When arming your boat with marine instruments that can guide you on the high seas, you'd be well advised to equip your vessel with a radar dome or array that can be your eyes during foggy weather or at night when visibility is poor. Radar used to be a tool only for the largest ships and commercial boats, but these systems have shrunk in size and come down in cost in recent years to the point where boats as small as 18 feet can make use of them.
If you're thinking about purchasing a radar system for your vessel, there are a number of specifications and technical aspects to consider, but one that you shouldn't place too much weight on is maximum range. Radar travels in a straight line, which means that as the signal leaves your boat and heads out over the water, it will gradually move farther from the surface as the earth curves. Consequently, in order to detect objects more than a few miles away, the target would need to be hundreds of feet in the air.
Instead, consider the amount of power and the size of your own engine when trying to choose an appropriate radar. If you have a smaller boat, such as a sailboat or a compact powerboat, a radar dome with a power output of 4 kilowatts (kw) will probably suit you fine. For vessels in excess of 40 feet, such as a yacht, a radar array with an output of 12 kw will be more suitable.
There are many other aspects of radar systems to consider before making your decision. If you're unsure about which setup is right for your situation, we invite you to call ePal today at (877) 245-8649 to discuss your radar needs with one of our experts in marine equipment.