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Old 02-01-2008, 10:56 PM   #1
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New Radar

One of this years projects is to replace the old Raytheon 2600 circa 1980 with a new radar unit. Shopping at the boat show pretty much has me settled on the Furuno 1834C.

It is a plotter/radar combination with a 10 inch color screen. Has all the usual bells and whistles, 4kW 24" dome for good definition.*Has good short range capability, good*daylight screen, can have depth transducer added on, etc.*

So, my questions are:

Cmap or Navionics charts? I boat in the PNW up to and past the Broughtons. Navionics appears to use one chart for Olympia to the north*tip of Vancouver Island,*$180.00 for the chart. CMap seems to need 2 charts for*roughly the same area, $180.00 each. Is CMap that much better to justify the extra chart cost?*

If I remember the salesman right, in order to overlay the radar on the chart it takes an extra $800.00 box.*Is that extra cost worth it now, or since I've never had the overlay will I miss it? I've used*separate radar & chartplotter units for*15 years with no problems. I think the pictures*being side by side on the same screen would be just fine, ideas?*

Am I right to go*for the 4kW dome as opposed to the 2.2kW? I've used 2.2kW for the last 15 years and was able to "see" enough to avoid problems. I envision that this unit will be with me for the next 20 years*so the amortized cost isn't really a big deal. The dome is the*same size as is currently on the boat so I can't see that as a reason not to get the more powerful unit. I seldom use more than the 4 mile range so power isn't as much a benefit. I think I want the the wider beam for more definition up close. Yes?


Thanks for your thoughts,

Ken Buck
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:55 AM   #2
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New Radar

Go for the 4kw dome - better target discrimination. I have a 1731 (7" crt w/ 4kw 24" dome) - works quite well.

Don't know about Navionics vs C-Map, but I just bought Navionics Gold XL9 13XG chip for BC, for a new upper helm Lowrance LCX-28C HD FF/Plotter. Seems to have enough info for a secondary plotter, but I like my 5-year-old Garmin 2006C BlueChart plotter better. Maybe I haven't played with it enough yet.
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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New Radar

I wouldn't think you would need extra hardware to be able to overlay??? That would be fairly simple software I would think.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:54 PM   #4
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RE: New Radar

Ken---

We replaced our Raytheon 2600 with a Furuno NavNet vx2 early last year. We got the 7" screen instead of the 10" because the 10" unit was a bit too wide for our retractable radar mount above the helm. This mount puts the unit close enough to us so the 7" screen is fine, but if you have room for the 10" screen, I'd get that.

We went with C-Map. In our experience with our older plotter on board, C-Map is terrific. With the Furuno, we need only two SD cards to cover from the bottom end of Puget Sound to Yakutat, Alaska including the west coast of Vancouver Island.

I would definitely go with the 4kw antenna. Makes a big difference in target clarity and separation on the display. Very important in our maze of islands. The old Raytheon had a minimum range of 1.5 miles. The Furuno has a minimum range of 0.125 miles, a setting we have found very handy in negotiating narrow channels in the fog with ferries going through the same channel. We normally use ranges between 1 and 3 miles. I don't think we've ever had it above 6 miles. Most of the time 5 or 6 miles is the most you can see anyway, when you're in the islands. Unlike the old Raytheon, the Furuno sees crab pot buoys and even birds.

With the Furuno, you do need a remote compass unit in order to overlay the radar on the plotter because the radar by itself has no clue where north or any other direction is. So it needs the remote compass to align the radar signal to match what the plotter is doing. However, the Furuno remote compass for our NavNet is ony about $400, not $800. At least that's the price quoted by our electronics dealer in Bellingham. However we haven't inquired about if for several months so perhaps the price has gone way up.

In any event, I think we've decided not to get it. I'm used to working with overlaid radar and position/course data with aircraft displays, but a marine chart has a hell of a lot more stuff on it. My wife in particular was really keen to get the remote compass so we could overlay the radar and plotter but now that we've been using the unit for eight months or so, we've both kind of cooled off on the idea. We have two plotters, an older EchoTech and the new Furuno, and we have a chart "table" at the helm with the paper charts on it. So far we have had no problems figuring out that such-and-such a target is this buoy or that rock.

The 10" screen might give you an easier-to-decipher overlay picture than the 7" screen, however.

Because we have the other plotter, we usually run the Furuno with a split display. The upper half is the radar, the lower half is the "steering" display with the "compass" that shows you your direction relative to your course as well as how far to port or starboard you are of your course, plus speed, bearing, course, time-to-waypoint, etc. information. We put the older plotter on map mode.

This is what our setup looks like. You can see how the 10" NavNet was just a wee bit too wide for the overhead mount, and modifying the mount and the box the radar retracts into was way more work than we wanted to do.

