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Author Topic:   RADAR for Small Boats
sternorama posted 09-28-2007 01:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for sternorama   Send Email to sternorama  
Furuno, Lowrance, Garmin and I'm sure others offer small radar units for $1,000 to $1,500. Anybody have any related opinions or experiences to share with an interested shopper?
Bella con23 posted 09-28-2007 11:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
There are many variables when selecting a radar unit for a boat. Where do you boat, do you spend a lot of time boating at night, do you need better resolution for tight maneuvering, offshore boating, etc.

I'm budgeting a Furuno 1715 for 2008 for my 23 Conquest. Do I really need it? Probably not, but I have been in uncomfortable conditions such as fog or overcast nights and rain that I wished I had it for the additional traffic information it would present.

This unit is a toy compared to some of the of the Northstar or Raymarine displays that I have seen on larger 40 plus footer fishing machines.
I won't be looking for birds on a $1500 dollar unit, but I should see other boats and the buoys.

Good luck,

towboater posted 09-29-2007 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
Give JRC a look. My c.2003 LED [liquid crystal display?] Furuno is a pile of junk compared to my 2001 CRT [cathode ray tube] JRC.
sternorama posted 10-01-2007 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
JRC over Furuno on the low-end... interesting. As a side note I called Standard Horizon to ask about thier CPV350 units (combo VHF/Sounder/plotter)and I learned that they will be entering the Radar market probably starting this next year. No price information given.

What do you like about the JRC?

Bella con23 posted 10-01-2007 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
I'm also curious what the differences are between the two. I would be happy to spend the difference towards a new Mills canvas.
sternorama posted 10-02-2007 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
After a brief search I get the impression that JRC is moving away from the low-end radar. I can't find the smaller units for sale.
phatwhaler posted 10-02-2007 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
I agree with sterno and Towboater. The low end JRC CRT models work great, and the low end LCD Furuno aren't that great. The clarity of the screen is the problem with the LCD Furuno. Radar is about confidence. Once you get used to a crisp CRT machine and that's what you're used to, then switching to gray LCD box is going to be tough. When I'm working with a Furuno Navnet I'll even put it in green/black mode to make it look like a CRT. Probably the most important factor in getting a radar picture is having the radome mounted correctly, and as high as possible.

pw out.

towboater posted 10-03-2007 03:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
I dont know that it would be fair to call my JRC (48" antenna) low end. I am USCG Radar Endorced and I have run at least 30 different Tugs with different Radars IN THE FOG...not just lookin at the screen...over many years.

I will say, for $3500, my little JRC is just as good as Decca, Ratheon sets that cost double and better than every Furuno I have ever looked at. I installed the antenna and set myself. Simple plug n play (well, a little gain and clutter adjusting)...havent touched anything for over 3, maybe 4 years now.

All Im sayin, based on my personal use, I recommend anyone interested in buying a radar to give JRC a look before you buy.

BTW, my fairly new Garmin 545s Sonar has made trips over areas I have covered a gzillion times seem like guided trips over, under and thru San Diegos Marine Land compared to my ol digital fathometor.

sternorama posted 10-03-2007 12:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
Thanks towboater, I read your first post in haste... you clearly wrote CRT and that is clearly not the low end stuff. I'm working with an exposed small center console, so in my mind I will have to make do with the economy LCD type(also fits my budget better). Anybody else with anymore LCD radar comments? I'm mainly looking for collision avoidance in the (CA) Catalina channel. Thanks.

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