Recreational boating, commonly done with small boats, has never been more intriguing with the use of small boat radars. When cruising through bad or stormy weather, dense fog, or darkness, boaters using small boats need small boat radars that are well fitted for their boat size to avoid collision with other boaters.
Although small boat radars are very popular in recent times, there are a few challenges faced by users while trying to buy the best radar for their small boats. In this quick review, we are recommending the best small boat radars and a guide on how to purchase the appropriate radar for your small boat.
Best Small Boat Radar
Here are our best small boat radar reviews.
The Simrad 3G Broadband Radar is an amicable radar system for small boats. With the radar’s broad coverage of 24nm and compatible with Simrad 12-inch Chartplotter and Radar Display, a fantastic tech tool for boaters familiar with smartphones, its transmission easy to understand.
- Low power usage
- Displays up to 10 MARPA targets
- It comes with a scanner and scanner cable up to 66 feet long.
With Lowrance Broadband 4G Radar, navigation on broad waterways are safer. Its compatibility with small boats, wide range targetting of 36nm, and eco-friendliness with zero radiation hazard makes it perfect for all-round safe boating.
- Beam sharpening technology for excellent target separation
- High-quality image transmission and super-fast wireless 4G connection.
- Tracks and displays up to 10 MARPA targets
The Furuno 1715 Dome Monochrome Radar, with its 7-inch monochrome LCD and 24 miles range, is one of the best radar for small boats. Its accuracy, fast, and friendly transmission makes it easy for boaters to get a grasp of the waterways. Its variable antenna rotation speed makes it possible to transmit signals at varying rates that are appropriate to the speed of the small boat.
- Low power usage with 2.2KW radome (18-inch)
- Guard zone, zoom, and voltage regulatory module available
- Electronic Bearing Lines (EBL) and echo trail features.
Raymarine Quantum 2 Doppler Radar is considered a state-of-the-art technology with its super-fast start-up enabling quick navigation as soon as it leaves standby mode. Unlike Quantum, Quantum 2 is designed to cover a range of 24nm while transmitting to a compatible display seamlessly.
- No magnetron (solid-state technology)
- Wireless data connection via Wi-Fi
- CHIRP pulse compression with Doppler technology.
The Furuno 1815 Radar is a complete package for small boaters, including the 8.4-inch color LCD unit and a low-profile 4kW radome antenna that transmits across a 36nm distance. Its 10-meter cable makes connectivity simple and transmission seamless.
- Super-fast target tracking
- Advanced auto-adjust for Gain/Sea clutter.
- Stylish design for radome antenna.
Small Boat Radar Buying Guide
When buying a radar for your small boat, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure that you are getting the exact product that would help you safely navigate the waterways while also serving specific functions that are unique to your boating goals.
One of the crucial factors to consider is the power of the radar that would suit your boating needs. If you sail on waterways more frequently at night or early in the morning, there is a need to opt for radars with a higher power of 4kW and above. This increase in power translates into a broader radius coverage.
Furthermore, your purpose of boating may influence your choice of small boat radars. Some small boat radars are equipped with a sonar system that helps to locate fishes while a few others are Chartplotters. It would be more productive to get a sonar system radar if you frequently use your small boat for fishing.
Although small boats are not always high, they are of various sizes and heights. The small boat radar is supposed to be mounted at the highest point of the boat, where it will not be obstructed for utmost efficiency. Also, installing it at the highest point of the boat prevents people from being exposed to the waves being emitted by the small boat radar. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the length of the connecting/scanner cable or, in case of wireless connectivity, the coverage distance.
Finally, small boat radars are made with two types of technology. Some are the older, traditional pulse radars, while others are solid-state or broadband radars. We recommend the solid-state or broadband radars because, unlike the conventional pulse radars that use magnetrons, they use FCMW technology or CHIRP sonar systems. As a result of this advanced technology in solid-state or broadband radars, they emit little to zero radiations, thus are eco-friendly; have better target resolutions; quick pick up time; high maximum ranges; and flexible installation.