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Old 01-15-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
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Radar Chart Plotter

I was told friday that boaters around here< San pedro Ca. > don't need no radar or fancy gps chart plotters cause you can see where your going most of the year. Well that may be true but i like them neat electronic gadgets so what do you think is the best package for a 40 foot trawler on todays market?
I started to shop but almost immediately became confused with the vast variety of systems to choose from. I did like the ones that incorporate weather allowing you to overlay the weather on the chart currently displayed and you may add the radar scan as well. they get pricy fast so.


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Old 01-15-2013, 09:57 PM   #2
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I've said this before but in my opinion when it comes to radar there is Furuno and there are all the wannabees.

We have a Furuno NavNet VX2 and think it's terrific. While there are makes and models that are somewhat more user-friendly and intuitive, there are also makes and models that are far worse in this regard.

Furuno has a solid reputation and that counts for a lot in our opinions. And Furuno's repair service is outstanding, and even better for us in the PNW because their factory service center is in Washington State although we have yet to use it.

I think the best testimonial for a product is who uses it and continues to use it. Take a stroll around just about any marina, particularly a marina with a commercial fishing fleet. I know in our marina Furuno outnumbers all the other makes combined by a huge margin. There's a good reason for this.

We bought our Furuno NavNet a number of years ago now, and it's been flawless. At the time we bought it there was a choice of two charting systems, C-Map and Navionics. We selected C-Map because we already had a big plotter on the boat that uses this system and we like the way C-Map works. I notice in the Furuno on-line catalog that they now offer only C-Map on their NavNet systems. At least I saw no mention of Navionics.

We got the radar and plotter features. We did not get the depth sounder option since the boat has a good system on it that we have just upgraded.

But we're happy as a clam with our system and would not trade it for anything else.

That said, if one was simply wanting a GPS plotter and did not need or want radar, I would strongly suggest looking at Standard Horizon. We put a small one on our smaller boat a year ago and it's terrific. It has a whole different operating philosophy than the two plotters on the GB and we're still getting the feel for the thing. A benefit of Standard Horizon, particularly on our smaller fishing boat, is they seem to have the brightest screens in the industry. Great for a soft-top fishing boat or a flying bridge.

I like Garmin for the GPS in our vehicles. I have not been at all impressed with their marine plotters although a lot of people swear by them. Personal preference, I expect.

I have no interest in computer-based navigation--- laptops and such. My own feeling is that I don't want to layer my nav software on top of a computer's operating system, particularly on a PC (as opposed to a Mac).
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:38 PM   #3
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For operating in SoCal waters, just about any of the current generation of multi-function displays (MFDs) will more than meet your needs. For your vessel, I'd look at a minimum system that incorporates a 12" MFD, 24" dome radar, DSC VHF, and associated sounder. I'd stick with Raymarine, Garmin, Simrad, or Furuno. Lowrance is IMO best suited to smaller boats/fishing rigs.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:49 PM   #4
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Greetings,
What's the status of JRC radars? I've yet to see anyone mention them.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:51 AM   #5
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The twenty years pilot-navigating on sailboats previous to my trawler-boating adventure was limited to binoculars, compass, and charts. So, I'd say sailing without depthometer, GPS, and radar is very possible.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:30 AM   #6
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Greetings,
What's the status of JRC radars? I've yet to see anyone mention them.
I had one on my 99 Mainship Piot 30 and it worked great! I don't know if JRC still builds them under that name, though.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:41 AM   #7
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In the late 90's, I was hired to run a large single screw tug in Maine. It was a mom and pop operation (read budget) and the wheelhouse electronics were somewhat underwhelming. The backup radar (furuno) gave up the ghost and was replaced by a JRC unit. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at the JRC. it was user friendly and provided a GREAT picture. The side by side comparison with the primary radar (also Furuno) was favorable. That said, I would be picking a Furuno or Simrad if I had a choice of one unit, personal opinion only! I don't think you can go wrong with any brand of electronics today. In other words, no one makes a "bad" radar or chart plotter etc today. You may not impress your dock neighbors with some brands , but I think you be well served by them.
I don't have any experience with the Broadband types of radars, but I would be interested in trying them out. There probably will be big improvements over the next several years with these types of radars.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:35 AM   #8
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That said, if one was simply wanting a GPS plotter and did not need or want radar, I would strongly suggest looking at Standard Horizon.
You can add radar to SH plotters with a Si-tex radome. Only $1000 too.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:30 AM   #9
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I like the Garmin, for it's plug and play. I reciently hooked up the radar to my 4208 and bam radar overlay.
All of there stuff is like that now. Super simple to set up and add on.

