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Old 12-29-2018, 11:35 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Boilermaker75 View Post
Your comment made me think of contacting electronics dealers/installers about more than just a radar, in case the other electronics on the boat are outdated or nonfunctional. Thanks!
Peace and blessings,
Larry
Take a look at TF Classifieds - there is frequently (currently) used equip listed - good for budget pricing even if not close / not ready now.
Good luck w/ the boat search.

I've crossed Lk Ontario 15-20 times w/o radar.
I'm in the wait it out crowd if bad Wx anticipated and don't normally travel at night - at least on Great Lakes.
Fog is worst enemy IMHO - summer fog usually radiation fog that burns off mid - late AM. Spring on Great Lakes you can get advection fog (moist air over cold water) that doesn't go away quickly unless wind and/or air masses change which can take days.

Gulf is a different story and no experience there
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:40 AM   #42
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The cost of radar will depend on what brand chartplotter, what age, who installs, and what you want out of it. For an older chart plotter, the minimum dome can be had for $500 on eBay. For a new chartplotter, $1300 - $1800 for current technology digital small dome, sky's the limit on the high end. Plus installation, but that is pretty trivial on the newest WiFi connected ones.

In the context of purchasing a trawler and doing the loop, this is pocket change, and should not even be a consideration in what boat you buy.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:49 AM   #43
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I operated commercial assistance vessels on Lake Michigan for years. Fog can suddenly pop up very thick. I would not even consider boating without radar. You can get a reasonably effective set for $1500. I have a new Garmin set and the new technology is really impressive. Good navigation practices use multiple data sources to confirm/cross check each other. Compare/contrasting radar, GPS, AIS, MARPA, visual and sonar are my main everyday navigation tools, not just when itís foggy. My wife now tells me how close boats are and what the closest point of approach is and I donít have to wake up for a traffic checks when Iím off watch.
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Old 12-29-2018, 12:18 PM   #44
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One boat cruising in the fog without radar is a danger to itself and others. Multiple boats cruising in the fog without radar is a potential disaster.
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Old 12-29-2018, 12:52 PM   #45
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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.

As I said, depends on the boat. You clearly have a lower air draft than we did. As I recall, teh NY canal system is 21' for teh main route, and gets down to either 17 or 19 for some of the alternate routes. And the Chicago bridge is what, 17'? I haven't been through that part, just NY and Canada (Rideau).
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:04 PM   #46
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Mrwesson, you're not the first or only person to suggest that an autopilot should be a much higher priority than radar -- hopefully, I can find a boat (or retrofit it) with both!
Peace and blessings,
Larry
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:08 PM   #47
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Iíve been on the rivers, upper mis and Illinois, the lakes to Detroit without radar and with. Radar is a safety requirement imho if youíre going to be out at night and that can happen if you get held up at locks waiting on a tow. Closures on the river for one reason or another can cause after dark running to get past instead of waiting the next day for it to open. AIS shows the tows your location and you theirs but it wonít show the barges in the fleeting areas with no lights. Fog on Lake Michigan Iíve seen last all day, on the river it is usually burnt off mid morning. I ran radar after mounting it every time I went out to better understand what I was seeing on the display, I have a 4kw Si-Tex open array with a 12Ē Standard Horizon display at each helm along with a 7Ē on the flybridge. If I was buying new I would go with Furuno or Si-Tex either of which can had pretty reasonable.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:13 PM   #48
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Thanks, River Cruiser, for sharing your experience with me; it seems like an AIS-enabled VHF radio is a "must have" but augmenting that with a radar would be highly recommended.
Peace and blessings,
Larry
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:29 PM   #49
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Thanks, River Cruiser, for sharing your experience with me; it seems like an AIS-enabled VHF radio is a "must have" but augmenting that with a radar would be highly recommended.
Peace and blessings,
Larry
If it were me, I'd get a separate AIS transceiver that transmits your position, course, speed, and boat name to others, in addition to receiving that info from others. VHF radios w/ AIS are receive only, AFAIK.

Mine is a Vesper XB-6000, $489 from Milltech Marine. Plugs into laptop with chartplotter SW via USB. The XB-6000 also provides GPS position data needed by the laptop chartplotter, via the same USB connection.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:58 PM   #50
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When searching for a 38' - 40' trawler-style boat to do the America's Great Loop on, how important is radar (assuming the boat has GPS ChartPlotter)?

Do any YF members who have done the Great Loop consider radar to be "required?" Or is it just a "nice to have" "optional" piece of navigation equipment?

Thanks,

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Larry Buchman
Required. On coastal waters, required. On the Great Lakes, required. Other areas, preferred by serious boaters.

