asked if I wanted it to be master or slave, answered the question and I was done.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:56 PM   #6
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If you are using an iPad for your display, a Wi-Fi Radar might be best.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve91T View Post
I didnít even think about an intergrated system. I know itís easy to go overboard with electronics, so I have to find a happy medium.

We plan on sailing the crap out of this thing, so nice electronics would be nice.

Are these systems able to be installed by a average people or do they have to be professionally installed?
Steve,

An integrated panel probably gives you more flexibility and capability especially with two helms.

Yes, the average person with mechanical and electrical knowledges could install one. But they must understand some basics, like how to wire something, properly install connectors, fuse it, switch it, etc.

My mantra or self installed stuff is:
If I've done it before, I'll do it again. Like something simple like a VHF or receiver requiring mounting, A+ connection, ground, antenna mount and cable. Pretty simple. Perhaps an MFD with A+ ethernet connection, NMEA 2000 hub, sounder, etc.

Now an autopilot "may" get challenging. Personally, I'd want help with that one.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:23 PM   #8
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I would think twice about the multi function option. Our boat has a Furuno system the ties together chartplotter, sounder and radar. My plotter stopped working two years ago. I sent it to the Furuno repair center; they fixed it and sent it back. A year later the plotter went out again. This time it was a different issue. the antenna failed. My upper display can only show two items at a time, not all three so I always needed to pick which ones I wanted to display. With the failed plotter I decided to get a stand alone plotter and mount it next to my other display that way I could look at radar, plotter and sonar all at the same time....or so I thought! With the failed antenna still hooked up I got a continuous error message. I disconnected the antenna and thought the problem was solved. No! every 5 minutes an error message came across the screen. I called Furuno. the only fix was to get a new antenna. Now I have two plotters. Stand alone is my way forward from now on.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:51 PM   #9
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I have G3 broadband, it is only useful very close in, like when you are anchoring in an unfamiliar cove and your GPS and chart plotter don't align with where the land actually is. Also good in fog and shipping channels to keep from being run over by large vessels.

I was a radar operator in the Navy, and you really do get what you pay for with radar. If you are going to use it a lot you need a dedicated display and not to be sharing the display with other functions. It depends a lot on how much dashboard and overhead mounting space you have to mount electronics.

I have very little dashboard and no overhead space, so I share chart plotter and sonar in a split screen and turn on the radar only when I need it. Good points being made here on the topic!
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
I have a Raymarine system. 2 12” MFDs, AIS, radar, VHF, GPS and depthsounder all integrated. I have had excellent support from Raymarine. I would love to have the new Axiom system with the Quantum radar but I can’t justify starting over unless I get a new boat.
We had a full Raymarine set on our last IRENE. It had wonderful features and was very easy to use. With boat show rebates and diligent shopping (e.g. no tax, free shipping) the price was unbeatable too. I called support BEFORE buying it to chat about setup, and they were good, but never needed support again.

If you are going for a stand-alone radar, a Furuno unit will be supported for many years to come.

Good Luck
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:11 AM   #11
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I don't want to hijack the thread....but I'm curious with only a limited number of displays, why choose to display sonar ? Your chartplotter shows the depth, submerged rocks and so on. I can understand if you are looking for fish, or if you are poking around in super shallow water, but I wouldn't think that would be a common occurance. If anyone can explain it to me, I'd be grateful. Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnma View Post
I would think twice about the multi function option. Our boat has a Furuno system the ties together chartplotter, sounder and radar. My plotter stopped working two years ago. I sent it to the Furuno repair center; they fixed it and sent it back. A year later the plotter went out again. This time it was a different issue. the antenna failed. My upper display can only show two items at a time, not all three so I always needed to pick which ones I wanted to display. With the failed plotter I decided to get a stand alone plotter and mount it next to my other display that way I could look at radar, plotter and sonar all at the same time....or so I thought! With the failed antenna still hooked up I got a continuous error message. I disconnected the antenna and thought the problem was solved. No! every 5 minutes an error message came across the screen. I called Furuno. the only fix was to get a new antenna. Now I have two plotters. Stand alone is my way forward from now on.
John
10 or 15 years ago Iíd agree that stand-alone was the way to go. Not anymore.

Electronics have become so robust that a single large integrated system is more than adequate. More and more, boats come equipped or ready to accept a single 12Ē screen that can display a variety of things.

