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Author Topic:   RADAR
Hines Pointer posted 11-29-2007 10:54 AM ET (US)   Profile for Hines Pointer  
Are there RADAR units that can be installed and safely used on a Montauk? If so, can anyone suggest brands and models? Thanks.
sternorama posted 11-29-2007 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
I am interested in this too. There are plenty of units out there capable (waterproof lcd display unit), the thing that is missing is the custom installation-either an arch just over the console, an arch off the gunnels, or a t-top for mounting the radome. The coastie 18's I saw had a small arch aft over the transom, but that wouldn't work too well for the average fisherman.

I would love to see pictures of radar installations on any small boats if you have them to share. Also any experiences with the different units would be great. Sorry if I hopped your thread!-G

DeeVee posted 11-29-2007 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     
I believe Edson makes an aluminum column/base plate/antenna mounting plate system that might work for you.

I had often thought of mounting a column either through, or to the outside of the center console. I never had the funds for the radar unit, so I never pursued it, beyond ordering the Edson catalog.

Nowadays, with chart plotting GPS units, one can probably get by without a radar. I think I would still like the radar capability. One of these days, maybe.


Chuck Tribolet posted 11-29-2007 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
GPS will get you home in the fog, but it won't tell you where
the big boys are.

An alternative to RADAR for seeing the big boys is AIS. The
big boys all have to carry an AIS transponder that transmits
their location, speed, and heading every few seconds on a
couple of VHF channels. An AIS receiver will pick this up
and display it on your recent chartplotter.

Whatever you do, don't do what one guy (not a Whaler) in
Monterey that I see regularly did: The RADAR antenna is
mounted on top of the bow rail. Every time it sweeps it's
irradiating his gonads and his lady's ovaries.


westcoastwhaler posted 11-29-2007 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
Radar is only good as far as you can see and also needs a stable platform. An installation on a small boat is not going to get the stability it needs nor is it going to be mounted high enough to see very far. Remember, every time the boat moves back and forth and up and down, the beam will be moving too.

A GPS with Chart overlay is a great option to navigate safely as well as AIS which let's everyone see you. I am not sure if AIS is up for recreational boats yet, so check before investing.

I also agree with Chuck about the radiation [exposure].

roloaddict posted 11-29-2007 11:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for roloaddict  Send Email to roloaddict     
I have been looking at the Furuno 1623 Radar for my Katama. It would match my LS6100 sounder in looks and is about all the money I want to mount outside in a open boat.

Notes to ponder:

Radars rely on three big things for performance.
1. The height of the antenna and the height of the target above the horizon.

2. Beam width. The narrower the better to decern targets that may be close together. It also gives you more effective gain.

3. Power, to a point, to hit a hard target inside of clutter.

On a small boat you can't realistically mount a 25Kw, 1.2 deg beam width, radar at 100 ft off the water. You mount a 2.2Kw, 6.2 deg, radar at 8 feet. Which will give you 6 to 8 miles to see a 8 foot tall boat at best.

I should get enough detection capability to stay out of trouble with the little boats around me and see the big boys bearing down on me. I won't be able to count the stanchions on thier hand rails, but I will know they are there.

Other considerations are power consumption and mechanical mounting.

As far as RF exposure is concerned, a 2.2Kw radar has an incredibly small amount of average power. Far less than holding down the button on your VHF, or the cumulative effects of the hours you spend on your cell phone.

The Furuno manual for this radar is much more concerned that you will get shocked if you open the radar, or fall of the mast.

GPS and a chart or plotter. AIS is a good tool but if it is big enough to have to have an AIS, your radar should see it, and as powerful as the Coast Guard is, they haven't gotten rocks to voluntarily comply with carriage requirements. AIS or radar,I would pick radar.

Casco Bay Outrage posted 11-29-2007 11:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
I have seen a Dauntless DC and a 17' Grady White CC with single mast-mounted radars. Not very practical but doable.

If you are really serious on getting radar, consider selling the Montauk, buy a classic Outrage 18 and mount a T top or arch. That will get you the height/performance you will want.

Just one person's opinion.


Chuck Tribolet posted 11-30-2007 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
If you mount a RADAR too high, it shoots over the close
targets and you don't see them.

AIS transponders are available for recreational boats but they
are still pricey. AIS receivers are getting to be not too expensive and
I expect to see them integrated into the next generation of
high-end VHFs.


swist posted 11-30-2007 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I made a mistake of mounting a small radar (Raytheon RL72) on my previous boat (24') using an Edson mast. Even though the mast was secured to the console part-way up, that still didn't make the top of the (8') mast, and hence the radome, sufficiently stable to give me a great picture under normal small-boat pitching and rolling conditions. The shapes of the targets were very distorted (round objects, like buoys, looked like hot dogs).

My conclusion was that even the lightest radome presents too much of a swinging moment at the top of a mast. The only solution, as stated earlier, would have been a custom arch or t-top. This would have made the whole project extremely expensive.

When I got my 17' Whaler I did not even consider radar. Just not practical.

Fromn the land of the 24 hr fog -- Maine.

Hines Pointer posted 11-30-2007 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hines Pointer    
Thanks for all your comments and advice. I think I'm agreeing with Casco Bay Outrage's advice to think about an 18' Outrage with T top if serious about radar. While the number of my encounters with fog on my journies at dawn (e.g. flat seas and hungry fish) on Long Island Sound and around Martha's Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands and Nantucket are nothing like what CBO encounters in Casco Bay, I still am kept ashore too many times for my liking.

