Small Boat Radar, so many choices?

Jan 1, 2019
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231
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Wasted away in Margaritaville.
I'm looking to install radar on my 25 foot Aquasport , this past weekend really got to me, not so much about me but I had my younger son on board, a father of 3 himself, I'm having panic attacks just thinking about what could have happened to him had we had a collision, he tried to make me feel at ease during our slow ride in but I knew he was worried, so with that in mind.
What radar would you chose for an 18' to 25' boat and why, keep in mind that I myself will be purchasing a standalone unit, had I thought about earlier before I bought my Hook 9, I would have bought a radar/gps/fishfinder combo, at the time I didn't think it was a necessity.



I have narrowed it down to 2 possibilities, both have great features, the Furuno maybe a little over kill, see below.
I am open to suggestions as I have owned but one radar unit and that was back in the 80's. To say technology has taken a giant leap forward is an understatement.

SI-TEX T-760 Compact Color Radar w / 4kW 18" Dome - 7" Touchscreen
Furuno 1815 8.4" Color LCD 19" 4kW Radar
 

Avenger

Angler
Jan 29, 2019
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562
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Furuno makes a 4kW wireless unit that uses an iPad as the display. All you need to do is run +/- DC to the dome and the rest is WiFi.

No experience with it, but it looked like a nice option over a more complex RADAR system.


Just a thought.
 
Jan 1, 2019
244
231
43
Wasted away in Margaritaville.
Furuno makes a 4kW wireless unit that uses an iPad as the display. All you need to do is run +/- DC to the dome and the rest is WiFi.

No experience with it, but it looked like a nice option over a more complex RADAR system.


Just a thought.
Thanks for the reply,
I just watched a couple of videos and reviews, I work with WIFI networks everyday, I know the pitfalls of how unreliable Wi-Fi can be, I watch the techs here where I work, tear their hair out working with i-pads, mac books all apple products.
I know the dome unit talks to the i-pad directly, but a lot of factors can cause delays and intermittent problems that most of the videos complain about, hell I can get all the i-pads I want, but I don't like them.
 
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Avenger

Angler
Jan 29, 2019
609
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I understand. I'm not part of the iCult either. I just thought it was a reasonable and easy to install option for something in that size range.
 
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Hi Fluke Whisperer,
I'm sure you read my comments following your fishing report post on your experience on a very foggy day recently.
I am not compensated in anyway by Furuno, but in my long 30 year experience with that tool I still think they make the best darn radar on the planet. There is a reason why they are the predominant radar found on commercial vessels. And since you mentioned it you are actually better off with a stand alone unit. There is a lot to be said for redundancy when it comes to safety gear aboard your boat. If that nice MFD goes down completely, you could be left to just a compass and running time. One last item is that with any MFD, unless you have room for about a 20" display, when you start splitting those screens each individual image becomes tiny. Last week I took out a fellow who wanted training on his old Raymarine e80 with an 8" screen. By the time we called up the radar, sonar, and navigator simultaneously you could barely see the returns on the radar. Many of the other critical numbers were pretty small as well.

Sure things change from generation to generation, but by and large, Furuno's tools have been described by many as being virtually bulletproof. Here is another example of my belief in their toughness. A little over two years ago I accidentally dropped my display while reinstalling it during my spring preparation. To my horror it suffered a pretty substantial crack in the case. I thought it was finished but much to my surprise I plugged it in and it worked perfectly. I am almost 2 years past that date, now it's 17th overall year in operation and still runs like a charm. I do know of many issues some have had with their Navnet series of electronics, especially the interfaces, but their stand alone radars are superior. They also tend to be sold at a very competitive price as well.

One last piece of advice. While Touchscreen displays are nice there are a couple of downsides. First is the fact that a small boat does bounce around a bit more than a big lumbering party boat or even my 28' downeaster. Trying to make a fine adjustment on a bouncy craft is not so simple with Touchscreens. Second, the last thing I ever want to do is get my beautiful and important display screen all gunked up with the fish gurve on my hands. Some units, in a number of different brands and machines, do offer a combination of hard wired keys and touch screen, much like my Simrad NSS EEVO 3 sonar/chartplotter. I am not sure if the Sitex has both input systems, but I suggest it would be wise to investigate.
I hope that helps.
 
Jan 1, 2019
244
231
43
Wasted away in Margaritaville.
Hi Fluke Whisperer,
I'm sure you read my comments following your fishing report post on your experience on a very foggy day recently.
I am not compensated in anyway by Furuno, but in my long 30 year experience with that tool I still think they make the best darn radar on the planet. There is a reason why they are the predominant radar found on commercial vessels. And since you mentioned it you are actually better off with a stand alone unit. There is a lot to be said for redundancy when it comes to safety gear aboard your boat. If that nice MFD goes down completely, you could be left to just a compass and running time. One last item is that with any MFD, unless you have room for about a 20" display, when you start splitting those screens each individual image becomes tiny. Last week I took out a fellow who wanted training on his old Raymarine e80 with an 8" screen. By the time we called up the radar, sonar, and navigator simultaneously you could barely see the returns on the radar. Many of the other critical numbers were pretty small as well.

Sure things change from generation to generation, but by and large, Furuno's tools have been described by many as being virtually bulletproof. Here is another example of my belief in their toughness. A little over two years ago I accidentally dropped my display while reinstalling it during my spring preparation. To my horror it suffered a pretty substantial crack in the case. I thought it was finished but much to my surprise I plugged it in and it worked perfectly. I am almost 2 years past that date, now it's 17th overall year in operation and still runs like a charm. I do know of many issues some have had with their Navnet series of electronics, especially the interfaces, but their stand alone radars are superior. They also tend to be sold at a very competitive price as well.

One last piece of advice. While Touchscreen displays are nice there are a couple of downsides. First is the fact that a small boat does bounce around a bit more than a big lumbering party boat or even my 28' downeaster. Trying to make a fine adjustment on a bouncy craft is not so simple with Touchscreens. Second, the last thing I ever want to do is get my beautiful and important display screen all gunked up with the fish gurve on my hands. Some units, in a number of different brands and machines, do offer a combination of hard wired keys and touch screen, much like my Simrad NSS EEVO 3 sonar/chartplotter. I am not sure if the Sitex has both input systems, but I suggest it would be wise to investigate.
I hope that helps.
Thank you #captmike28 , I appreciate the time and effort you put into replying to this thread, I have decided to go with a Furuno 1815.
As I have limited room for a large display unit, and carefully comparing units in this price range, it is the best option for me, I wanted to spend less money, but I know how that works, If I owned a bigger boat, the choice for a 4 to 5k $ unit would be paramount, also How many times out of the year am I really going to need it is another factor.
Nothing is ever easy when it comes to picking what is right for any given situation, my friend that lived in Hampton bays had a furuno on his 25' Wellcraft and he was very happy with it.
I appreciate all that have replied, thank you for your input and time.
Jay
 
I'm always happy to help a fellow angler.
While there are lower priced units, I do find many of the discount marine supply stores offer a fair price for Furuno electronics. Also, although at first it may seem to have more features than you think you need. I have a feeling that over time one or two of the new operators not present on the lower cost radars will actually prove to be helpful.

I would also suggest you research and get a few opinions on who is a really competent installer in your area. And when everything is hooked up, be sure to take him out for a brief ride. You to make sure everything is tuned properly along with giving you a tutorial. That will help shorten your learning curve a lot.

As much as I like my old style CRT traditional "green images", I must say I am very jealous of the newer color machines like the 1815. Best of luck with the unit.
 
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