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Radar mounting with life raft

Old 03-03-2012, 06:52 AM
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Default Radar mounting with life raft

I’ve been fishing offshore with my life raft place in the cabin but been thinking of putting it on the hardtop. I’m concerned that it would interfere with the radar reception (Raymarine C80, 2K) since the radar antenna is flush mounted to the hard top (as the raft would be).

Does anyone have experience with both (radar and life raft) mounted flush to a hardtop? If so, have you noticed blind spots?

I’m reluctant to raise the radar antenna but will if required.
Old 03-03-2012, 12:58 PM
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If the raft blocks the radar array, you will have a blind spot as the raft is pretty big.
My raft is pretty low profile (Revere) and my open array pedestal is 16" high, so it views right over the top of the raft. Small items (less than 25% of the array's width (4' array = 1' object) like antennas, outriggers and the like are no problem.
Old 03-03-2012, 06:43 PM
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Have you considered storing the raft in a locker? I had a similar challenge until I found that Winslow will pack a raft into a custom size. I now store mine in a locker next to the helm.
Old 03-03-2012, 06:55 PM
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If the raft is in a hydrostatic release cradle, mounting it on the hardtop makes sense. Raise the radar up above the raft on a mount. A decent mount can be had for under $200.
Old 03-06-2012, 06:25 AM
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know anyone who works in a machine shop...it really doesnt take much to make a custom mount...this was only a small dome but whatever you want isnt really hard to fabricate...
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:50 AM
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Although blocking the radar is a major consideration there are other factors as well.

What is the weight of the raft?
How is the raft mounted on the hard top going to change the CG (center of gravity). Check with the manufacturer of the boat.
Hull design? (rocking in heavy seas) Raft mounted on top will increase rocking.
How are you going to get it down when needed?
Will it be blocking any nav. lights?
What type of flotation does your boat have?

Hydrostatic release? You may want to read up on them. Most releases need to be under water 4-12 feet before they activate. If your boat has been designed with extensive flotation the release may never get to the required depth.

I would try the raft up on top and see what the effects are before permanently mounting it.
Old 03-08-2012, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cheapboxer View Post
Although blocking the radar is a major consideration there are other factors as well.

What is the weight of the raft?
How is the raft mounted on the hard top going to change the CG (center of gravity). Check with the manufacturer of the boat.
Hull design? (rocking in heavy seas) Raft mounted on top will increase rocking.

What type of flotation does your boat have?

Hydrostatic release? You may want to read up on them. Most releases need to be under water 4-12 feet before they activate. If your boat has been designed with extensive flotation the release may never get to the required depth.

I would try the raft up on top and see what the effects are before permanently mounting it.
Those points are really only of concern on smaller vessels. A 60-80lb raft on the hard top of a 30' or larger boat (12,000lbs+) isn't going to make any impact on its stability. As for the hydrostatic release, it also has a single pull pin manual release, so it is actually easier to get off than if you use the non-hydro release some come with.
Old 03-08-2012, 06:04 AM
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Default Radar/Life Raft Mounting

I appreciate the responses I’ve received and I understand the other considerations (weight, center of gravity, nav lights, Hydrostatic release, ect, ect).

The question is “Does anyone have experience with both (radar and life raft) mounted flush to a hardtop? If so, have you noticed blind spots?”

If the Radar and the liferaft are mounted flush on the hardtop (with about 2.5 feet separation), how will it affect the performance of the Radar?”

Thanks again..
Old 03-08-2012, 06:21 AM
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Life raft and radar = no

Tuna baskets (milk crates with nylon rode) with poly balls and radar = yes

The baskets and balls did create a blind spot.

Hope that helps.
Old 03-08-2012, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
Those points are really only of concern on smaller vessels. A 60-80lb raft on the hard top of a 30' or larger boat (12,000lbs+) isn't going to make any impact on its stability. As for the hydrostatic release, it also has a single pull pin manual release, so it is actually easier to get off than if you use the non-hydro release some come with.
The OP never gave any information on the boat. The weight of the raft, height of the hard top, beam, boat loading, etc. Without all the information a statement that isn't going to make any impact on stability is misleading at best.

A single pin HR could be easier to get off if you can get to it. You are assuming he has an easy way to get to it (steps) and not blocked by rod holders,outriggers, etc.


As I stated there is more to consider than just blocking the radar.
Old 03-08-2012, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerseyjaws View Post
I appreciate the responses I’ve received and I understand the other considerations (weight, center of gravity, nav lights, Hydrostatic release, ect, ect).

The question is “Does anyone have experience with both (radar and life raft) mounted flush to a hardtop? If so, have you noticed blind spots?”

If the Radar and the liferaft are mounted flush on the hardtop (with about 2.5 feet separation), how will it affect the performance of the Radar?”

Thanks again..
The direct answer to your question is: apparently not. Most would not mount the raft directly in the path of the radar, so you likely won't get a report from someone that has done it.

Something as dense and large as a life raft mounted in line with, and close to, the radar will certainly affect the radar's effectiveness. Whether it creates a totally blind spot or just diminishes the images, no one can say without trying it with your specific setup. The bottom line is that the radar will not be unaffected. You won't get the full performance of your radar with a life raft in the way.

You should spend the money to get a mount that raises your radar above the hardtop. Radar performance will often improve with a raised mount, regardless of having a life raft nearby. With the life raft, its a no-brainer.

If you want to discuss all the particulars about mounting, CG, releases, etc., post the details and it will be beat to death. Otherwise, mount your radar higher than the raft and go fishing.

JD
Old 03-08-2012, 04:27 PM
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Go with an Edson Vision series mount.
Old 03-08-2012, 04:32 PM
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Marlin Driver

Thanks for the response. You answered my question…. It’s funny how a simple question can snowball into something else on these threads..

Thanks again

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