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Tips for Buying a Marine Radar Device

The radar is one of the most important items any game fishing vessel needs. Therefore, choosing the right radar is crucial for the success of offshore trips. However, most boaters today would just be confused by the array of radar brands and models offered both online and offline. Given that the radar shouldn’t be bought on a whim, fishers should be careful regarding which to invest in. Here is a list of useful tips for choosing the right marine radar for your vessel:

Decide the Main Purpose for the Radar

It may sound easy to figure out what the radar is for, such as for navigating. However, modern radars offer specific functionalities to meet certain needs. The type of radar you need would depend on what you need to use it for. Say, you want to track vessels in a sea area where there are many other fishing boats. Then you would need a radar that has multi vessel tracking capabilities. And say you are navigating foggy conditions in low light, then you would need another type of radar with excellent target definition and range. You would need to look for specifications based on this purpose. Therefore, don’t start shopping without knowing for what you need the radar mostly.

Performance Depends on the Frequency of Use

The basic radar is one of the most common boat accessories often available for highly affordable prices. However, these basic radars are only suited for casual fishers and boaters. If you plan on going on long trips, perhaps frequently, then you would need a high performing radar. Don’t pay for features on a radar if you don’t need them. On the contrary, do pay for radar capabilities that you know you would need.

Multi-Function Radars are Not for Everyone

It may seem like common sense to buy a radar with multi-function features right away. However, performance isn’t directly related to the device having multiple capabilities. In fact, it might even be a hindrance. Multi-function radars often come with complicated displays and controls. You may have to learn to use them. And you may never use some features. These radars are advantageous to those who rely heavily on electronic charts and dedicated displays. Unless you want commercial-style features, you don’t need to pay for a multi-function radar.

Size Matters

Radars have to be installed onto your vessel, and the size must match the available space. Most boaters forget to check the size of the console in advance. You may want to measure the available space before you go shopping. If your vessel came with a user’s guide, it may have information on the size of radar the vessel can support.

Check Compatibility with Other Devices

Need radar capabilities for your fish finder or GPS device. Keep in mind that not all radars are compatible with other electronic devices or GPS. Therefore, you must check the specs carefully to make sure the devices are a match. If you are not sure, ask the manufacturers. It’s very important to check compatibility if you hope for a multi-device fishing trip.

Don’t forget to set a budget for the radar either. Prices can vary even between devices with overlapping features. Make sure you purchase the radar that meets all your needs to get the best value for your money.

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