Been doing so for the past 6 years on this boat with zero trouble.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:20 AM   #13
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Steve -

You might be interested in the Furuno 1st Watch Wireless Radar (DRS4W). It's designed for the iPad. We've been transitioning to all iOS devices for navigation, and the DRS4W fits perfectly into that realm. VERY easy to install and use. And it will display on two iOS devices simultaneously. It's nice I can take my iPhone up on the flybridge and keep an eye on the radar. Plus, it will overlay seamlessly on the TZ iBoat Navigation App (which has replaced Navionics on our boat), even in 3D and using satellite imagery. We think it's pretty cool!

Here's the video we made of installing and testing it: https://youtu.be/prCtdALeWV8

We've also recently been approved as Furuno retailers so we'll be offering the DRS4W in our online store next week at $150 off ($1,050) as an introductory price.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:37 AM   #14
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Stand alone everything for me thanks.
Especially if cruising remote areas.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:05 AM   #15
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I have 3 MFDs on my boat. The largest is 15". One of the nice features about this is that you can pick what is the most important and put it on that display. When traveling in the fog or at night, radar goes on the big screen in dual range so that I can see in detail what's close and what's up ahead. Normally radar runs on a smaller screen to keep track of whats coming at me from behind.

If money is tight, buy a used MFD. I had 2 and wanted a third. The ones I have were very popular and show up regularly on ebay for less than $1K. As far as longevity, I'm still running 2 Furuno Navnets on my charter boat that are 20 years old.

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Old 10-06-2018, 06:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benthic2 View Post
I don't want to hijack the thread....but I'm curious with only a limited number of displays, why choose to display sonar ? Your chartplotter shows the depth, submerged rocks and so on. I can understand if you are looking for fish, or if you are poking around in super shallow water, but I wouldn't think that would be a common occurance. If anyone can explain it to me, I'd be grateful. Thanks.
Charts can be very inaccurate when in inland waters (ICW)....and you are operating within feet of shallows sometimes.....

So seeing the bottom come up rapidly can save you from going aground.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:30 AM   #17
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Can most integrated systems use Noaa charts? Also, how does Coastal Explorer play with an integrated system? I'm happy with my stand alones, but am helping a friend with the decision on a 34' foot trawler.

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Old 10-06-2018, 09:35 AM   #18
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Furuno makes a wifi-enabled 18" radar dome and a companion iPad app that connects directly to the radar. Does a decent job without breaking the bank. We ran it for a while on our previous boat and were very pleased.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:04 AM   #19
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I have a Lowrance HDS-7 multifunction display and one of their broadband radars. If you want to see targets like crab pot floats you will need a broadband radar (Lowrance, Simrad, B&G) (also called Quantum - Raymarine, Doppler - Furuno, and Fantom - Garmin). That type of radar uses a fundamentally different technology and is all solid state - no magnetron tube and uses much lower transmit power.


I prefer a multifunction display that allows you to overlay radar returns on the chart display. To do that with my system I had to add a heading sensor.


Note that Lowrance, Furuno and B&G are all the same company with different target markets. Lowrance is the cheapest, but essentially the same as Simrad and B&G. You can buy a Lowrance HDS-7 Carbon MFD with integral charts, a BR3 broadband radar antenna and a Point-1 heading sensor for about $2,250. You can also find a similar Simrad system for about the same price. That will give you a chart plotter, radar and, if you buy a sonar transducer, sonar all in one unit.


It is easy to install these systems yourself if you understand the basics of DC wiring and can read the instructions. The radar simply plugs into the MFD. The radar does require separate power wiring, but that is no big deal. The hardest part is pulling the radar cable from where you mount the radar to the display unit.


Alternatively you can buy a Furuno antenna that does not have its own display and uses your Ipad (or I-phone) as the display. That antenna requires that you pull power wiring to the antenna, but the connection to your I-device is wireless. This is probably the cheapest option you can implement (~1,000) for the Furuno First Watch Wireless Radar. This is stand alone radar (no chart possibility) that uses magnetron tech so you won't get the sensitivity for targets like crab pot floats.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:22 AM   #20
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There has been a Si-tex radar on my boat for 24 years and it works just fine. If I were to replace it I’d go with Si-Tex again. Probably an open array this time, if I think the price is right. Then again, in 5 years there have only been two times it has been “essential.”
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