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  Mounting RADAR on Small Boats; Fabrication of RADAR Towers

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Author Topic:   Mounting RADAR on Small Boats; Fabrication of RADAR Towers
richardjrj posted 06-15-2006 12:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for richardjrj   Send Email to richardjrj  
I would like to put a small RADAR on my Boston Whaler 17-foot MONTAIK. Give me suggestions for mounting the RADAR and for fabricating a tower.
swist posted 06-15-2006 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I've been this route. The radome has to be too high for a tower to be stable (too much moment, even with today's fairly lightweight radomes). An arch is the only thing that's going to work. Even when braced to the console, there was enough lateral movement of my tower so that circular targets, like buoys, all looked like hot dogs.

I know radar is becoming more affordable and technologically suitable for smaller and smaller boats, but isn't 17' pushing it a bit? You will have trouble finding space for the display unit - even the smallest ones are a lot bigger than your average gps or sounder. It will also be hard to run wiring given the way the boat is built.

And philosophically, in my own opinion, one of the joys of my Montauk is its simplicity (as opposed to the boat I put the radar on). It's hard to resist temptation to not keep it that way.

richardjrj posted 06-15-2006 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for richardjrj  Send Email to richardjrj     
Yes, yes, the beauty of the montauk is simplicity but fishing the California coast during the summer months represents a good chunk of excellent king salmon fishing. The fog during these months are hazardous and radar would be nice
swist posted 06-15-2006 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Well I'm on the Maine coast. The other part of the country with bad fog.

I had the same worries when I downsized from by 24-foot boat with RADAR to my Montauk 170. But I have a Garmin GPS276 with the Bluechart of the local area loaded, and I find it is probably better than the radar at making me comfortable that I know where I am.

What you lose of course, is the ability to see other vessels, which may or may not be your worry.

jimh posted 06-15-2006 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Suggestions for how to fabricate masts, towers, or arches for supporting a RADAR antenna are outside of the electrical discussion. This sort of topic is best discussed under the REPAIRS/MODS section.

A RADAR should be mounted as high as possible. It is also important to give consideration to avoiding putting the crew in the path of the RADAR beam. Usually the manufacturer of the RADAR provides guidance on how to install the antenna for optimum performance.

Because a small boat is very maneuverable, I do not think that a long range RADAR will be needed to avoid other ships.

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