Notices
Marine Electronics Forum

Radar - Inshore & Nearshore

Old 10-11-2014, 01:35 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Perdido Key
Posts: 6,399
Received 474 Likes on 340 Posts
Default Radar - Inshore & Nearshore

Just looking for input. All of my Simrad gear has been ordered and delivered to my builder and the build starts this week. I'm probably close to 3 months out by the time she'll be done but I am on the fence about adding a Simrad 4G Radar. Typically we don't run at night and haven't had any horrible experiences with fog etc. I can see the benefits of avoiding obstructions and potential weather and we get a lot of nasty weather that comes up out of no where here in FL. I can see the benefits of being able to see a group of boats that may be "on the fish" say 2 or 3 miles away. I've been told by a very reliable source here that if it is tuned properly, picking out birds within a reasonable distance can happen. Having never had radar, total beginner here.

So with that all being said, how about some help ?

Bagger out
Old 10-11-2014, 01:45 PM
  #2  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,103
Received 330 Likes on 189 Posts
Default

I thought we were just going to avoid fog/night travel.

I have been caught in unexpected fog and have decided to get out on the water early...

We bought radar.
Old 10-11-2014, 01:58 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Perdido Key
Posts: 6,399
Received 474 Likes on 340 Posts
Default

Guess I should add, it's a small CC 22' and would you buy it again ?

Case in point similar to you Badger, last year we were out in a smaller 18' cc about maybe 6 miles and out of no where or so it seemed, I could see some really nasty storms heading out way. Packed it in and hauled butt, barely got the boat on the trailer and into the truck and all hell broke loose. In that instance, it could have gone either way. With radar, I would probably have seen that crap coming and not called it so damn close. When the thunder storms hit us around here and it's a constant, it can get ugly.
Old 10-11-2014, 02:15 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 159
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Default

I have been using radar commercially for 26 years. Radar is a great aid to navigation, but keep a few things in mind. First, using it as a warning to weather will only work on a long range scan...not a 3 mile or even 6 mile. A front or storm traveling at 30 kts will be on you in no time and you will have seen it visually before that. A 4 kw radar is not powerful and may or may not pick up weather long range. On ships, we run 25-30 kw X and S band radars. X band picks up weather the best that is the band smaller radars tend to be. . A small 4 kw set will be good if caught in fog or out at night at ranges less that 6 nm. It will do best under 3 nm. On a smaller CC, your radar will be mounted less that 8 ft off the water and will not do well long range. It may have a 48nm range, but will not target anything over 16 nm and that would be a ship in the best of conditions. Using it in conjunction with a chartplotter to navigate into an inlet in fog would be just fine. Bird watching would be a real stretch. Our commercial radars dont always pick them up. Just be mindful of the limitations of a 4kw radar mounted on a CC with its low proximity to the water
Old 10-11-2014, 02:18 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Perdido Key
Posts: 6,399
Received 474 Likes on 340 Posts
Default

Thanks Capt, just the info I need since I am a beginner with radar in every sense of the word.
Old 10-11-2014, 02:31 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 159
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Default

My pleasure. Simrad makes nice stuff...best of luck on the new boat
Old 10-11-2014, 02:45 PM
  #7  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 979
Received 30 Likes on 17 Posts
Default

I have a Simrad NSS8 with 3G radar. Forget about tracking storms with it. If you want to see storms, get satellite weather with WM-3. I have the WM-2. Worth every penny.

It is rare that I run into fog, but the worst I remember, I was 20 miles offshore, and a large ship started blowing it's horn. I had no idea how close it was nor where it was heading. At one point, it was so close, I could hear it's engines running and still couldn't see it. Around that same time, a small center console was on a collision course with my boat, and didn't see me until about 40 yards out. Apparently he was planning on fishing the same area. They ended up fishing close enough that we could hear them talking but we still couldn't see them.

That single experience was enough to justify the cost of radar on every boat I own from hear on out.

That and the time I almost plowed into two geniuses in a jon boat with no lights. One of the two started waving a lighter in the air to signal me. Nobody on my boat could see them. With bridge lights in the background, there was too much contrast. Never again with radar.
Old 10-11-2014, 03:26 PM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 63
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

You should be able to see storms coming no problem by zooming out and turning up your gain. I use my Garmin GMR 18xHD all the time for that and its nothing special.
Old 10-11-2014, 03:38 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Perdido Key
Posts: 6,399
Received 474 Likes on 340 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by tainted View Post
I have a Simrad NSS8 with 3G radar. Forget about tracking storms with it. If you want to see storms, get satellite weather with WM-3. I have the WM-2. Worth every penny.

