While marine radar was once a must for recreational boaters, the advancement of electronic maritime charts and accuracy of new GPS has made the installation of radar sometimes secondary. With regard to essential equipment for boating safety, the importance of radar is still high, especially for yachts since it is still the only above-water active navigational tool available.
Variations in marine safety equipment are typical and radars can be divided into different categories according to wavelength. Two being discussed here are s-band radar and x-band. S-Band radars operate on a wavelength of 8-15 cm and frequency of 2-4 GHz and are useful for near and far range weather observation.
X-Band radars operate on a wavelength of 2.5-4 cm and a frequency of 8-12 GHz. Due to the smaller wavelength the x-band radar is more sensitive and can detect smaller particles. These radars attenuate very easily and therefore are used for only short-range weather observation. Because of their small size x-band radars can be portable.
Debates often come up over which is the better radar to equip yachts with and which is the most useful. However, many are equipped with both types of radars as one is more useful on the open sea while the other is better for ships in coastal waters. Multiple superyacht owner, John Rosatti opted to include both on his mega yacht Remember When.
For those in the market for the best radar for any yacht, the best advice is to check with the experts, ship pilots and other yacht owners. Nothing compares to firsthand experience when it comes to navigational and detection systems for any sea vessel and these marine electronics are crucial to safety. Talk to professionals and fellow boat owners to determine which variation will best suit your boating needs.