The Furuno NavNet is a terrific unit in our opinion.



-- Edited by Marin at 15:54, 2008-02-02
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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New Radar

OK so far I think you guys are telling me what I want to hear. The Navionics/CMap question is getting murky though. I can't seem to make heads or tails out of the web sites descriptions of what is where. I think I might be headed to the dealer to take a look.

If you could Marin, the next time you're up at your boat, could you get me model #'s or description numbers for your CMap chips. The "gold", "Platinum", "standard", "extended", etc. descriptions aren't making much sense for me yet with what I'm reading online. My old Raytheon plotter and radar on the other boat needed four CMap cards to get from Olympia to Nanaimo.

The "heading sensor" that the Furuno rep starrred for me on the brochure is "rate compensated" and lists at $795, the cheaper one is $595. Online prices appear to be about 30% off list so I'll be Marin's dealer is quoting the non rate compensated model. Anyone know exactly what rate compensated is? Even though I'm pretty sure I won't be getting that initially you never know it might be a good addition somewhere down the line.

As always thanks to all for your help.

Ken Buck
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:13 PM   #6
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New Radar

Ken---

I will confirm when we're up at the boat next weekend, but I'm real sure the two SD C-Map cards we have are M-NA-M013-Puget Sound and Vancouver Island and M-NA-M014 Queen Charlotte Strait. to Yakutat. These are the so-called MegaWide cards. These cards were just under $300 each but the two of them cover everywhere we might want to take the boat for as long as we are able to use the boat.

I do not see MegaWides listed on C-Map's website anymore, so perhaps they have incorporated them into new cards that provide even more coverage.

C-Map does not make chart cards anymore. The elecrtonics dealers get the burn application from C-Map and burn the cards themselves while you wait. I assume they then pay C-Map their cut of the price. So even if C-Map does not list the MegaWide format as being available anymore, I'm thinking you could still get a dealer to burn them for you, assuming the new Furunos accept them.

I suspect you are correct regarding the heading sensor. Furuno makes several of them, and the one our dealer recommended was the least expensive model. He said the others have more features but the "basic" one is the one he installs the most.* If rate compensation was something he felt we needed given our boat and the kind of boating we do, I'm sure he would have said so.



-- Edited by Marin at 19:17, 2008-02-02
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:22 AM   #7
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RE: New Radar

Ken---

I was at the boat today prepping it for our haulout the week after next and I checked the two SD cards we have for the Furuno NavNet VX2.

They are what I listed in my previous post. FWIW here is the entire label of each card if it proves helpful to you:

M-NA-MO13.03 MMM 08-Nov-06 0158 "Puget Sound to Vancouver Island" (also includes the west coast of VI).

M-NA-M014.03 MMM 08-Nov-06 0158 "Queen Charlotte Strait to Yakutat."
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:38 AM   #8
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RE: New Radar

Marin:* I would suggest you skip the overlay feature and opt for the ARPA upgrade.* We use it all the time - check w/ Jerry at San Juan Electronics.* As for the charts - I've found too many glitches w/ my Navionics vs the NOAA Raster or ENC's.* Things like missing marks - it's a lack of detail issue vs available space.
Just my thoughts - YMMV
Tom
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:27 AM   #9
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RE: New Radar

Tom--- We use C-Map, not Navionics, in all three of our plotters. And we've pretty much decided that, with our 7" screen, not to bother with the radar/plotter overlay for the Furuno NavNet. My wife and I are both very good at mentally overlaying radar displays onto plotter displays and paper charts--- my wife's expertise at this is courtesy the US Navy

ARP is not available on the 7" NavNet.* I don't know how useful we'd find it anyway.* We do a fair amount of boating in the fog but so far we have not found ourselves wishing we could automatically track a target.

-- Edited by Marin at 17:57, 2008-02-12
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:41 AM   #10
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RE: New Radar

Thanks Marin, I did decide to go with CMap instead of Navionics. After much digging and flipping thru pages of info I found the Cmap Max Wide chart that includes all of Alaska, Hawaii, the West Coast and it appears that it also goes over into the Galveston Bay area. That pretty much covers most of the area I'll cruise this year...........

Now the best part is that the SD chart can be had for $228. We'll see in a week or two if it is indeed as good a bargain as it sounds. The list of chart numbers is extensive so maybe I'll be lucky on this one.

Ken
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:26 AM   #11
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RE: New Radar

Quote:
Marin wrote:

*"My wife and I are both very good at mentally overlaying radar displays onto plotter displays and paper charts"

Marin: I am a licensed commercial pilot with all the ratings and I too can mentally overlay radar on my chart. But when I find myself in "puckering conditions", I find the radar overlay to be a blessing.*

Walt

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