It is rare that I run into fog, but the worst I remember, I was 20 miles offshore, and a large ship started blowing it's horn. I had no idea how close it was nor where it was heading. At one point, it was so close, I could hear it's engines running and still couldn't see it. Around that same time, a small center console was on a collision course with my boat, and didn't see me until about 40 yards out. Apparently he was planning on fishing the same area. They ended up fishing close enough that we could hear them talking but we still couldn't see them.

That single experience was enough to justify the cost of radar on every boat I own from hear on out.

That and the time I almost plowed into two geniuses in a jon boat with no lights. One of the two started waving a lighter in the air to signal me. Nobody on my boat could see them. With bridge lights in the background, there was too much contrast. Never again with radar.
Shitz... after cleaning my britches, I'd have ordered radar right away
Old 10-11-2014, 04:00 PM
  #10  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
InternationalMarineMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 8,338
Received 221 Likes on 103 Posts
Default

We get a lot of questions about safety related gear. Much of it is a nice to have and not a need to have piece of equipment.

I often ask how much is a life raft worth when you and your kids are hanging onto a cooler in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? The same holds true here. I have a radar for fishing. I also have a radar for collision avoidance and storm navigation in Florida as storms move in quickly every single afternoon. In the end if your budget allows I would equip the vessel with the best of the best if possible. My family is worth it at the end of the day.

Many here will say we sell the gear and that is the motivation. This is very far from the truth. We try to save THT members money when we can but piece of mind and safety does cost a few $$. In the end in my opinion it is worth the expenditure and it will also help you get on the fish. So that is a win win. Of course it is a personal choice so do what you feel will keep you and the family safe while enjoying the boat. Of course the other option is to only go out when conditions are favorable, avoid storms, no night or eaglet morning trips. It is a choice that only you can make.
Old 10-11-2014, 05:38 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 892
Received 71 Likes on 45 Posts
Default

Xm does decent for seeing the wx coming. How many months of an xm subscription would a radar pay for?
Old 10-11-2014, 09:50 PM
  #12  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: north carolina
Posts: 2,791
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Hossharris View Post
Xm does decent for seeing the wx coming. How many months of an xm subscription would a radar pay for?

about 2 to 3 years depending...
Old 10-12-2014, 03:48 AM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,220
Likes: 0
Received 297 Likes on 169 Posts
Default

Some good information in the posts above. Radar is kind of like birth control I guess. If you think you can really control when you are out on the water and avoid rain, fog, darkness, etc 99.8% of the time, it will not be quite so important on a 22' boat. But if you won't be so careful about "abstinence", you will never regret having radar in low visibility.

The nature of the solid state Simrad radar technology and the low power and low mounting height will limit its effectiveness for spotting storms at a distance. The 25kW Furuno 6 foot open array on the boat I used to run was mounted 20 feet above the water and showed thunderstorm cells 30-40 miles away very clearly and could spot birds 8-10 miles away on calm days. Your Simrad 4G will never be able to do anything remotely close to that. What the Simrad 4G will do quite well is show other boats and land features very well within 3-4 miles or so. Sure it may show a thunderstorm cell 8-10 miles out but you will almost certainly be able to see it at that range.

Finally, if you do get radar, use it on regularly on clear days so you can learn how to read the display by comparing what you can see with your eyes to what is on the screen. Experience is key to having confidence running with radar when the fog and night close in.
Old 10-12-2014, 05:26 AM
  #14  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seacoast NH
Posts: 6,937
Received 1,809 Likes on 808 Posts
Default

