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Which radar?

Old 02-24-2015, 06:53 PM
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Default Which radar?

While sitting in a restaurant yesterday, looking out at the gulf with the sun shining, i saw the thickest fog roll in. I realized that I could have been out there when it rolled in. It was a frightening thought. Then I read the news about the boat slamming into the restaurant in Ruskin; I'm convinced I need to install a radar system.
I have a 22' center console with a Garmin 720S. Which radar system is recommended?
Also, I've read that I will also need a heading sensor; is that correct?
Old 02-24-2015, 07:02 PM
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I like the 18xHD. I think you would be pretty happy with that unit.

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Old 02-24-2015, 07:18 PM
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Heading sensor is to overlay radar on your chart screen reliably.
Old 02-24-2015, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Grey_Beard View Post
Then I read the news about the boat slamming into the restaurant in Ruskin; I'm convinced I need to install a radar system.
I have a 22' center console with a Garmin 720S. Which radar system is recommended?
Also, I've read that I will also need a heading sensor; is that correct?
Your plotter should be enough to keep you from running into restaurants but the radar will be a huge help in avoiding other boats.

The Lowrance Point-1 heading sensor is inexpensive and other THT folks have found that it works well with Garmin plotters. To read the heading sensor, you'll need to set up an NMEA 2000 network if you don't already have one (it's pretty straightforward to do).

At the risk of stating the obvious, you should start out by using your new radar even in perfect weather, so you'll be totally comfortable interpreting the radar returns when it really matters (in poor visibility).
Old 02-24-2015, 08:12 PM
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The Garmin GMR18xHD paired with the point 1 would be a very nice addition to your boat.
Old 02-24-2015, 10:26 PM
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Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think the 720s would truly benefit from using an "xhd" radar. At least as far as the 8 bit color. I think the regular "HD" radar would be fine and it would save a few hundred $. I also don't think you absolutely need a heading sensor. Overlay should work fine except when stationary, or if using MARPA. Personally, I think overlay isn't necessary anyway. It can be confusing trying to discriminate land images from the chart and imaging from the radar overlay. Just use the radar screen alone for avoiding real world obstacles. A quick glance and you're done.
Old 02-25-2015, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by catch232 View Post
I also don't think you absolutely need a heading sensor. Overlay should work fine except when stationary, or if using MARPA. Personally, I think overlay isn't necessary anyway. It can be confusing trying to discriminate land images from the chart and imaging from the radar overlay. Just use the radar screen alone for avoiding real world obstacles. A quick glance and you're done.
Right now, I have a Raymarine 18" dome without a heading sensor, but I think a heading sensor is useful for heavy fog (like the OP is concerned about). In really heavy fog, I find that I use radar even at hull speed and below. I'll be installing a heading sensor this spring.

I use overlay roughly 100% of the time. Overlay gives me an automatic cross-check of the radar and the GPS. The two images can only line up correctly if the radar and the GPS are both working correctly. And the only radar returns I really care about are the ones that don't correspond to land or charted navaids etc, and overlay makes those returns very obvious.

For me, running on a radar screen alone makes no sense at all, because there are lots of obstacles that will only show up on a chart (e.g., barely covered rocks). Since I need to look at a chart and radar, I use overlay to see them both in one place.
Old 02-25-2015, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by catch232 View Post
Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think the 720s would truly benefit from using an "xhd" radar. At least as far as the 8 bit color. I think the regular "HD" radar would be fine and it would save a few hundred $. I also don't think you absolutely need a heading sensor. Overlay should work fine except when stationary, or if using MARPA. Personally, I think overlay isn't necessary anyway. It can be confusing trying to discriminate land images from the chart and imaging from the radar overlay. Just use the radar screen alone for avoiding real world obstacles. A quick glance and you're done.