My Montauk at 2,000 pounds loaded is perfect for my vehicle's 3,000 pound towing and -- more importantly - braking capacity. I'm ultra conservative regarding overloading tow vehicles and overpowering boats, as my earlier posts have indicated. I'll have to look into an 18' Outrage and see if I still come in comfortably under the 3,000 towing limit I have. Then I'll have to check my wallet.

Again, many thanks for all your help.

P.S. If anyone in or near Southern New England is wanting to downsize from an 18' Outrage to a Montauk for some reason, we should perhaps talk.

Buckda posted 11-30-2007 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I believe an 18' Outrage on the trailer and fully loaded will be more than your conservative requirements will allow for tow-vehicle and rig.

My 18' Outrage on tandem axle trailer wore out my rear bearings on the 2002 Explorer (4x4, V-6, 3,500 lb capacity) at 70,000 miles...but I did a lot of long-distance towing with it. The rig finally killed the tow vehicle at 149,000 miles by aiding in the failure of the gears in the rear differential.

In retrospect, I will only recommend tow vehicles with 5,000 lb ratings for 18' Outrages for long-distance towing or for vehicle longevity.


Hines Pointer posted 11-30-2007 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hines Pointer    

Thanks for that information. It sounds like I should stay with my Montauk and simply find other things to do -- surf fishing, bicycling or just enjoying another cup of coffee after breakfast -- until the fog burns off. Thank goodness I'm not further down east.


newt posted 11-30-2007 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     

It's a Ford thing. The rear differential in my 2005 F150 blew up at around 70,000 miles. Boat and trailer are less than 4500 lbs and I only tow 100-200 miles per year. The truck is rated for close to 9000 lb tow capacity.

Casco Bay Outrage posted 11-30-2007 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
Michael -

I think you are right about avoiding the serious fog.

The two boats I referred to above venture back and forth to the island at ridiculous speed, regardless of the fog. We have an intra-island ferry fleet servicing 9 islands; numerous tankers (700' LOA); cargo vessels; commercial draggers and offshore lobster boats on a typical day. Even if I had radar, it would be tough navigating.

I avoid mild fog, not because of the commercial traffic, rather the inexperienced boats who are hot dogging. Too many close calls with stupid recreational boaters with idiots aboard for me. While it is tough staying off the water, I have grown to accept it.

Maybe when the tow vehicle wears out, you could upgrade it and then go for an 18' Outrage or Revenge 20.



andygere posted 12-03-2007 06:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have an Outrage 22 Cuddy with a small T-top, and a Furuno radar dome mounted on top. It works pretty well on this boat, but it's a setup that would be difficult to duplicate on a Montauk. As far as range, I most frequently have mine set to look at a 1 mile radius; The resolution is good, and that's the area where I'm really looking for (avoiding) targets. I really don't care what's 8 or 10 miles away from me. I live in an area where heavy fog is common, and some fog is almost a daily occurance in the summer. The radar helps a lot, but I still don't like going out on those pea soup days, and often don't. The reason is that for every savy captian keeping an eye on his radar screen and his speed to a minimum, there are a dozen cowboys flying around blind at high speeds. That's to say nothing of the silent stalkers (large sailing yachts).
sternorama posted 12-05-2007 03:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
andygere-you bring up some good points regarding the "limitations" of running under radar. Do the sailboats not show up on your radar?
Bulldog posted 12-05-2007 07:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bulldog  Send Email to Bulldog     
I would think they show up fine, the "silent stalkers" make no noise to really hear from any distance....Jack
westcoastwhaler posted 12-05-2007 02:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
Sailboats typically do not show up very well with radar unless they have a radar reflector. This is especially true if the sea conditions are rough. What makes it even tougher is most sailboats have white hulls which are difficult to spot in the fog (even if you have a bearing from your radar).

On another note, small boats such as Boston Whalers will not show up well due to the low profile on the water.

Peter posted 12-05-2007 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
"Sailboats typically do not show up very well with radar unless they have a radar reflector."

Sailboats and powerboats of equal size appear the same on my 18 year old radar system. If they have their sails up, they are even easier to see. Those with radar reflectors are also provide a larger target image.

westcoastwhaler posted 12-06-2007 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
My comments were related to power boat vs. sailboat and the relative radar signature. Radar needs superstructure and/or metal to reflect a signal. Both of which are minimal on most sail boats. I had not thought about sails as most foggy days in S. Cal have very little wind. Who knows, maybe this would help.

IMHO, compared to a powerboat with a fly bridge or other superstructure, the powerboat will have a better radar signature.

On separate note, I think that older radar units are better than the newer models at picking up targets in various conditions.

Bella con23 posted 12-06-2007 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
WCW - Interesting you should mention the idea that the older units maybe better at picking up targets then the newer unit. I have been torn between buying an good used color radar from the late 90's verses a brand new LCD.

Of course my logical thinking is that technology has evolved exponentially over the last 10 years, but in reality how much can the operation of reflecting and displaying a signal advance.

I believe towboater pointed out that side by side the CRT units can't be beat.

Seems to me the technology is in smaller packaging and lower pricing making it affordable for the smaller boater.

Still shopping.

westcoastwhaler posted 12-07-2007 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
I love the look and technology on the newer models (especially the split screen and chart overlay) but they dummy down the features (i.e. auto-gain) to pre-determined conditions and this can be a problem.

I took a 42 Tiara down to Mexico last weekend and noticed that even manually adjusting the gain way down it picked up a too much scatter from 1-2 foot waves. It seems to me that the newer models are too sensitive in moderate seas.

I used to drive boats commerically and had the pleasure of looking at a Radar Scope for hours on end. We were using Late 80's Furuno's and they did a good job of filtering out the scatter in all sea conditions.

If I was in the market, I would find some friends that have radar installed and go out with them to see what works best for your local waters.

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