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Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Old 05-04-2008, 07:37 AM
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Default Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

I'm going with a 5212 for chartplotter/fishfinder and the XM weather. Given the space limitations in my overhead electronics box, I have room for either another 5212 to use as a redundent chartplotter and radar or go with Furuno, like the 1944c. We do fair weather fishing and cruising, knowing the best laid plans can still cause fog or bad weather.
What do you think about the 4KW Garmin 6' radar vs. the 6KW 4' Furuno unit? The Garmin would be about 6500 vs. 5800 for the Furuno but I really like the bigger 12" touch screen and I don't have to purchase the second screen right now, saving me about 3000.
for casual fog and weather issues, whats your thoughts? Also, I keep seing Garmin HD for the domes. are the open arrays going to be HD available as well?
Thanks!
Old 05-04-2008, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

I had the Furuno radar you are researching and I will say it was nothing short of amazing. I can't compare to Garmin because I have never seen their radar but the Furuno was outstanding. During one of our swordfishing trips, all night we watched the Enterprise battle group conducting flight ops and could see the jets taking off and the helos moving around, all on the radar. Not sure if the Garmin is equal but I would be hard to convince anything could be better in a 6KW radar.
Old 05-04-2008, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

I would go with the Garmin as you will not have to learn another display and both will work the same. I have installed many of the Garmin 4kw domes and they worked great. If the open arrays are anything like the domes they will be great
Old 05-04-2008, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

i love the garmin's touchscreen interface for chartplotter use, but i think you're better off with knobs for radar unless you are always going to run it in auto mode, which doesn't always show what you want it to.
Old 05-04-2008, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Didn't I read that you were thinking about the Navnet3 or was that someone else with a big Bertram on this forum?
Old 05-04-2008, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

I have the Garmin 5012 Chartplotters and the Garmin 404 Open Array Radar. The setup is great....have already traveled through the fog and it seems to fit my needs just fine.
Old 05-04-2008, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Sure Barrett (Swamppro)......better profit margin when you sell it to me????? JUST KIDDING!
Old 05-04-2008, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

hahaha funny. Actually furuno is better profit on my end. I look at it as if it was my boat and thats the way I would go. Thats if I would not sell the Bertram and get a better boat. hehe
Old 05-05-2008, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

OK, just to get started I will say up front that I prefer Garmin. That said, I have had the opportunity to use both Garmin and Furuno systems. I would have to say that from a pure performance standpoint I believe Furuno has a slight edge in the area of fish finders and radar. However, the difference is not necessisarily significant enough to make a decision based on performance alone. I have had Garmin systems in my previous two boats and just got done outfitting our new Conquest 345 with all Garmin. My previous boat had Garmin 4212 with a GMR 404 open array but I chose a Furuno fish finder. The Furuno fish finder was great but after having it for a while I realized I would rather have the flexibility of being able to use the screen for other functions. On the new boat I went with all Garmin and networked two 4212 units. I love the flexibility.

As far as radar performance, the Garmin works great and like you would expect from Garmin, intuitive. We spent two days last season traveling from Marblehead MA to Mount Desert ME in fog. Never saw the coast line except for when arriving at our destination. Occasionally saw other boats but always spotted them on the radar first. Avoided several potential crossing situations. Even my wife, who prefers paper charts and dead reckoning, was comfortable piloting through the fog with the Garmin system. Also, no problem seeing weather fronts coming through. Probably the only big advantage to the Furuno unit you refer to is the higher 6kW would probably allow you to pick up birds at a greater distance.

Also, if you do go with the Garmin, consider including a GMS10 port expander. Although the 4000 and 5000 systems include multiple ports right on the unit the expander provides total flexibility. If for any reason one of your units goes down, anything plugged directly into it will not be able to be seen by the second unit. The GMS10 eliminates this potential problem and any unit you network will see all the systems.

Good luck with your choice

Old 05-05-2008, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Just a thought....

If it's just for fog and weather why not go with a dome and save another 1500-2000?
If you go with the Garmin 18 HD it's just a $1000 addition to your system.
Old 05-08-2008, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Although power may not be an issue with you, less weight aloft and less mechanical complexity could be. I'm thrilled with my GMR 18, after using a monochrome display for a few years. Save the money for fuel!
Old 05-09-2008, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Keep in mind there are advantages to a larger array. With the longer array you get a narrower beam width which translates to better definition of targets in close proximity of one another. As far as mechanical complexity, keep in mind there is a rotating array inside that dome. The dome is certainly smaller, lighter and a cleaner look but not really any less complex. Once you get to around a four foot long array it becomes somewhat impractical to put it in a dome. It ends up all boiling down to a personal call on performance, budget and esthetics. Basically, all Garmin's radar units work just fine.
Old 05-18-2008, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Just to let ya know, we got a open array Garmin on the Cabo and it works great. I am very pleased with it so far.
Old 05-19-2008, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Another vote for Garmin. After massive research, rigged our new Intrepid with a 5212 and a 6ft open array garmin. Did a bunch of homework before making the decision.
At first I was wondering if the antenna would be too big/look like a h-3 rotor blade up there on the hard top but was pleased when the system all came together at install. Love the unit, very easy to use...if you are like me you have better things to do than take a college course reading a 50 page owners manual on the electronics. The 5212, radar, fish finder....all easy to use right out of the box.
Based on your usage, you may opt for the 4ft antenna or even a dome. I chose open array for target separation and bird finding capability.
Hope this helps you my friend.

Coming up on a year in use, the system has exceeded my expectations.
Old 05-19-2008, 09:21 PM
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Default RE: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

BubbaBert - 5/4/2008 7:37 AM

What do you think about the 4KW Garmin 6' radar vs. the 6KW 4' Furuno unit?
I am not radar expert but since the OP is comparing different wattage radar and different array size.

My understanding is:
wattage is how FAR a radar can see
and
array size is how CLEAR a radar can see.

If this is incorrect - can someone please clarify this further.
Old 05-19-2008, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Open Array Radar- Garmin or Furuno?

Ok, couple things:

1. ScottSmith, is that 39 Intrepid at Dockside 500 on LI?? Could sweat I jsut saw that boat there with an open array on it.

2. UaVaj, that is correct. Power is generally for distance and getting thru rain and fog, beamwidth (size) is for detial, separation....

3. Garmin vs Furuno. Since all your stuff is already Garmin, STICK WITH IT. Forget learnign another system.... compatabilty issues.... ALSO, why not go with the 15" display, since the $ doesn't seem to be the issue?

4. Open Array VS an HD Dome:
I am also currently selecing either an open array or an HD dome. I had an interesting conversation with a Garmin tech support engineer today about this very subject. Baiscally me question was, how does the 24" 4kw Radome compare to the 4' 4kw Open array which is twice the price?

Answer: "GET THE HD DOME!!" The rep seemed to think the HD dome had a "clearer picture" from what he has seen versus the 4' open array. Even given the 1/2 lenght beamwidth the open array had compared to the HD dome.

He thought they ould be releasing an HD open array eventially, but had no info on it so it wasn't going to be anytime soon. The HD technology is basically better filtering better digitally controlled pulses. Apparently the HD performs really well at close distances, which if yo uaks me, is the important stuff. Everyone always talks about how far the radar goes, but really, who cares if there is a boat 72 miles away?? I'll worry about that boat in 3 hours when I get close to it!!

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