x2 - I use the plotter on one screen and radar on the other. I did not like the experience and challenge of discerning radar returns from images on the map. In addition, through my frequent usage (even offshore fishing yesterday in the fog) I find that I am frequently changing the range of the radar as I get closer to targets to aid in navigation around and between objects like channel markers or other boats. I can comfortably drive my boat b/t two markers that are 20 yds apart with my radar in 1/8 mile range. After I pass the target I pull it back out to the 1/2 mile range inshore and 1.5 mile range offshore. Anything further than that is just clutter and normally out side my interest with the exception of getting a scan of a storm determining direction of movement and overall size. The problem with the overlay is that you may want to keep your map on one range setting but narrow your radar down as it make sense for your conditions plus you will need to adjust the gain depending on your surroundings.. Doing either (range or gain adjustments) requires a screen change in overlay mode. In addition, small inland bays and the ICW will call for a lower gain setting than you can normally use offshore. The clutter and returns of the land, buildings and other stuff will impact your returns if your unit is north of 65% gain. Offshore you can crank it up to 75%-85% if the water is calm. I use my Garmin 18hd weekly and I love it so the newer model 18xhd would be even better if you had the extra dollars to spend. If you wanted to spend more then there are other options but for general navigation, situational awareness (other boats) its a great and simple unit. Just use it during normal days so you learn how to differentiate b/t boats, markers and other targets so when you need to rely on it during the night or fog your used to how it paints objects. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss real world usage on Garmin units.

B
Old 02-25-2015, 07:58 AM
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More discussion on Garmin overlay - http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...r-overlay.html
Old 02-25-2015, 08:10 AM
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I went back and forth between the 18xHd and 24xHD. I chose the 24 since size wise it's not horribly larger than the 18 but the beam width is considerably better.
Old 02-26-2015, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
I went back and forth between the 18xHd and 24xHD. I chose the 24 since size wise it's not horribly larger than the 18 but the beam width is considerably better.
I'd make the same decision if I were starting over.. Hind site- should have sprung for the 24.

B
Old 02-26-2015, 04:06 PM
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I also decided on the 24
Old 02-27-2015, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by catch232 View Post
Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think the 720s would truly benefit from using an "xhd" radar. At least as far as the 8 bit color. I think the regular "HD" radar would be fine and it would save a few hundred $. I also don't think you absolutely need a heading sensor. Overlay should work fine except when stationary, or if using MARPA. Personally, I think overlay isn't necessary anyway. It can be confusing trying to discriminate land images from the chart and imaging from the radar overlay. Just use the radar screen alone for avoiding real world obstacles. A quick glance and you're done.
Thanks to all for the info.
Can anyone confirm this statement about the 720s and xhd?
Old 02-27-2015, 11:48 AM
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Something else to consider is if you add an auto pilot like the Sitex SP110 it has a heading sensor. No it is not the greatest auto pilot in the world but it will hold a heading and give you a few more seconds to digest what your looking at on the screen. If you're looking at spending a couple hundred bucks on a heading sensor, you may as well add auto pilot with a heading sensor for in the $1400 range. I can honestly say I never considered auto pilot an asset on a boat, but after having it there are 2 things my boat will always have and it is Radar and an Auto Pilot.
Old 02-27-2015, 12:05 PM
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That actually happened to me "on the 1st day out" with my Grady in 2010. I was having trouble understanding the HDS8 that came with the boat and couldn't get the sonar to work. But as I pulled out into the bay, I saw a fog bank looking east. Thinking I had plenty of time, I started to turn back west towards the dock about 1/4 mile away. Just about this time I turned around it literally "fell" all around me. Couldn't see the anchor pulpit it was so thick.

I finally figured out how to view the track back to the dock but was freaking out not knowing the area, depth or if other boats were around. So I just started idling back and finally found a buoy marker to know I was on track and made it back to the dock. I think I ordered the BR24 that afternoon or the next day and haven't looked back.

I don't know about others I will always have overlay for the chartplotter. I've had no issues at all being able to discern any object overlayed on the screen.
Old 02-27-2015, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by GulfC View Post
I don't know about others I will always have overlay for the chartplotter. I've had no issues at all being able to discern any object overlayed on the screen.
No issues here either and if I want more independence on my plotter or radar I switch to split screen - my 12" screen is plenty big to do this effectively.
Old 02-27-2015, 12:44 PM
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I guess we all have our preferences on how we use our equipment.. Good thing is, we are fortunate enough to have it and are able to use it. Kinda like cable tv.. could you imagine your life without WFN (World Fishing Network)???

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