Aug 25 2011

Have Radar!

In my diligent efforts to outfit our sailboat with all that she will need for an extended voyage,
 there are several things that I have needed, but either expense or availability has hampered my efforts.  Two of these items are radar and a Ham/marine radio.

Radar has been called an extra crew member by some.  Although it is not necessary, it comes highly recommended by those that have sailed on extended voyages.  It can alert you of impending doom miles, and many minutes, in advance of a potential catastrophe.  Radar can watch for other vessels around you and track their trajectory, along with yours.  If you are on a path that would bring you and another vessel together on a collision course, your
radar can alert you.

Radar can also alert you of inclement weather.  With how weather can rear its ugly head, anything that can give you a head’s up as to what might be coming your way is a Godsend.  This is especially true at night when the signs of bad weather approaching are much less visible, and can also be more dangerous.

Depending on what brand/model of radar that you settle on, you can have a range of anywhere from around 15 miles to around 50 miles, although your actual range will be much less.  Even though the range of whatever radar you end up with will be less than the advertised range, travel speeds on the water are slow enough so that it should be more than adequate for advance warnings.

I opted for a used unit because most of the money that we are spending on getting ready for our voyage is going towards other things.  I researched what was available and found a gently used Raytheon unit that has a 16 mile range.  It was complete with the owner’s manual, and is in great condition.  I will be mounting the scanner unit about half way up the mast, as that seems to be the best place for it.  That will also make for an easy run to the navigation station, which is amidships.

I’ll post more about this when I have it hooked up and am testing it.  Although the main screen is mounted, I still have to wire it up, test it, and then mount the scanner.