i spent this summer in maine without radar. everyone said it could
not be done, but they did it 20 years ago without gps and still
survived. i have never had it aboard so i did not miss it. when it
was foggy, we stayed anchored. radar may have encouraged me to go
out when i should have stayed put. i did get caught out in fog three
times on this trip, once visibility was still about a quarter mile so
was not too concerning. next time was windy as hell (headwinds of
course) and fog arose (100-200yd vis) when i left penobscot bay for
open water. i should have turned around, but made for an anchorage
in my directioon of travel. the worst fog of the whole trip was at
night, going thru the Race on long island sound with 25 yard
visibility and lots of commercial traffic. i monitored vhf13 and
called the tugs and made sure they had me on their radar. there was
a distress call from a 40’ sport fishing boat on the rocks, taking on
water. i bet he had radar.
in short, i think if i was based in maine or planned to do a lot of
sailing in fog areas, i would consider it, but do not think it was a
necessity for a relatively brief stay. i spent less on the whole
trip than i would have on the radar and installation. maybe i am
just a contrarian by nature, but you will find few people who advise
not installing any piece of gear from radar to watermaker to gyro-
john churchill