Choosing the right radar is a fairly simple task that can be decided with a few questions and knowledge of radar types. The initial questions to ask are:
- What boat will the radar be going on?
- What does the captain plan on using the radar for?
The question of “What are you using it for” always gets the same reaction – “huh”? To clarify, what we mean by this question is the captain looking for a basic radar to see what’s around them, or are they looking for small objects like birds?
To help your customer choose the right equipment, here are a few tips about purpose, scope and price points. Radar is designed for Navigational purposes. For center console boats under 30’ and not looking for birds we recommend a 18” to 24” dome radar. Typically, this will give a good view of what is around the vessel out to 46 nautical miles, while an open array will give a range out to 96 nautical miles with a 25kw.
Open arrays start at 4kw and offer a better outlook than a dome 4kw radar. The higher the power for these radars means more energy on target and a more defined picture.
Bird radars start at 6kw up to 25kw open array radar. Finding a small bird 5 miles away or farther needs a lot of energy. What an open array radar does is just that, it puts more energy on target compared to a dome radar. The open array also sharpens the beam angle from roughly 8 degrees with a dome down to just over 1 degree with a 4’ or 6’ array.
Choosing a radar does not have be difficult if you think about the basics. Size of vessel, price point and if the customer wants to find birds for fishing spots. Answering these basic questions of front will help the sale of the radar go a little smoother.