Surprised, again. What else is new?
I recently posted on an internet discussion relating to a proposed alternative method of finding buoys in areas of reduced visibility (fog perhaps). A couple of the commenters wrote that the original poster should forget this other stuff and simply use radar. I took a bit of an issue with this, knowing that not every boat out there sailing at night has radar installed. We don’t, and although we had in the past contemplated installing radar, our goals of both keeping things relatively simple, and not going into the poor house before we have actually left the dock, made us put it on the far back burner.
So, being the smarty that I (think I) am, I figured I would go find some figures on how many cruisers do actually have radar on board. The Seven Seas Cruising Association has available for members a huge equipment survey. What does it say? Well, color me surprised. It says that 73% of those who completed the survey DO have radar! To put that in perspective, it also says that only 66.18% have a chartplotter, and only 76% have a hand-bearing compass.
Yesterday we bit the bullet and ordered… NOT Radar. No, we ordered a new Garmin 546 chartplotter.
Note: if you have something bad to say about this particular unit, you are not to post it. If you have something good to say, feel free to share and tell me how shopping savvy I am. 🙂
Anyway, one thing this unit will not do (I think) is overlay radar on it. So this morning I am having a tiny bit of buyers remorse, but I’m sure it will go away.
From what I have read, radar is undergoing a bit of an evolution these days anyway. Broadband Radar is apparently now available from a couple of companies (the term broadband radar may actually be a trademark) and it provides much better resolution with a hugely-reduced power requirement. Both great things. I think that we should be able to get by for now without radar until this technology matures a bit. In the meantime, if it gets foggy out there, we’ll just stay put or practice our sound signals!