navigation-radar_system-largeThink three grand or so...not a lot more.

If your boat does not have a radar system and if you venture out long enough to get caught in darkness, or in weather like fog or rain, a radar system is a very important safety investment. If you have radar, but it is an older system, consider upgrading to the new technologies. The performance improvements are simply amazing.

Imagine going to work tomorrow and using a 10-year-old computer!

Older pleasure craft radar systems are simply out of date. The new buzzwords are digital, high definition, broadband, high-speed scanning, dual range and bird mode to name just a few. With boat show season starting soon, you have the best opportunity to learn about and compare the features of the exciting new systems that are hitting the market.

Did I say three grand? Well, Furuno has a stand-alone LCD system at two grand! Their 1623 model is 2.2 kW with a 6" monochrome LCD display and a 15" radome. It can mount on even trailer-sized boats if they have a suitable mount and "budda-bing" - you have radar, just like the big boys.

Furuno is celebrating its 34th consecutive "Best Radar" award from the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) and they're certainly not resting on their laurels. One of Furuno's latest models is their all-new 1835/19x5 Color LCD Radar series. The 1835 comes standard with a 4 kW, 24" radome and can display up to 100 AIS targets with the optional AIS receiver. It features a 10.4" colour LCD display and also Furuno's unique "True View"; a heads-up display mode with a sophisticated smoothing effect added. You also get enhanced auto tuning, gain and anti-clutter control, all in the six thousand dollar range.

But hold on...this would all make more sense if we go for a bit of background information before we get onto more great new features.

One of the experts in the industry is Ken Harrison at Summerhill CA Sales. We asked Ken what buyers are looking for in a radar system. He told us, "Some clients are looking for range. They want 40 mile coverage but smaller boats can't mount the radome, or an open array antenna high enough to get that anyway."

"What most sailors and cruisers want is the convenience to safely get to their destination even if darkness, or bad weather closes in," Ken explained, "and what these new digital and high definition systems give you is far better detail at close range, plus radar can do a lot more."

Radar is an acronym meaning Radio Detecting And Ranging. Radar is a device which measures not only the time it takes for a pulsed signal to be reflected back from an object, but also that object's bearing relative to your position. No other piece of marine electronics can give you as much information about objects around you as radar.

Radar is the ultimate anti-collision aid, but it also provides information about the location of neighboring vessels, coastal outlines, channel markers and objects in the water. The better X-band systems have the range to track a weather front that may be approaching. Fishermen want a system that can display a flock of sea birds. Birds are the champion fish finders! Where the birds are, there is usually a school of fish.

If you navigate in fog or darkness, you can lose "situational awareness" around your own boat because of poor, or no visibility. With radar acting as your eyes however, you have the ability to monitor your surroundings and the movement of other vessels. Most units have a guard alarm feature that alerts you when targets enter a particular zone that you have defined.

AIS is Automatic Identification System; a signal that carries information about that vessel and some units can receive and display AIS information so you can better decide a safe course, to avoid a large ship or a fast moving fishing boat. There are three types of AIS:

1. Receive only

2. Class B. Transmit and receive signal (every 2 to 3 minutes)

3. Class A. Commercial level (displays much more information at shorter intervals - every 30 seconds)

Radar systems can also display a "trail" on the screen that simulates target movement in afterglow. It is useful for assessing the movement of all targets relative to your own boat.

You never want to experience a collision at sea, but you don't want to run aground either! Since radar sees further than the naked eye, the echoes from islands and landmasses can be used to determine your own position. Then, the more sophisticated systems allow you to overlay the chart and the radar display. This is a valuable double check on your position.

When comparing systems, remember that the scanner rotates 360 degrees about its vertical axis, using a special gear. In order to achieve precise bearing resolution the antenna radiates RF (radio frequency) power in the form of a highly directional beam. "Super" beams on commercial vessels have a horizontal beamwidth on the order of one 1 degree or less to provide highly precise bearing information. The sharper the beam, the more accurately the bearing of a target can be determined.

For pleasure craft, systems like Raymarine's RD418D has 4 kW of power and a 4.9 degree beam for excellent target resolution from a very compact radome. More kW of power increases the ability to scan through rain and fog. Raymarine's new HD Digital radar has a high-speed scanning mode, increasing scanner speed from 24 to 48 rpm for superior tracking of high-speed craft at short ranges.