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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I also think Furuno is the way to go with radar, if you even need it, but for a chartplotter, I just came back from the Toronto boat show and I was very impressed with the new Raymarine touch display units. They are very user friendly IMO and you don't have to go through and remember a million menus to find what you want.

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Old 01-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #11
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Marin says;
"I've said this before but in my opinion when it comes to radar there is Furuno and there are all the wannabees." Let me guess ... you've got Furuno. You're basically say'in all these other radar manufacturer's don't know what ther'e do'in. I've got JRC and it's worked perfectly for the last 7 years. It's level of performance has been totally adequate every time we've used it. Most of the time I've used it I've had it on just to practice adjusting the balance between range and gain (and other stuff) so that when we really need the radar I'm going to be able to operate it effectively. I only use radar about 6 times a year and have it on 3 or 4 times as much. And JRC is one of the cheapest radars available. Now that I know it works great it would be stupid to waste lots of money on a high end unit like Furuno. I assume Furuno is high end as many say so. I'll say this though and that is that the fishermen lean toward Furuno. But they also prefer Forfjord anchors.

RTF,
My $1100 JRC radar has been excellent. Any more money spent would be a waste. Also in lots of places one may not need radar at all.

Depth sounders is (to me) another matter. I always have 2 and I like them to be not the same type. I have a high end Raymarine Digital w large LED numbers and the other DF on Willy is your basic fishfinder. I like one unit to show the record of the bottom over time.

There was a time when one needed most everything commonly available excluding Loran and in most to many cases radar but now there is so much out there much or possibly even most of what's available would be a bad investment and/or a waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere. Ten years ago I thought computers were a waste of money and time but look at me wasting my money and time the computer now. WHAT???
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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Marin says;
"I've said this before but in my opinion when it comes to radar there is Furuno and there are all the wannabees." Let me guess ... you've got Furuno. You're basically say'in all these other radar manufacturer's don't know what ther'e do'in.
No, I'm not saying the other manufacturers don't know what they're doing. Just that Furuno does it better, has been doing it longer, and has a tremendous amount of "experience" with a wide variety of radar applications, and what we hear is the best service and support organization in the industry (we haven't needed to find out for ourselves yet). When we were filming aircraft operations on board the USS Constellation years ago the ship had its huge,-purpose built radar systems of course. But it had several off-the-shelf systems too. Guess what they were? Furuno.

Our boat came with a Raytheon CRT radar of 1980s vintage. It worked fine and we had no real reason to replace it until its CRT began to die. This is a non-repairable, non-replaceable part these days so we went in search of something to replace the whole system with. We would not even consider Raymarine because their reputation for reliabitiy, service and support was atrocious at that time. We would still not consider Raymarine because we continue to hear bad stories about their support and service from recent Raymarine purchasers (within the last three years or so) although the systems themselves sound quite impressive.

But we looked a the other options and Furuno was so far ahead of them in features and technology it wasn't even a contest. This was some six or seven years ago now and I realize that things change. But Furuno hasn't been standing still, either. They now have NavNet 3D which I admit I know nothing about although people like John Baker seem very impressed with it.

So yes, we have Furuno. In our opinions we would have been fools to have settled for anything else unless we couldn't have afforded Furuno.

