Mark Parker, #516, All Ways
I have a Raytheon radar on "All Ways" and love it (NE fog!) It is mounted on the mast about 15' above the deck. The mount has a built-in circular guard that keeps the sail off it during tacks. Have never had a problem with sail hangning up on it. I spoke with Raytheon (very helpful tech people) and they said it was OK to cut the cable despite warnings to the contrary in the manual. My wire runs down inside the mast, out through a rubber gromet (for chafe protection) about a foot above the base, and to a water tight box where all the wires are connected (see West catalog), the other wire goes through a standard 3/8" water tight deck fitting. This allows me to take the radar down for winter without desturbing the through deck. (If mast stays up, disconnect at radar, if mast comes down, disconnect at box.) Works for me!
(The) Radar (is) mounted on the mast ~14' above the deck. the monitor is in my nav station which is in the little cutout on the starboard side by the wet locker. If you're good, you can see it from the cockpit!
Rob Squire, #96, Head Over Heals
Head Over Heels has a new Radar. A Furuno 1622, 16 mile, LCD screen with the RT on a mast at the stern. I shortened the standard height mast about 10" to scale the height down for a better look on the boat. I found the radar and all of the mast parts in the back room of West Marine in Oakland. The radar was refurbed and I paid 800 for it. The mast bits were about 100....hard to pass up. To make room for the screen, I moved the radio and stereo to a new cabinet on the shelf forward of the nav station. I built the nav station over the port berth aft. If you are up under the dodger, you can see the screen although it is a might small. I struggled with the location of the rt unit. I wanted first to have up the mast, but the wiring got to be a headache, so I opted for the aft location. After looking at a bunch of installations, I am of a mind that higher is better. I have yet to give this setup a real "sea" trial. I've run it on SF bay and can see the islands and the city with the bridges and through the clutter even some ships. This spring, I'll take it out the gate and see if I can find out how good its true range is.
Tim Lackey, #381, GLISSANDO
Glissaqndo has the same Radar as Head Over Heals (above.) For more information on #381's installation, visit Tim's web site at http://www.triton381.com/
Jim B, #577,Thalassa
We chose to add radar to our boat during our refit, because of a particularly stressing day we spent in the fog (a year earlier) in Buzzards Bay with the heavy thrumming sound of a big engine somewhere around us. We couldn't see him and he probably couldn't see us either.
We talked to the tech folks at Raymarine and they suggested, because we're not doing offshore sailing, we get the 2K 18" radome rather than the larger 4K radome. They also pointed out that the beam projected is quite narrow, only about 15 degrees – so mount it high if you want to see weather systems a long way off and mount it low if you want to see things closer to the boat. So we mounted ours lower, on the backstay - it's about 10 feet off the water. The 2K dome is sensitive enough so that in reasonably calm water we can "see" gulls in the water 50 to 150 yards out, but we can also see approaching weather. We chose Raymarine because their system overlays the radar image over the chart plotter image, which makes identifying things like land masses and nav aids a no-brainer. Also, it will track up to 10 objects at the click of a button, so you can tell what's moving ,,out there and what's not – and if it's moving, is it coming at you. It will also warn you if anything gets within a certain distance of your boat, or if something is on a collision course with you.
Mounting it behind the mast was not a problem, because the radar doesn't see anything closer than 50 feet, and the mast is narrow enough so it doesn't cause a dead spot or shadow in the image.
Daniel McNeil, #301, Evadne
I mounted a JRC Radar at the spreaders several years ago and am quite satisfied. It is not a very sophisticated model but it was what I could afford. We get some good fog in the Great Lakes during the summer and the 1000' freighters coming out of the mist can be quite scary. Actually, it is the barge traffic that is most deadly as they seem not to monitor the screen very well. Anyway, I can spot flying seagulls at 100-200 feet and can see the big things that go crunch at a distance as well. I got the basic unit with the slightly larger antennae and installed it myself. It does ok as long as you don't heel too much. Heavier wind usually means less fog in our parts. I've used it to enter unfamiliar harbors at night with good results.