Powerboat Reports tested and compared radars a couple years ago and recommended Raytheon SL72 or RL70 or the JRC 1500 over similar units from Furuno, Simrad and Si-Tex. No matter which unit you choose, this article is a great primer for the uninitiated (like me).
All previous radar units are good but look for something with at least a 4 kw antenna (array). The difference between the a 2 and a 4 kw is that with a 4kw you will be able to distinguish individual items that are grouped up rather then a cluster on your display. It will cost more but is well worth the extra money.
I myself have a Furuno 4kw, 36 mile not that you will use 36, with a crt display. The unit sold for about 2300.
I own the 1712 24 Mile Furuno. I fish between Montauk and Block Island to the North to the Gut and Silas Rock area.
Considering the knobs, buttons and options I dont think I ever used this unit to see over 2 miles. One complaint, is that when you are reducing the distance, 2 miles to 1.5 to 1.0 to .5 to .25, this has to be done manually, there is a reset time of a 20 seconds each adjustment. In the rough weather, high waves in the inlet it can be blinding for a few seconds, your tense up waiting to be confirmed your not heading into the rocks. Even at 6 knots going into the jettys can be done. Your only eyes at times is your radar.
Seatronics is the best for installation, they will match all internet pricing. Your cost to install is big money with Seatronics. But I have to say they are the best, but you pay.
Now I live by my radar, fishing mostly at night. A more powerful unit for inshore fishing would seem a overkill. My unit seems to be entry level, and fine enough
Just a idea that some times help's me out when I'am looking for things. The next time your around a boat yard or on the water LOOK_UP and see whats sitting on top [radars]. IF you take 20 boats / 15 have furuno/ 3 have raytheon/ 2 have some thing else . Maybe they have done the research for you. I'am not saying this holds true but it something to look into.
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