We were actually only planning to replace the radar. The big GPS plotter we had installed when we bought the boat was late 90s technology but it worked fine, and still does although it's CRT green screen is not quite as bright as it used to be. But when we went into the local marine electronics store we use--- we will always support a local vendor over the internet or chain stores if we can--- he had a Furuno NavNet VX2 running on display. We made a very thorough comparison of the NavNet to the Furuno stand-alone radar systems and it was obvious to us that there was a major big benefit in getting a great radar and an excellent C-Map plotter in the same unit for not all that much money extra.

That's why I said before that if one simpy wants a plotter alone, there are other options worth considering than Furuno's plotters. Standard Horizon has impressed us the most, particularly because of their screen brightness. When the day comes that our older Echotec CRT plotter's screen becomes too dim for us we will most likely replace it with a Standard Horizon. I have been very impressed with the unit we put on our Arima.

I don't like overlaying radar on the plotter. We considered doing that with the Furuno NavNet but after looking in the store how it looks we both fellt the screen became so cluttered it would be more annoying than useful. So when we want to be to compare the radar returns to the plotter we split the screen on the Nav Net and put the plotter display in heading up rather than north up. By setting similar ranges in both the radar and the plotter it is an easy matter--- for us anyway--- to mentally superimpose one onto the other without either display becoming overly cluttered.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:24 PM   #13
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Greetings,
What's the status of JRC radars? I've yet to see anyone mention them.
JRC? never heard of them
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:29 PM   #14
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The twenty years pilot-navigating on sailboats previous to my trawler-boating adventure was limited to binoculars, compass, and charts. So, I'd say sailing without depthometer, GPS, and radar is very possible.
In the delta you don't need to navigate you just set the auto pilot and go. If you hit something in the fog its gonna be nothing but a sandbar or island and at trawler speed what can be hurt.

You reminded me of an incident when a friend crashed into an island by potatoe slough and i went to render aid. Damage, tons of smashed tulies and his pride. The guy, very wealthy but wopuldnt spend a dime on electronics. The guy still boats and still dosent even have a depth finder.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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Looks like JRC does only hi-end commercial radar today. In the 90's they had a great product for recreational users.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:36 PM   #16
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JRC? never heard of them
Japan Radio Corporation. They are a lesser player in the radar market. For several years, they had a great line of inexpensive radars that were quite possibly the best bang for the electronics buck ever. And, they've been at it longer than Furuno

If you can find the JRC-100, -1500, or -2000, they are great radars for the budget boater.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:55 PM   #17
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In 2010 my 6 year old Raymarine radar (RC70) suffered an immediate and permanent outage. The IFR conditions we were under in Johnstone Strait when it let go were no fun. We made it to Port Hardy and within two days Stryker Electronics had us back in business with a Furuno NN3 they had in stock. They said, "We keep Furuno gear here for commercial fishermen and pleasure boaters who need to replace their broken equipment in a hurry." Surprisingly the cost was reasonable and delivered with great service.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:30 PM   #18
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Japan Radio Corporation. They are a lesser player in the radar market. For several years, they had a great line of inexpensive radars that were quite possibly the best bang for the electronics buck ever. And, they've been at it longer than Furuno

If you can find the JRC-100, -1500, or -2000, they are great radars for the budget boater.
thanks, i'm a budget boater
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:48 PM   #19
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In 2010 my 6 year old Raymarine radar (RC70) suffered an immediate and permanent outage. The IFR conditions we were under in Johnstone Strait when it let go were no fun. We made it to Port Hardy and within two days Stryker Electronics had us back in business with a Furuno NN3 they had in stock. They said, "We keep Furuno gear here for commercial fishermen and pleasure boaters who need to replace their broken equipment in a hurry." Surprisingly the cost was reasonable and delivered with great service.
I get your point. I do see lots of Furuno and maybe thats why
Thanks
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:06 PM   #20
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JRC was also the manufacturer of the Raytheon Radars.
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