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Old 12-29-2018, 09:30 AM   #21
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We used a radar on our loop to position the boat in anchorages along with gps co-ordinates, good to know how close to the shoreline or other boats. Crossing Lake Huron means crossing the track used by large ocean size vessels, good to know if any are near you. There is always the chance that fog will envelope your boat. The TennTom has hundreds of curves in the waterway, radar can see around the bend to warn you of tows or boats heading your way. I think it’s one of the best safety devises you can buy. We replace a twenty some year old Furuno unit recently with a new Furuno 4kw model 1815 unit, same great quality and reliability. Enjoy your loop adventure we sure did and make some memories plus loads of new boaters friends.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:49 AM   #22
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Iím a big fan of radar, but for a loop boat, keep in mind that you may not be able to use it for much of the trip because of needing to lower your mast. It will obviously depend on the boats layout and air draft, but something to keep in mind.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:01 AM   #23
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When on the rivers, radar is like a rear view mirror in a car. You can keep watching ahead then glance at the radar and see who’s coming up behind. Everybody is faster than me and I want to stay out of their way.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:06 AM   #24
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The TennTom has hundreds of curves in the waterway, radar can see around the bend to warn you of tows or boats heading your way.
WOW! My radar won't do that!
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:07 AM   #25
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Wow, caltexflac, it never occurred to me that a radar would be more important that a GPS chartplotter -- but that's probably because I've had/used GPS chartplotters on several boats, but I've never had/used a radar. Good food for thought.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:10 AM   #26
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Iím a big fan of radar, but for a loop boat, keep in mind that you may not be able to use it for much of the trip because of needing to lower your mast. It will obviously depend on the boats layout and air draft, but something to keep in mind.
For much of the Loop? I disagree. Our experience was much different. In fact we did not have to lower anything except for two bridges. We are on a DeFever 44.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:11 AM   #27
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Gulf Comanche, that's a great analogy, and having forward and rearward visibility around curves in the river would be very valuable. Great observation/advice. Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:13 AM   #28
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Don't know much about crossing the Great Lakes. That would be the main area that I think radar would be useful. Along the Atlantic ICW, the Hudson, the Erie Canal, the rivers of central US and the Gulf Coast, not so much.


But you can just hang out at anchor for another day and the fog will usually clear.


David
Yes, quite true, but when you need it, you need it. As for seeing around corners on the rivers and canals, that's what AIS is for. And if you must run at night, like from Carrabelle, FL to Tarpon Springs, well, radar is a must for me.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:17 AM   #29
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Thank you, HiDHo, for your reply, advice, and encouragement. Based upon your own experience, how much would you suggest I budget for either a used or new radar, in case the boat I buy doesn't have one?
Peace and blessings,
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:40 AM   #30
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A thought on used radar:

Our 4KW 4-foot open array Raytheon radar, 2001 vintage, died on us last spring. The magnetron went out, and there were no replacement magnetrons available - too old. Magnetrons have a finite life.

We replaced with a Raymarine Quantum dome, lighter, smaller, lower electrical power reqd, less potentially damaging power transmitted. Ours connects to the MFD wirelessly, so only a power supply needs to be run to the dome.

Especially over the long haul, a new generation one might be a better investment than a used magnetron-based one.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:41 AM   #31
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CatalinaJack,
Could you elaborate on your comment regarding AIS being for seeing around the curves on a river? My former VHF radio(s) pre-dated AIS, and though I've read a little about it, I don't fully understand its use. Would other boats with AIS automatically show up on your GPS chartplotter? Is AIS required on all boats, or only on commercial boats? If not required on all pleasurecraft, what percentage of pleasurecraft have AIS-enabled VHF radios? What's the risk that you wouldn't be aware of a non-AIS-equipped boat approaching your location?
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:44 AM   #32
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I'm guessing that, to get from Carrabelle on the Florida Panhandle to Tarpon Springs, you travelled only in daylight using the Carrabelle-Steinhatchee-Crystal River-Tarpon Springs route, and not the 170-mile overnight route directly to Tarpon Springs from Carrabelle. For those - you would not have been - concerned with their boat's deeper draft, the choice is almost always the 24-hour overnighter. I assure you, having radar aboard was useful and a great comfort.

