Originally Posted by dann
When I finally get my RIB I plan to do some fairly extensive cruising even though it is unlikely to be above 5 metres! (Most likely Ribcraft 4.8) And was wondering whether for night passages, as well as radar, is it worth having the Raymarine Thermal Night Vision Camera for that little bit of extra visibility.
Dann, I think you are kidding yourself on putting radar on a 4.8m boat never mind FLIR!.
To be effective you want your radar to be mounted as high as possible, and for both safety and imaging reasons want the scanner above the height of the crew. So that means the scanner will need to be on quite a tall A-frame, which will need to be beefy to take the weight of the scanner. All together this will mean you have a lot of weight high up on the rib and at the back which isn't going to be good for balance. Then to get a usable radar display on a small bouncy boat in the dark, you will need a fairly large plotter screen, which to be practical either has to be separate from some of your other instrumentation/plotter/fishfinder etc or has to be really big. On a typical 4.8m boat console you are going to really struggle to fit that in a usable position. Moreover whilst trying to helm a small rib in anything other than ideal conditions you will struggle to read, monitor and adjust the radar, helm, navigate, keep a good lookout etc, so you will really need a navigator to handle the instruments - but I doubt you can fit twin jockeys and a double console in. Now there might be ways to do it but not very practical ones. No doubt someone will shortly post examples of a 4.8 with radar etc...
Not sure how far you are planning to cruise or in what conditions. A 4.8 is a great boat, and loads of fun for a day trip, or even the odd weekend away - but the weather conditions and length of trip most people would consider OK for regularly using a 4.8 will be far less than say a 5.85m rib. To be planning investing a lot of cash in radar and night vision kit I would need to be planning to be out in the dark regularly. If that were me I'd either be putting that money in a bigger boat with fewer gizmos, or if the gizmos were important getting an older boat so I could afford to go bigger.