In one year on the loop, you will have occasion to find yourself in some pretty bad weather along the way. Perhaps not often, but it will happen. Perhaps on Lake Erie, a storm will come up quickly as you go from Buffalo to Erie. You've never been there before, you can't see, anchorages are few. You may only need the radar once or twice on the entire trip, but those times it will be critical.

We use our radars all the time. However, the reality is because we cruise during the day and good conditions, we could get by without it most of the time. We'd prefer not to. But it's not "most of the time" when it's critical. It's that other 5%. We often say to choose and equip a boat for the 90% use, but that's not true when it comes to safety equipment. That's when you equip for the other 5-10%.
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:38 PM   #51
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Cruising between Superior and Bahamas since 1994. Three things I would not do without.
Heat, autopilot, radar.

I did the first 15yrs. without chart plotter, AIS, cell phone, Active Captain, Aquamap or SPOT. I could still make do without them. You must find your own comfort level.
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:53 PM   #52
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Thanks, River Cruiser, for sharing your experience with me; it seems like an AIS-enabled VHF radio is a "must have" but augmenting that with a radar would be highly recommended.
Peace and blessings,
Larry


I started with a Standard Horizon AIS receive only and it was a great addition for information on the tows and cruise boats. When I started being out more often after dark was when I decided a transponder was important. I anchor below sandbars, islands and in sloughs, I'am out of the channel but near enough I want to be sure they know I'am there before they see my anchor light.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:26 PM   #53
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Modern integrated systems are here so why not have radar along with the others? But if I were choosing between GPS, AIS and radar I would take radar. Collision avoidance is your legal and moral responsibility.

I get to be the grump in bunch and we just had a discussion about "rude". If you NEED any electronics you should do without while you learn. You don't need GPS to follow a ditch. This ain't a video game. If you want it to be a video game, they can be enjoyed in your mama's basement, stay home.


I wonder if the electronics hide the appeal of boating for some people. They look at it and think, "I can stay home and do that". Get out in the wind and get some spray in your face.


/end grumpiness

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Old 12-29-2018, 08:46 PM   #54
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One boat cruising in the fog without radar is a danger to itself and others. Multiple boats cruising in the fog without radar is a potential disaster.
Let's not scare everyone now..

What you describe happens all the time... often with no consequences and usually just close calls

Its because of poor judgement, not just the lack of radar.

While I do recommend radar, it often takes the typical boater years of practice to where it's truly a safety feature and not just another distraction
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:25 PM   #55
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As I said, depends on the boat. You clearly have a lower air draft than we did. As I recall, teh NY canal system is 21' for teh main route, and gets down to either 17 or 19 for some of the alternate routes. And the Chicago bridge is what, 17'? I haven't been through that part, just NY and Canada (Rideau).
DeFever 44 with an 18 foot air draft. Did the Champlain route, lowered the arch and bimini for one bridge to get to Chambly Canal. Rideau and Trent-Severn had at least 22-foot clearances. We chose the Cal-Sag Canal to avoid having to lower the arch again. We travelled with lots of other trawlers who transited safely.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:29 PM   #56
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Mrwesson, you're not the first or only person to suggest that an autopilot should be a much higher priority than radar -- hopefully, I can find a boat (or retrofit it) with both!
Peace and blessings,
Larry
I can't imagine having to hand steer our DeFever 44 for 24 straight hours making the Gulf crossing especially in the very difficult sea conditions we unexpectedly encountered. Radar also a must for reasons I and many others have stated. To me taking chances with my safety and the safety of others is not worth the boat bucks saved.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:53 PM   #57
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...wow, I mean just... wow.

They boat among us!
There's the internet and what happens on the water regularly.

At least i'm honest in that my radar is a tool that I don't fully understand but was working on it(before I removed it/failed/replaced but not reinstalled). I've been in the fog a few times locally and it's been very much a non issue using every other tool available to me.

Relying on radar that you don't fully understand to map your surroundings would be not only stupid but i'd go as far as to say it's better if you'd thrown it over.

But judge away.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:59 PM   #58
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When you think of how little a radar costs compared to the total cost of your loop trip, It doesn't make sense to me to not have it. I would seriously hate to be in a tough spot and think..."hmm...I should have gotten the radar...."
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:55 PM   #59
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We have used the radar more than we thought. Crossing Georgian Bay we encountered fog on the lake. In North Carolina we transited the Pungo canal by radar and crossing the Gulf of Mexico we used it all night. I do run with radar overlayed on one screen of the plotter often.
I used our AIS daily, so I would strongly recommend an AIS transceiver.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:30 AM   #60
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Thanks for the great AIS transceiver suggestion, RCook; I didn't realize VHF radios w/ AIR were receive-only. I have a spare laptop PC I could dedicate to navigation w/ the AIS transceiver. What Windows 10 OS apps do you suggest for navigation purposes on the laptop PC? Does the laptop PC need to be connected to the Internet for those apps to work?
Peace and blessings,
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