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Old 12-30-2018, 02:28 PM   #81
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I have radar and use it pretty much only when it's foggy. Actually my wife/first mate is the radar watch person. I concentrate on the rest.
As far as whether it's necessary for the loop, I'm on the fence.
We didn't do the entire loop, we cruised the Canadian portion for 2 summers and used the radar only one time, in the Hudson river. We could have waited an hour for the fog to disperse, but we fired up the radar.
I can see it's value in the Gulf crossing. Whether my 12 year old radar will see around a river bend is questionable depending upon the terrain height vs mast height.
And to address another issue, I would never vote for a radar over a decent chart plotter. with the plotter and depth finder, I have confidence in knowing where I am (even though is always shows me in the woods when I am in the Erie canal "cut").
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:32 PM   #82
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Four items must operate properly for me to operate safely in the fog:

1. Autopilot
2. Chartplotters (redundancy)
3. Radar
4. Fogmate foghorn
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:13 PM   #83
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I've used chart plotters since they used loran C and colored pens for tracking and I'd never trust a chart plotter over a radar. Radar shows exactly the range and bearing where any GPS device can be dangerously off, especially in a narrow channel. I've had plotters with overlay of AIS and radar on the chart and the radar is always right. I'd take an updated paper chart, my navigation skills and radar before GPS. Not that a chart plotter isn't convenient but they can be off and you may not know when. A radar isn't just a collision avoidance tool it's a navigational tool, radar indexing is a very nice technique when running rivers or narrow channels, radar also works well as a stand in pelorus for multiple bearings. I'd like to add that when underway it's a good idea to always have your radar on, first it's good to have it on when you suddenly want to calculate a CPA with another vessel even in good visibility, second it's good practice. It's worth noting that the USCG considers not having radar on as not maintaining a proper lookout in the event of an incident.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:38 PM   #84
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I'd like to add that when underway it's a good idea to always have your radar on, first it's good to have it on when you suddenly want to calculate a CPA with another vessel even in good visibility, second it's good practice. It's worth noting that the USCG considers not having radar on as not maintaining a proper lookout in the event of an incident.
While I agree with always having the radar on, the comment about the USCG is a bit of a false tale. They would only consider failing to have it on an issue in conditions where it was needed and failing to use it contributed to the accident.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:42 PM   #85
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This discussion has some of the elements of all the discussions on electronics and equipment. Some approach it as if someone is telling you to rely totally on one of your tools and not use the others including your vision. No one is saying you should attempt to navigate solely by radar or solely by plotter or you should set your autopilot and then take a nap. These are all useful tools. A Captain must still decide the most appropriate way to use them and that takes into considerations conditions as well as experience.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:50 PM   #86
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In the commercial world, where I'm from it's not a "false tale". Radar is an integral part of maintaining a proper lookout regardless of conditions and obviously if you run into something you needed it. If you've ever been on the bridge of a large commercial vessel the radars are always on and someone is always plotting other vessels, buoys or other objects of navigational significance regardless of conditions.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:58 PM   #87
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drb1025, psneeld, Fish53, and other responders, you've all given me valuable food for thought; thank you all for sharing your experience, knowledge, opinions, and suggestions with me.

I'll try to get as much navigation/safety equimentment as the budget will allow, depending on what the boat already has (or doesn't have), even if it means getting a smaller boat to put more money toward the nav/safety equipment retrofit -- and yes, related education, training, and practice ;-)
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:03 PM   #88
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The education, training and practice are really key, you are the most important navigational device on the boat.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:14 PM   #89
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A very common mistake comparing recreational versus commercial on many levels.

The USCG often states the higher level of standards for commercial oerators and requires training such as Radar.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:15 PM   #90
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AMEN, BandB; thanks for that!
Peace and blessings,
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:26 PM   #91
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FF, I LOVE your suggestion that any TF members currently making the Great Loop report back the number days they HAD to HAVE radar in order to proceed... or felt radar significantly added to their navigation ability and safety.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:28 PM   #92
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Boat, Out of curiosity, do you ever use Google Maps, or MapQuest, or Waze on your smart phone in your car when driving somewhere unfamiliar for the first time?
Larry
I regularly use electronics. It's great to pull up the google map and say "Pizza near me", or "Denver airport". My old phone had settings that took me on the back roads, my preference.

