JRC 1500

20 NM range
2Kw power output
NMEA compatible
Waypoint display

Price 1000 or 750 for the slightly smaller JRC 1000

See www.marconi-marine.com/products/jrc/radar.htm for more information

This unit came with the boat, but I had the smaller JRC 1000 fitted to my last boat. The main difference being the power output of the unit.
My previous career was as an avionics artificer in the Royal Navy, so I have a lot of experience working with Radar. I think that Radar is probably the least understood of all the electronics fitted to small boats. I also think that because a lot of people think of them as being complicated they are scared of them, I personally believe they are a very under rated important piece of safety equipment.
I have to say that the JRC is simple and effective Radar to use. It is ideal for a small boat that might need to find its way back from the fishing grounds in the dark or more importantly in the fog.
Truthfully most of the features will never be used. One of the features that I like is the ability to show Waypoints on the screen. This is only possible if you have an NMEA compatible GPS and you have the connector for it. This can be very useful if you have marked an underwater obstruction or other danger area as a waypoint. As obviously the Radar cannot see that.
The screen is of a decent size that allows for good viewing. The definition and clarity are also very good.
I never normally use the Radar on any range over 1 miles and normally it is only mile range that I have set. With it set to any of those ranges I can see all decent sized boats from a trawler upwards very easily. Most decent sized yachts are picked up on it, as are navigation buoys. The only thing not picked up on it until you are pretty close is other small craft. Speed boats and small dories in particular.
My opinion: A good basic Radar ideal for a small boat. Take some time to get used to its features and it will serve you well.
Other units I looked at. Raymarine SL range. These are also good Radars but at a few hundred pounds more. I do not believe they have enough difference in them to justify the additional expense, unless you have or are intending to have other Raymarine electronics, which would allow you to take advantage of their proprietary HSB interface. Which then makes them a very good choice.

Report from Sean


Disclaimer: Everything written in these reports are based on personal experience and the individual's opinion only. I have tried my best to present the facts correctly, but I/we take no responsibility for any mistakes or omissions.