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colbysmith



Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 3359
City/Region: Madison
State or Province: WI
C-Dory Year: 2009
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Traveler
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first time you use your radar to get back home when the fog rolls in on you, will more than pay for itself. Anyone that is going to do any serious boating in open or waters with other traffic, should prioritize it right up there with a chartplotter and depth sounder! And practice using it in good clear weather as well also, before needing it in the dark or fog! Colby
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 11652
City/Region: Sequim
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sleepy-C
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

colbysmith wrote:
The first time you use your radar to get back home when the fog rolls in on you, will more than pay for itself. Anyone that is going to do any serious boating in open or waters with other traffic, should prioritize it right up there with a chartplotter and depth sounder! And practice using it in good clear weather as well also, before needing it in the dark or fog! Colby


Agree, for sure. I live on the south shore of Juan de Fuca Strait and cross that piece of water several times a year. There, AIS is my most used safe navigation device, right next to radar even in clear weather. I spend most of my boating time in BC waters, and have been on the water at some time or another nearly year around. I have been a believer in radar since day one. Honestly, I probably would have balked at paying for that "extra accessory" IF I had been buying a new boat, thinking sure, I can just wait until the fog lifts. And I could. But there are times when I doesn't, or it drops onto you like wet blanket and stays, right out of a blue sky. Although I run my radar if the boat is running, I would say I seriously needed it about 25% of the time. (OK, lets do that math, 1400 hours on the engines, that comes to 350 hours of useful radar time.) NOAA defines fog as visibility of less than 1 mile. On our boats, at our speeds, that is a lot of visibility. For me, at 1/2 mile the fog horn comes on and my speeds slow, At 1/4 mile the side windows open and the speed goes down to 2-3 knots. At each step the radar is zoomed in from 6 - 3 - 1.5 miles. So serious, thick fog might be half of those 350 hours, so in the neighborhood of 100 - 200 hours.

Actually, I am surprised at 350 hours. I had no idea it was that much, but I know there are plenty of times. As Colby said, "The first time you use your radar to get back home when the fog rolls in on you, will more than pay for itself." Or if it keeps you from getting splattered all over the front of some guys tin boat as he is running home in the fog, slowed down to 20 knots and sitting in his cockpit staring at his GPS track because that is the say he came out so it should be clear to go back in on.

Prioritize both the radar and the AIS, and in knowing how to use them reliably.

Cruising in the PNW watch the weather. Look for a good (stable) high pressure zone. That should give good (predictable) crossing conditions, and dry days.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon


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smckean (Tosca)



Joined: 18 Jan 2014
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City/Region: Guemes Island (Anacortes)
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Vessel Name: Tosca
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in the San Juan Islands, so I cruise there all the time. I have radar, but I hardly ever use it (except at night which I don't do much). In the day time, the only time I can imagine needing it around here is in thick fog. We do get thick fog.....almost entirely in high summer. In 95% of the cases when that summer fog does exist, if you wait until noon, it's gone (sometimes early afternoon). I can only think of one time when had I had to use radar to navigate home in thick fog because I didn't want to wait for it to clear (it is very rare that it doesn't clear during the day).

P.S. I talking here about IN the protected waters of the islands themselves. The Strait of Juan de Fuca might be an entirely different story.
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Pandion



Joined: 02 Oct 2013
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City/Region: Kenmore
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C-Dory Year: 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It only took one time, enclosed in thick fog without radar, to make a believer of me.
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DayBreak



Joined: 16 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We fish off the NW Coast of Oregon between Newport and Depot Bay and most trips out and back this last Summer have been in the fog. You may go out in the morning with light fog and then within a short period of time it sets in heavy. Having Radar is a necessary safety measure for us and we would not go out there without it. We rely on Radar to see where other boats are on the water, anticipate their travel and avoid them. When the fishing is good there are boat everywhere and going in all directions and some at very high speed. Having Radar makes it not so scary when you are 15 miles out and need to get back without the worry of having another boat coming out of nowhere. Having Radar on your boat doesn't mean that you are now totally without worry and you will be safe. We try to plan out trips to fish without fog but sometimes it just comes in without any warning regardless of the weather forecast. Radar just makes travel safer with less stress and sweat pouring down your forehead.
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smckean (Tosca)



Joined: 18 Jan 2014
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City/Region: Guemes Island (Anacortes)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note my comments on radar only apply to cruising in the protected waters within the San Juan islands themselves. I did not mean to suggest that radar isn't useful in other waters.
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Alyssa Jean



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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City/Region: Guemes Is.(Anacortes)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have radar on your vessel it is highly recommended that you have it on all the time when you are cruising. A boater should get used to using it and relying on what you are seeing on the display as it relates to what you are seeing out the window. When the time comes to rely on the display because of diminished visibility you will feel much more confident and comfortable. Radar can be the most valuable electronic tool a boater has to avoid collisions or unnecessary close encounters.
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Sequim
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alyssa Jean wrote:
If you have radar on your vessel it is highly recommended that you have it on all the time when you are cruising. A boater should get used to using it and relying on what you are seeing on the display as it relates to what you are seeing out the window. When the time comes to rely on the display because of diminished visibility you will feel much more confident and comfortable. Radar can be the most valuable electronic tool a boater has to avoid collisions or unnecessary close encounters.


One hundred percent agree David.

Also, is there not a USCG issue that if you have Radar, and it is not in use and a Coast Guard moment happens, that the operator could be found liable? That has been my understanding from way back, and part of the reason I have mine on if the boat is moving.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon

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smckean (Tosca)



Joined: 18 Jan 2014
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City/Region: Guemes Island (Anacortes)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you have radar on your vessel it is highly recommended that you have it on all the time when you are cruising.


Hahahahahaha.....David, that's exactly what you told me when I bought your boat!!

I must have listened because, although I haven't found the radar to be that useful while cruising the San Juans, I didn't say that I don't have it turned on. It is always on (thanks to you Wink). I enjoying playing the "what is that blip" games you mention. I also find it useful in the sense that I find, for a 73 year old man, I don't have to strain my neck as often to look behind to see what might be gaining on me. The radar makes a pretty good rear view mirror!

P.S. I will call you tomorrow on your email -- as you might imagine, the ferry committee has been keeping me hopping the last few days (2 more meetings yet this week!).
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Dukeofhawg



Joined: 28 Jun 2018
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City/Region: Oregon Coast
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: ivadory
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome tips folks, thank you so much!
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