A feature to look into is dual range mode where you can monitor both the short and long-range radar images simultaneously. What is surprising is that these new high definition digital systems from Furuno, Garmin and Raymarine at about 4 kW of power can sometimes see close targets more clearly than 25 kW commercial radar swinging an 8'6" open array antenna!

Of course, the display is important. That is how you read and interpret the information at your helm when you are underway. The larger the screen, the easier it is to read and colour displays add a wealth of detail that is fast to interpret. We mentioned that Furuno has a very attractively priced stand alone system but as you move up through the line at all the companies, look for NMEA 2000 compliant systems that can connect to larger displays and that can network other equipment together.

Raymarine for example, has their new E Series wide screen with a touch screen feature. That can display data feeds from the radar, GPS, electronic charts and can even integrate engine data, weather data and more, on one multifunction screen.

Garmin's GMR 18 is a 4-kilowatt radar with 36 nm range. If you team this up with a Garmin GPS Map 3006C, you are around $3000 for a system with a radome of 0.45 metres in diameter, a 5.0° beamwidth and where you can overlay the GMR 18 radar image on the chartplotter's map page. You can also split the on-screen display so that you can view the map and the standard radar page simultaneously.

Just remember when shopping these systems that most are proprietary, so if you have Furuno on your bridge now, you stay with Furuno as you add or upgrade your equipment. The same is true for Raymarine, Garmin and the Navico lines. NMEA 2000 systems usually all network together as long as they are from the same family.

Check out the various systems at the shows this winter and get ready to make a quantum leap ahead in safety and convenience with a new radar system this summer!

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

AXOPAR 37 XC

 

Axopar 37 XCWhole new ball game…

 

Set aside your assumptions and expectations for a few minutes while we try to describe the new Axopar 37 XC that made its American debut at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. This boat represents a whole new ball game in terms of design, performance, seakeeping and functionality. In fact, I’d say it takes a ‘clean sheet of paper’ approach to boating – it’s that different.

Read More about the Axopar 37 XC..................

Destinations

  • Prev
On May 19, the New York State Canal Corporation today announced an updated opening schedule for the ...
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...

DolphinsBy the Canadian Yachting Editors


Canadians are blessed in many ways and especially when it comes to boating. We enjoy some the world’s most beautiful cruising waters and many places are as sheltered as they are scenic.

British Columbia and the Pacific North West plainly have the most breath-taking scenery with the combination of the majestic ocean views and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’s like no place on earth when you have a Killer Whale breach beside your little fishing boat.

Read more about Canadian Cruising...........

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This interesting shot is one you will remember. It comes to POTW from our pal, photographer and ...
Unknown to us at the time, the quest for VIA-MARA started in 1973 when I saved the back cover of a ...
You will find that many of the yachts travelling up and down the BC Coast have Sea Kayaks on board. ...
The Council of British Columbia Yacht Clubs with over 50 yacht club members has become the voice of ...
Classic boat restoration expert and wooden boat builder Stan Hunter recently sent us this great ...
In Mid June, a floatplane plunged into Constance Bay on the Ottawa River after two planes collide ...
Winter is a fun time for sailmakers in Canada. We grind through mountains of repairs and have an ...
The seasoned sailor mapped out an ambitious course around the world — aboard his 28-foot ...
Clean wake: A concept amongst cruising sailors that stresses the impact that individual behaviour ...
This line-up of Beneteaus can to us from our friends at RCR Yachts in NY State where they are ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
I get a lot of calls for electrical repairs. Not upgrades or installations – the requests are to ...
Many boats are now on the water after a COVID-imposed hiatus – and with a shortened ‘prep’ period, ...
Wrapping your hull with marine vinyl wrap instead using traditional marine paint seems like a new ...
Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with ...
Building on our last two editions (Sealants, and Fibreglass, respectively), Gelcoat is the next ...
After a successful R2Ak and regatta season in 2019, I felt that Pitoraq was due for a major ...
Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? ...
Last edition we talked about sealants to perform tasks like bedding and sealing. Other tasks like ...
Over the winter, a many-thousand pound fiberglass, wood or metal shell is held in position by only ...
Since the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over ...

Andrew AlbertiIn the past two issues we have been doing an overview of the right-of-way rules. In the first, we did a review of Section A of Part 2, in the second we did a review of the definitions. This issue, we will look at Section B of Part 2, General Limitations, which is essentially limitations applying to boats that have right of way according to Section A.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

Read more about the right-of-way rules.......................