Unfamiliar places less so than convenience. Trying to drive and find a place in some congested areas is a real PITA. Rerouting around traffic jams and construction is great.

Got my first GPS back when they looked like a walki-talki with little screen and cell phones were big bags.

Don't have anything against electronics but I am kinda hard-assed about people and dependency. Over-reliance on anything is a form of weakness, dangerous.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:29 PM   #93
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Ranger42, thanks for the reply and suggestions; I'll check them out when I get home from the holidays at the out-laws.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:45 PM   #94
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A very common mistake comparing recreational versus commercial on many levels.

The USCG often states the higher level of standards for commercial oerators and requires training such as Radar.
Yes that's correct, which is why I've had an unlimited radar observer and ARPA license for close to forty years. The higher stand is for the same reasons commercial vessels require licensing and higher levels of safety equipment, it works. We could do much worse than require the same for recreational boaters. I don't see the "common mistake", aren't we all operating in the same element here?
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:06 PM   #95
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Al, is that the Carquinez Bridge? I used to windsurf through there and recall some ripping currents and standing waves on the Ebb.

Agree with the comments that radar should be learned by anyone operating a boat. Keep it on during the day, and practice.
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:25 PM   #96
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From the homeland security website


Radar is not required on vessels under 1600 GT (33 CFR 164.35), however, Rule 7 states that proper use shall be made of radar equipment if fitted and operational. In other words, whoever has one must use it. The Navigation Rules are not meant to discourage the use of any device, rather they expect prudent mariners to avail themselves of all available means appropriate...as to make full appraisal of the situation (Rule 5), e.g. the use of radar. At issue is whether the use of radar is appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and that is a determination made by the Master; and, ultimately decided by a trier of fact.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:11 PM   #97
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Yes that's correct, which is why I've had an unlimited radar observer and ARPA license for close to forty years. The higher stand is for the same reasons commercial vessels require licensing and higher levels of safety equipment, it works. We could do much worse than require the same for recreational boaters. I don't see the "common mistake", aren't we all operating in the same element here?
No, the environment is different on different days and recreational boaters most often opt for less dangerous situations and that's the common mistake.

It's when they don't that rec boaters get into trouble all too often.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:21 PM   #98
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From the homeland security website


Radar is not required on vessels under 1600 GT (33 CFR 164.35), however, Rule 7 states that proper use shall be made of radar equipment if fitted and operational. In other words, whoever has one must use it. The Navigation Rules are not meant to discourage the use of any device, rather they expect prudent mariners to avail themselves of all available means appropriate...as to make full appraisal of the situation (Rule 5), e.g. the use of radar. At issue is whether the use of radar is appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and that is a determination made by the Master; and, ultimately decided by a trier of fact.
Not true...true even the USCG states that...but if you do have an incident, they will put ithat decision under a microscope.

It's the masters call, not a reuirement.

Otherwise, it would be too simple to word it "shall be used if fitted".
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:25 PM   #99
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Al, is that the Carquinez Bridge? I used to windsurf through there and recall some ripping currents and standing waves on the Ebb.

Agree with the comments that radar should be learned by anyone operating a boat. Keep it on during the day, and practice.
Good eye, Capt! (Are you Capt of a windsurfer???) It got so rough this past July that the CA Delta waves ripped off my 2-yr old rubrail! Right after that, my prop sliced it in two like a hot knife through butter. Good thing I was powered back.

Bill, is your avatar a negative of a photo or a FLIR image? If I had a FLIR onboard, I'd have much less concern about fog...but I'd still want 1 through 4 as a backup for when the FLIR fails.

What can I say...I like redundancy...
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:30 PM   #100
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Not true...true even the USCG states that...but if you do have an incident, they will put ithat decision under a microscope.

It's the masters call, not a reuirement.

Otherwise, it would be too simple to word it "shall be used if fitted".



Yes Sir Psneed, that is the way I read it too.
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