Radar

LCD versus CRT, range, fixing in out of the way locations, requirements.

If you want to get an argument going, just ask about radar. Everybody has their own ideas. Here are mine for what they are worth.

There is only one thing scarier than being in the fog without radar; a breaking wave about 20 feet tall, coming your way?

LCD screens can generally not be seen from an angle. If there is anything which needs to be easily seen from anywhere it is the radar. I prefer CRT screens, but the display heads are bigger and require a little more power. Since the radar has lifesaving potential, this not a place where I would use second best. I have heard that the latest generation LCD screens can be seen from a long way and at a large angle. I have not seen one of these yet.

A small radar (12 mile) that is well made is a lot better than a 24 mile unit that isn't.
Furuno radars are used on fish boats world wide. Try to get a Raytheon fixed in French Polynesia?
Use closed radomes on sailboats.
Short range radars don't need to be mounted very high. On most boats under 50' with 12 mile radar, 10 feet is high enough; with 24 mile, 15 feet should be very adequate.

Chart accuracy in much of the world is not accurate enough for good safety. Radar will find reefs, rocks, boats, ships and even birds that your GPS is not remotely aware of. You use it to verify your GPS position, not the other way around!!

Any vessel that is sailing "short handed", which generally means you can't keep a strict 24 hours a day constant watch, needs a radar like they need another crew member. Radar can be bought, crew are much harder.

If you can't spare the electricity to keep it on all the time, try the "wake up mode", where it turns on every so often and runs for 10 or 20 sweeps and turns off again. You set an alarm ring at 2 miles or whatever and hook up a bell to the radar and if something is coming your way, you will know about it. Furuno OP23 is the remote alarm and the 1721 uses 1 1/2 amps at 12 volts to operate standby; when operating after wake up, the amperage is about double that.

Small radars usually have about 2(kw) kilowatts of output power. 4 kw is better in that you can punch thru rain and interference a lot better. The Furuno 1831 is a 4 kw set.

The fancy features for displaying charts on the radar, doing target aquisition and making coffee are completely secondary to providing a first class picture of what is around you.

I think the JRC and Sitex radars are not bad units, but I can't vouch for their repairability in out of the way places.

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