Radar Question

Uncle Joe

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Hello all....I run a 1982 24 Offshore. The boat is not as beautiful as she once was but I have spent a lot of time and $$ making sure she is safe and seaworthy. It is powered by a 2006 Evinrude 225 E Tec. Motor purrs like a kitten and I treat it carefully.
2 or 3 times a season, if the weather permits, I will run 40 or so miles out to some spots on the 30 fathom line due south of Long Island for a little tuna trolling. I have enjoyed some success and it is a blast.

My question is this: I run out through the major shipping lanes into Newark and NY Harbor....through a very busy area. I am thinking about installing a Garmin radar dome compatible with my Chartplotter but I am not sure if it is worth it. It is not really a huge investment at $1,300.00 or so but it IS a 38 year old boat and a 14 year old outboard and I keep coming back to the fact that if this motor goes down I may not want to hang another 20-25K off the back of this hull, so maybe I should save the $$ for a rainy day. I would like to have it but I can't decide if it is really necessary of just a cool toy for me.

Opinions welcome. Thanks!
 

VeroWing

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I ran an older Grady out of Moriches for a number of years and always appreciated having a radar unit aboard. I know several times drifting offshore when fog would roll through, the radar alarm would sound and we would start up and several times had to dodge some large commercial vessels. It was also good to seeing where other fishing boats were, and if you get good with your unit, where birds are working and storms coming in. I know a few times we had to use it to get to the inlet and head out on foggy mornings. You can always remove it if boat stops being seaworthy and sell or reinstall on another vessel.
 
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grady33

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I will never own a boat without radar. Years ago in my 272 Sailfish, we were overnighting 30 miles off Ocean City, MD. As we always did, either my brother or I would stay awake and monitor radar closely overnight. Around 4 am, severe thick fog rolled in. About that time, I noticed a signal some 18 miles out heading our way. Our radar was a 2000 raymarine but worked well but small screen. I kept watching the ship and woke my brother up when it was 6 miles away. We were drifting with lines in the water and I started the engines. I knew it was headed towards us but couldn’t tell how close it would pass. Had my brother go to the bow and look as it closed in and it literally appeared right in front and was a mammoth container ship. I slowly backed up and it passed within 80 feet of us. Never slowed or signaled and I have no doubt we’d be dead had I not had radar. In my opinion, if you go offshore or travel thru shipping lanes or run at night, radar is a must have like a EPIRB, life raft and offshore lifevests. This past Summer in my 330 with Furuno Radar, we found ourselves in think fog from a few miles out to 30 miles nearly the entire day. A boat literally took in water and sank a 100 yards from us and we could barely see them.
 

SmokyMtnGrady

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I will never own a boat without radar. Years ago in my 272 Sailfish, we were overnighting 30 miles off Ocean City, MD. As we always did, either my brother or I would stay awake and monitor radar closely overnight. Around 4 am, severe thick fog rolled in. About that time, I noticed a signal some 18 miles out heading our way. Our radar was a 2000 raymarine but worked well but small screen. I kept watching the ship and woke my brother up when it was 6 miles away. We were drifting with lines in the water and I started the engines. I knew it was headed towards us but couldn’t tell how close it would pass. Had my brother go to the bow and look as it closed in and it literally appeared right in front and was a mammoth container ship. I slowly backed up and it passed within 80 feet of us. Never slowed or signaled and I have no doubt we’d be dead had I not had radar. In my opinion, if you go offshore or travel thru shipping lanes or run at night, radar is a must have like a EPIRB, life raft and offshore lifevests. This past Summer in my 330 with Furuno Radar, we found ourselves in think fog from a few miles out to 30 miles nearly the entire day. A boat literally took in water and sank a 100 yards from us and we could barely see them.
wow, makes you wonder how well their radar spotted you if at all?

I have radar on my 228..it's a great safety tool and when I got night fishing in the Florida keys it's a huge peace of mind having it. put it another way, that $1,300 could save your life be avoiding a collision either with a boat or nav aid .
 
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No Bail

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Radar is mandatory for me. I hate running in between the jetties in the fog, never sighting either jetty. I first had a small set on a 22' aluminum boat. They call August Fogust up in Barkely Sound on Vancouver Island. After my first trip up there every boat since then has had radar. Well worth it.
It would be good to learn the signature of a tug & barge also, when you have clear vision. Best time to learn is on a blue sky day.
 
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grady33

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wow, makes you wonder how well their radar spotted you if at all?

I have radar on my 228..it's a great safety tool and when I got night fishing in the Florida keys it's a huge peace of mind having it. put it another way, that $1,300 could save your life be avoiding a collision either with a boat or nav aid .
I doubt anyone was paying any attention on the bridge. They probably would have run us down and nobody would have ever known!
 

Ling king

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Radar and AIS a must. I always run my radar overlay on the map. I would not leave the dock without it. Busy freighter lane in between the Channel Island and the fog gets super thick. It's really worth the comfort safety.
 
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SkunkBoat

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I have an old raytheon stand alone LCD radar. Its not easy to use as a navigational tool on a small boat but it really helped me out on some 60-90 mile foggy runs for tuna.
It would be great to have radar overlayed on a chart and MARPA would be fantastic. That said, my VHF/AIS receiver really shined on those same trips. Having the symbols with course/speed displayed on the Garmin, and crossing alarms, was great. The radar did a good job of showing larger craft but a few small centerconsoles gave me a scare. AIS is on all commercial/charter boats but not on those same centerconsoles and I don't have a transponder either. I now wish I had spent the money on a transponder instead of just a receiver so others could see me.

My recommendation is...get a full blown AIS now and think over the radar
 
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Ryhlick

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I have a garmin 18 radar on my 228 and it is invaluable. I have had more than 1 foggy day where it has given us much needed safety. Running in the early morning it is worth its weight in gold, I would take radar over AIS any day, but that is me. If you are running your boat in anything but perfect condition, then it is a must. I would personally never not have radar on any of my boats. We all operate with what we are comfortable with, so take in all the different opinions and make your best educated decision. Good luck, I'm sure you'll be pleased with your decision.
 
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drbatts

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I ran through more dense fog this summer then I can remember in years past. The radar really helped especially going in and out of Montauk with a narrow channel, big jetty's and lots of boat traffic. AIS is nice too, but will only show a small percentage of vessels. Radar will show everything.
 
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Uncle Joe

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I have a garmin 18 radar on my 228 and it is invaluable. I have had more than 1 foggy day where it has given us much needed safety. Running in the early morning it is worth its weight in gold, I would take radar over AIS any day, but that is me. If you are running your boat in anything but perfect condition, then it is a must. I would personally never not have radar on any of my boats. We all operate with what we are comfortable with, so take in all the different opinions and make your best educated decision. Good luck, I'm sure you'll be pleased with your decision.
That is the dome I am looking at....Garmin 18HD. It seems you are happy with it.
 
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Uncle Joe

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Thanks All! It seems unanimious....er uninamou....err....everybody agrees!