View Full Version : New radar questions



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Kayak fisherman
10-18-2007, 01:36 PM
Hey guys, I hope I'm posting in the correct section.

I just bought a new 24' fishing boat. It came with a Garmin chartplotter (GPS/sounder) that works great. I want to mount a small (2KW) radar on my boat and I have a few questions.

1. My current charplotter (498s) does not appear to be able to connect to a radar antenna. Can I get a basic color radar display (of the same brand as the radar) without paying too much for a whole new radar/gps/sounder display? I haven't been able to find one.

2. Most of what I've read says a radar must be mounted at least two feet from passengers' heads and roughly a meter from other antennae. I have a nice hardtop on my boat that already has a VHF antenna and a white running light. I know I'll have to move one or both of these further aft. Do I need to mount the radar on a stand? I see other, similar-sized hard-top boats with radars mounted directly on the hardtop. Is this ok or will it cook my brain or, worse, interfere with my VHF radio that is mounted in an overhead box (part of the hardtop).

3. My boat has stainless rails running around the front sides of the boat. Will this stuff typically interfere with radar function if I don't mount it higher than on the hardtop?

4. Any brand better than the other (between Garmin, Lowrance, Raymarine)? I've got several Garmin GPS's - handheld, car, boat - and I like this brand.

5. Am I over-thinking this whole radar buying/installation issue (is it more straightforward than I think?) I'm pretty good at fixing/mounting stuff but I don't want to install something in such a way that it won't work, cooks my brain or, worse, interferes with other electronics.

6. Any other advice for a person who has never bought/installed a radar on a boat?

Thanks,
KF

P.S.
I'm not getting rid of my kayak. I wll say this though; trailering a 5,000 lb motorboat is alot easier than transporting/dragging a fully-laden fishing kayak.

shawn fisher
10-18-2007, 07:42 PM
Kf,

Don"t know about garmin, but I just recently installed A furno radar system on my boat. The model is 1623 and I mounted straight to a plate that I had welded rite over top my electronic box. The screen is not color but it was a $1000 dollars from boaters world. No interference to my vhf or my gps anntena. I would have loved to have color, but to me not worth the extra $1000+ for a colored unit.

Kayak fisherman
10-21-2007, 08:15 PM
So, I continue to search for a radar for my boat. I gave up on Garmin because I don't want a whole new Garmin system (can't plug a radar into my current display).

I am narrowing it down to 2 choices.
1. I found a complete Raymarine C70 setup online for around $1,899. Any feedback on this setup?

2. I could get a Lowrance radar online and get a compatible Lowrance display at Basspro. Any feedback on this setup?

I hear 2 KW is actually a pretty useful size, but will it be able to find birds?

Chumlord
10-21-2007, 08:31 PM
I have a Furuno 1623 2.2 KW, 16 NM works great has a monochrome LCD display and is interfaced with my Garmin 492. Maybe not the best for finding birds or the most powerful one out there but it is simple and shows me buoys, boats and bad weather. I rarely have it on anything greater than 3 NM. No complaints at all. Complete kit was $1100.00 @ Boater's World installation was simple.

Kayak fisherman
10-22-2007, 12:17 AM
Another question.

If I put a radar on a hardtop (near the FWD end) will the rods on the rocket launchers (at aft end of hardtop) interfere with the function of the radar?

Chumlord
10-22-2007, 05:24 AM
No I have heard or perhaps my instructions said to not have the radar and GPS antenna at the same level

27 sailfish
10-22-2007, 04:48 PM
In a perfect world-the dome would be higher then everything on your boat.

In the real world-there will be things in the way.Human eyes can be damage from the radar.PLEASE-turn it off when people are near it-like on docks or if you have someone on the bow.They need to look at it to be hurt -that's one reason to mount it high.

Each boat install will be differant-biggest tip is try to keep the front clear so you get a good picture of what is in front of you.

Rods will give a tiny "shadow" area but nothing is perfect.On small boats-the hardtop mount is fine.Be sure to back it up with a strong plate-1/4'' aluminum works well.

Radar is a great tool-once you learn it-you'll love it.Be sure to use/learn it on nice clear days-this way you can see what the return (mark/shape/blob) is.After a few trips-you'll have it down. Skip

Kayak fisherman
10-29-2007, 08:02 PM
(Ok, so I'm replying to my own post)

Well, I bought a 4-KW Lowrance radome. It will be delivered in a few days. I've already read the manual and I'm psyched. I'll let you dudes know how it works.

Sandtiger
10-30-2007, 08:26 AM
No one has mentioned it and although I have installed several radars for friends, if the installation manual does not tell you to do so, install it so that the radome has a slight pitch downward in the froward section so when you are on plane the radome is level (or as level as it can be depending on sea state) with the horizon. If it is not level in that condition then your radar will be looking more skyward than you want it to.

Just thought I'd mention this.

Also, the beam has a vertical width and as mentioned, on a small boat, be careful where folks to get the radome as high as you can. I mounted one on a 24 Albemarle with all the materials the owner had purchased and we figured that if someone was at the very back of the boat fishing his upper body would be covered with signal. So as mentioned above turn it off when not using it and try to figure out if the crew will be affected and if so what part of the boat will be tha area of concern.

Bart_Man
11-01-2007, 07:28 AM
Obstructions around your antenna will create blind spots however everything is relative to the position and motion of your boat so objects in your blind spot(s) ,as long as there aren't TOO many, aren't likely to be obscured for long. Bottom line, the fewer obstructions the better but a couple aren't really going to have much of an impact.