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JUST BOUGHT A NEW REGULATOR 26 AND I AM OUTFITTING THE BOAT. WAS WONDERING WHAT THE PROS AND CONS ARE BEWTEEN AN OPEN ARRAY RADAR AND A DOME HD (RAYMARINE). BASICALLY IS IT WORTH THE EXTRA $1500 AND WHAT AM I GOING TO GAIN FROM THE OPEN ARRAY. THANKS:huh:
 

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The open array has a narrower beam and that means better target definition. This would be better for trying to find birds. Also, usually the open arrays have a longer range. We have a dome on our boat, but I think if I were replacing it I would opt for the open. I'm sure there are cons I am missing and will be curious to see what they are.

Also, the HD radar although much clearer at close range doesn't have the power at range of some of the more conventional systems from what I've read.
 

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The open array should provide a better picture.

Saying that there are a few questions you need to ask:

What is the rating on the t-top for weight, there is a considerable difference between a closed unit and an open array. The weight adds stress to that component.

Is the radar height gonna be great enough to let you take advantage of the ability the open array gives you?

If it was my boat I would invest in a good high definition closed array and save 1500 bucks for the gas tank.
 

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A friend of mine had a 24" Raymarine dome on his 26. He replaced it with a 4' open array with no problem for what it's worth.
 

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I think the question is more about, what do you want your radar to do, not whether its an open array or not.
get you home safely, be able to find flocks of birds,etc. If your a late season striper guy, the higher the wattage, the more likely it is you would want a high wattage unit. the down side is that is more expensive the other risk is with a small boat, the range you will be able to achieve.
 

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We have a 6' open aray on the STALKER II. It see's birds very good! And does everything else too! Our's is a Garmin which as far as I'm concerned is the best in the business. Very easy to use and clean screen too! Not putting others down. Just really like my unit!
 

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All th info is here. I have the 26 i chose the dome for these reasons.

With the height I really won't be seeing many birds. Collision avoidence and markers finder is all mine needs to do. However on calm nighs I see birds just fine at close ranges

Few open arrays will operate betweeen the outriggers.


For what i use mine for I couldn't be happier... Navnet2


Skip, I am glad you like ur unit....:D:D Had too. All the best this season!!!
 

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Check your height

I am certainly no expert on radar...but you need to factor in how high your array will be. If it is only about 8-9 ft above the water line (probably typical for a 22-26 ft boat with a T-top), then unless you have a really exceptional unit under normal conditions I don't think you will mark birds more than maybe a mile away or so...not any better than a pair of binoculars can give you unless you are hunting birds in fog. You need height and power to take advantage of the open array.
 

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Actually I wanted Garmin, so that's what we got. Only thing I need now is auto pilot. That will come before summer!
Skip, I was just making a funny. Nothing about the Garmin. I have only heard good about them. I would love the TR1, we will see....

Sry to derail...
 

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alot of good opinions and info here...

i would also agree with what has been said. The height issue would neutralize the benefits making it look better not reallying maxing out the technology. What you might what to consider is putting more money into the overall power of your unit, for example, if you were going to buy the 24nm, go 36, etc...and on up. This way you'll get more power at closer distances which will definately pay off and come in handy for those times when you really need the radar. Seeing things 24 miles away isnt as imperitive as seeing a tug cross the 10 to 30 fathom line. I would buy the dome but beef up wattage of unit.
 

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I have a garmin gmr18HD radar and it works well. I am happy with the unit. Only time i can see birds is if they are in very high concentrations and within sight.

I would state that if I was to add radar to my boat today I would go with the Navico companies (lowrance, simrad, northstar) Broadband radar. i have been very impressed with the target discrimination that i have seen with them.
 

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Height and power

For birds that are more than a mile or two away, in my (admittedly limited) experience you need fairly high power (5-6 kw or more) and the array mounted on the order of 12 ft or more above the water line, like above a flybridge. Greater height and more power = more ability to see those tiny little birds. Note that you don't need anything near that for safety/navigation purposes, just for birds.
 
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