Marine radar (Radio Detection and Ranging) is used to detect objects and their position relative to your location. It works by sending out a radio signal. When the signal hits an object it is reflected back to the radar unit which can then calculate the bearing of the object.
A marine radar device is an essential navigation aid for boaters. It is useful for detecting boats, birds landmasses, and weather systems even when visibility conditions are less than favorable.
Marine Radar: Top Features to Look For
The two most important features of any marine radar device are the transmitter power and the beam angle. Power can range from 2 to 4 Kilowatts. The higher the power, the better your transmitter can see through fog and rain and the further the signal can reach. Power is a factor in how well your radar does in bad weather. Blinding rain can cause low power marine radar to be less than effective.
Beam angle is determined by the size of your marine radar’s antenna. A long antenna will produce a narrow beam that gives good discrimination between objects close together. A short antenna has a wider beam angle allowing the radar to scan a wider area at one time. Antennas are often customizable or configurable and can be purchased separately.
Guard Zone Alarm
Most marine radars allow you to set a guard zone around your boat. You specify the safety distance and set an alarm. If your vessel detects a buoy, landmass or other obstacle within the proximity of your guard zone, the alarm sounds.
Split Screen Displays
Split screen displays allow you to monitor objects close to your boat and objects further away at the same time. This feature is useful, among other things, for navigating buoys as you leave the shoreline while heading out towards a more distant spot.
Best Use of Marine Radar electronic shops arekere
One of the best features of marine radar is its ability to determine where you are with respect to where you were a few minutes ago. This “echo trail” feature can be used to determine how well you are navigating an obstacle as well as how well you maintaining the bearing you have set for your vessel. The echo trail is displayed on the radar’s display screen so you can quickly assess visually what is going on.
Integrated Marine Radar and GPS/Chartplotters
Marine radars are fairly expensive; many units run in the thousands of dollars. It is a good idea to talk with other boaters and see what they are using and what features they like before committing that much money. To get more bang for the buck, look for marine radars that are already incorporated into other marine electronics such as GPS units and Chartplotters. Integrating your marine components reduces the complexity of your visual displays and reduces overall cost of items. Even though sometimes you have to compromise with the features of each component offered in the integrated package, integrated marine radars offer good value for hobbyist boaters.