You don't need it....until you do. I'll never own another boat without. But I also boat in Maine (fog) a ton.
Old 10-12-2014, 10:31 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: See screen name
Posts: 5,947
Received 859 Likes on 538 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by CaptPuddie View Post
I have been using radar commercially for 26 years. Radar is a great aid to navigation, but keep a few things in mind. First, using it as a warning to weather will only work on a long range scan...not a 3 mile or even 6 mile. A front or storm traveling at 30 kts will be on you in no time and you will have seen it visually before that. A 4 kw radar is not powerful and may or may not pick up weather long range. On ships, we run 25-30 kw X and S band radars. X band picks up weather the best that is the band smaller radars tend to be. . A small 4 kw set will be good if caught in fog or out at night at ranges less that 6 nm. It will do best under 3 nm. On a smaller CC, your radar will be mounted less that 8 ft off the water and will not do well long range. It may have a 48nm range, but will not target anything over 16 nm and that would be a ship in the best of conditions. Using it in conjunction with a chartplotter to navigate into an inlet in fog would be just fine. Bird watching would be a real stretch. Our commercial radars dont always pick them up. Just be mindful of the limitations of a 4kw radar mounted on a CC with its low proximity to the water
Yes but it will pick up storms out to a much greater distance, given the elevation of a storm.
Old 10-12-2014, 11:03 AM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: M.Vineyard, MA
Posts: 16,432
Received 993 Likes on 767 Posts
Default

The OP is asking for application for inshore and near-shore so I'd think the 3 & 4G's very close-in target display capability with no "main bang" masking would be a very great benefit , moreso than long-distant detecting.
My 4 KW conventional older Raytheon's main bang suppression blanks out targets like channel or pot buoys or other boats right close in where I most need to see them while crawling through pea soup, whereas the 4G & 3G Broadband units reportedly allow full display of targets right up to the point one could physically touch them.

If I were buying new today I expect I would aim to purchase a 4G unit for best Broadband sensitivity for on-water targets and wx at longer range compared to 3G and still see targets next to the boat and have the desirable health safety feature of low-power TX emittance. ( As I have mentioned before, if someone at the lower helm activates radome TX on my present radar while I am on the marlin tower , I soon feel a very bad feeling in my shins at beam level ,so in spite of the minimal advisories I know that conventional pulse beam can indeed be harmful a few feet from the dome.)
Old 10-12-2014, 11:07 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Perdido Key
Posts: 6,399
Received 474 Likes on 340 Posts
Default

Thanks Taxi and having originally hailed from your area (New Bedford & Westport), I am all too familiar with the dense fog that just rolls up on you in a matter of NO TIME.
Old 10-12-2014, 12:22 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 159
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Yes but it will pick up storms out to a much greater distance, given the elevation of a storm.
Look...I think it's safe to say I know a few things about radar after 26 years of using them, sport. I had a Raymarine 4kw on my last boat. For what this guy wants it for ...it's fine. Short range less than 6nm but will be best suited under 3nm getting in and out of port. The radars typically have a 25 degree vertical beam width which will pick up close targets fine. Where small radar has its shortcoming is in target definition due to their relatively wide horizontal beam width of 3.5-4 degrees. In comparison, my ships 30 kw radar with a 12 ft open array has a 0.8 degree beam width.

Storm monitoring. ..there are much better choices than a 4 kw radar like Sirius or even a cell phone if close to shore. Don't give the OP a false sense of security. It may show distant rain, but only if it is heavyily consentrated. It simply does not have the power to discriminate storm intensity.
Old 10-12-2014, 12:55 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Middle Sound, NC
Posts: 9,522
Received 2,032 Likes on 1,283 Posts
Default

I run an old school Furuno 1715 with closed array. Not sure of kW, but it is low, either 2.2 or 4, in a I think 20" dome. It's mounted about 13' above wl. It absolutely will pick up storms at 24 mile. Of course it will not pick up ships at that distance due to earth curvature, but the storms are way high and are easily picked up. It is not great on targets up close, but over like 8yrs of use I have tracked many storms.

I'm sure it can't discriminate well at that distance, but what I want to know is if a BIG storm or front is coming, and it does that well.
Old 10-12-2014, 01:10 PM
  #20  
Senior Member (used to be B-Faithful)Captains Club MemberPLEDGER Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 18,495
Received 2,311 Likes on 1,166 Posts
Default

I don't know the areas you run but I am a Chesapeake Bay and near coastal fisherman and really appreciate having radar. Even on clear days it helps me keep an eye on other boats including the ship traffic coming to and from Baltimore, which can come on you quickly. I do a lot of spring and late fall trolling so watching lines and for other boats on busy days makes having radar a good help. Of course the few times I need it when a heavy fog rolls in makes it worth while too.

Last edited by iFishMD; 10-13-2014 at 07:22 AM.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.