How To Determine If You Need A Radar Tower With A Down Angle
You've purchased a radar and it is time to install it. There are a few decisions you must make to ensure you achieve optimal performance. The item I would like to discuss today is how to determine if you need a 4 degree down angle on your marine radar mast or if a horizontal configuration is the most effective. To answer that question, we must first first understand that every installation is a compromise between how you most often use your boat and your goals with radar. If you are are usually at displacement speed, bow rise is minimal and the impact on your radar is not as significant. If you will be using your radar on plane, bow rise is a greater concern. BattleWagon provides boat radar towers that are horizontal and with a 4 degree down angle. Bear in mind that a couple of degrees will not produce a significant degradation in radar performance. Sea conditions can easily exceed that. You must choose your marine radar mast for the conditions in which you will use the radar most frequently.
A tool that we utilize is an inclinometer. It will measure in degrees the amount of angle from horizontal a surface is. Ours is a free app we have on our smart phone called the U-clinometer from Unirac. We typically will place it on the surface where the radar mounting bracket is to be placed and taking readings at various conditions underway such as idling, displacement speed, and planing. Readings vary from 2 degrees to 8 degrees typically. Anything over 3-4 we generally recommend a radar mount with the 4 degree down angle.
Another item to consider is boats that have a location on the radar arch or hardtop for a radar tower. Sometimes these locations have a down angle already that compensates specifically for the bow rise of that boat. In that case, a marine radar mast that is horizontal is your best choice.
BattleWagon fabricates boat radar towers with both horizontal and 4 degree down angle configurations at no extra charge. The benefit to you is cost savings, as there is no need to purchase an unsightly wedge and an easier, cleaner installation. BattleWagon is an American manufacturer dedicated to sourcing every component of our boat radar towers in the USA, including our stainless steel. We truly appreciate your interest in BattleWagon and hope we can make your time on the water more enjoyable by providing a product that you will appreciate every time you look at your boat or turn on your radar. God Bless America!