Although most who make the crossing don't encounter much of anything overnight, twice we had boats cross our path about one-half mile in front of us. Given that, at the time, we were pitching significantly, sometimes violently, there would have been a good chance that we would not have picked up their running lights. Standing at the lower helm it was all I could do just to hang on never mind trying to discern running lights from the lower helm station through the dark and wet windshield. Being able to sit down and simply monitor the radar screen was the best I could do. It worked. Those two boats appeared as big, obvious targets moving across our bow.

We are in Fort Myers now having started our Loop last May from Annapolis.
That nighttime crossing was the only time we needed and used the radar but we were sure glad we had it that night. That said, a 32-foot sailboat left Carrabelle at the same time, no radar. For a time, earlier in the night before the heavy seas began, we could see his running lights about 2 miles off but he did not appear on our radar. He obviously did not reflect radio waves being small, low profile, and having no radar reflector. Very risky in my opinion.

If my guess was incorrect then, well, my experience is my experience and is offered as another data point. My wife was frightened that night. I was not but I was concerned, aware, and vigilant. If you had been out there that night in your C-Dory, it would not have been pleasant. As it was, even in our stabilized DeFever 44 weighing 54,000 pounds, it was a rough crossing. Having radar removed one very big concern from the overall.

No, we waited for a weather window and did it at 25 knots from Appalachicola to Tarpon Springs, tucked the boat into a slip and walked into town for a nice dinner. Thankfully it was a beautiful, smooth uneventful crossing. For us waiting on weather and making the big crossings in good conditions equaled no drama and comfortable trips, but speed let us shorten our travel times.
Eric
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:47 AM   #33
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Thanks for differentiating between older magnetron technology radar versus newer digital radar -- very helpful comments.
Based upon your recent experience, how much would you suggest I budget for a radar, if the boat I purchase doesn't have one?
Peace and blessings,
Larry
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:58 AM   #34
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CatalinaJack, your comments helped me understand the options/choices available for crossing the Gulf, along the coast from port to port or offshore directly across open water, and in daylight versus overnight. I wonder how long boaters typically have to wait for a good weather window to make the offshore crossing in smooth conditions.
I won't share your story about the rough crossing with my wife -- she's already "anxious" about making a long cruise on a 35' - 40' boat.
Peace and blessings,
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:59 AM   #35
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I took mine off because it was acting up, bought a replacement and never installed(sitting in spare bedroom).

IMO it's helpful but needed for the loop? Nah.

I'd even want a backup plotter for redundancy at the helm for when it's foggy. Would I depend on GPS over Radar for fog? Yes because like someone else said you have to use it frequently to understand it.

Personally my autopilot is one of the best tools I have to keep me alert and on watch vs constantly steering to go straight. It's all about $$ and the "list" of electronics/comfort devices you want and where Radar would fall.


For me it's towards the bottom but i'm wrong about alot of things.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:07 AM   #36
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very little of todays electronics is "required" to boat anywhere.
It all depends on what you want and are willing to pay for. All the electronic stuff is helpful but not required, IMO.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:21 AM   #37
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Boilermaker75, cost about $1600 two years ago, defender.com had the best deal at the time. DIY easy, I did have the old mast mount.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:24 AM   #38
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I'd even want a backup plotter for redundancy at the helm for when it's foggy. Would I depend on GPS over Radar for fog? Yes because like someone else said you have to use it frequently to understand it.

...wow, I mean just... wow.

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Old 12-29-2018, 11:25 AM   #39
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Thanks for differentiating between older magnetron technology radar versus newer digital radar -- very helpful comments.
Based upon your recent experience, how much would you suggest I budget for a radar, if the boat I purchase doesn't have one?
Peace and blessings,
Larry
Hi Larry,

I had to replace our radar while underway heading for Alaska, and had some time constraints, so did not have the opportunity to shop around. Also I chose to get a 12" Raymarine Axiom MFD, including a chartplotter with US and Canada charting, for the radar's display. The existing displays would not support a new radar dome. So not a low-budget purchase.

I didn't research alternative brands much, as I had a bunch of other Ray stuff, and decided to stay and interconnect with that. Cost was around $5,000 US, plus $700 for removal and installation.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:27 AM   #40
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Can you do the loop without radar? Yes.

Do I want to? No. I have added it to every boat I have owned over 20 ft since 1990.

We have hit dense fog even in SW Florida in the middle of the day.

Surely on a 6600 mile trip you will encounter fog, rain, darkness, check distances, or other vessels approach.
Assuming that you get radar you will need to learn to use it correctly to avoid collision. The operator manual has the very basics needed to BEGIN learning.
It's not a TV for boats.
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