New-age solid-state marine radar systems from brands such as Furuno, Garmin, Raymarine and Simrad all transmit a relatively long, compressed pulse over a wide range of frequencies. By processing the relative strength of the returning frequencies, these radars can more accurately gauge the sizes and distances between targets than old-school radars using magnetrons.
Pulse compression also combines outstanding long- and short-range target detection. Simrad’s Halo pulse-compression radars, for example, can see targets as close as 20 feet and (in the top-of-the-line Halo 6) out to 72 nautical miles. Such pulse-compression benefits are also available in Furuno’s NXT, Garmin’s Fantom series and Raymarine’s Quantum CHIRP dome radar.
On the Furuno, Garmin and Simrad systems, you can view two range scales at once in a split-screen mode (seen above on a Simrad display) on compatible multifunction displays, allowing you to monitor possible threats close to the boat while also keeping an eye on far-off targets or weather cells.
Furuno’s NXT starts at $2,600, Garmin’s Fantom at $6,999.99, Raymarine’s Quantum CHIRP at $1,599.99 and Simrad’s Halo at $4,500.