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Old 05-01-2019, 07:27 PM   #1
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Camano 31 radar placement

I'm installing new electronics soon, and I request the favor of Camano 31 owners' experience with radar mounted forward of the fly bridge and above the windshield, vs. on radar masts. Of special interest, what portion of a compas rose does the forward mounted radar cover? As I have decided to opt for Garmin's 40 watt fantom system, the danger of microwaves is reduced, per what I have read. Using a mast mounted radar above and behind the bimini, with a vertical beam width of roughly 25 degrees felt scary with the old unit, which is why I didn't use it.

I welcome input on placement of the new low wattage Fantom radar unit, with performance history of forward mounting of paticular interest.



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Old 05-02-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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Another option is a radar arch (see pic - not my boat). This way you are sitting directly below the unit with no exposure. Bimini would be under the arch. To me, it's a slick setup for the radar and all other equipment. You other two options will have drawbacks. Mount on the brow and the radar has a hard time seeing directly behind the boat; mount on a mast at the back of the flybridge and the mast takes up usable deck space. The newer radars are supposed to safe to exposure within a few feet I believe, but I'm with you... I don't want be in the beam of the radar if I can help it. I don't turn on the radar if I'm on the flybridge.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:54 PM   #3
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I went through this last fall when I installed a Fantom 18 on my old Mainship 34.

If you take 10 w/m2 as a conservative safe exposure limit the distance allowed for the Fantom is 7.2 ft vs 9.5 ft for the 18xd. The information is in the installation instructions available online.

I mounted the unit on a mast about six feet from the helm position. Mounting it in on the front of the FB in front of the helm would have put it too close for my comfort. The beam width is 12 degrees below horizontal so it doesn't have to be much above the bimini to clear the passengers.

I'm very happy with the radar. The doppler capabilities are very useful.

Hope this makes sense and helps.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:13 AM   #4
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NC: I think it all depends on how "deep" you wanna dive into this project. A radar arch would be nice but then you're talking about several thousand dollars and significant more time to design/measure/fabricate/install. That may be a better winter project....

Ideally, you could just use the original factory spot. Much easier to install, a fraction of the time and no fabrication costs.

I never minded the forward facing radar on my old Camano. I figured if that's the way Warman initially designed it and the Millers continued building them like that then its good for me.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:10 PM   #5
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I think if I needed to replace the radar on my Camano I might consider SiriusXM weather solution instead. The only issue would be if I wanted to spend extended time in Bahamas. Would have to do the math but think the radar cost would cover a fair bit of subscription which you can also turn off and back on if you have off-seasons.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:59 PM   #6
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I would think a foldable mast mounted just behind the row of seats, but off to one side would give you peace of mind, ease of bridge clearance, increased range, and better aft vision.

A big consideration is how often do you rely on your radar. Do you go out frequenly in fog and dark ? In heavy traffic areas ? Do you need to get the maximum functionality out of it ? If the only down side to the front of the bridge mount is your exposure, and not funtionality, a metal plate behind the unit would provide protection for you and might be the most convenient.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:10 PM   #7
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Thank you, TF members, for good suggestions! I work hard at avoiding fog/rain, but sometimes it finds me without warning. So, it's a safety back up, not a plan for cruising at night or lower visibility. I am considering the traditional mount with a shield or a tall tower mounted sufficiently aft, and am definitely choosing a Garmin Fantom or equivalent solid state unit with 40w or less power for safety. I'm a little surprised that radar radiation danger is not discussed more thoroughly in publications, etc. Moving ahead with the project this month.....

Thanks again!

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