RYA Radar Course


This is a one day course, contact us for prices and availability here


Switching on and setting up

  • The main components of a radar set
  • How a radar set measures distance
  • How a radar set measures bearing
  • The limitations imposed by the power, antenna size and display size of a typical small craft radar
  • Switch on a typical small craft radar set; adjust its’ brilliance, contrast, gain, range and tuning

Understanding the picture:

  • How antenna size and frequency affect beam width
  • How pulse length and Pulse Repetition Frequency are varied with range
  • The factors that determine the strength of echo returned by the target
  • The effect on beam width on discrimination
  • The effect of pulse length on discrimination
  • The effect of blind arcs, shadow sectors and radar horizon

Refining the picture:

  • The cause and cure for sea clutter
  • The cause and cure for rain clutter
  • The cause and cure for interference
  • The purpose of echo stretch
  • The dangers associated with clutter clearance tools
  • The difference between Head Up, Course Up and North Up modes
  • Adjust sea clutter and rain clutter controls to suit prevailing conditions
  • Identify whether a radar is in Head UP, Course Up or North Up mode

Radar reflectors:

  • How radar cross section is measured
  • Types of passive reflector in common use (octahedral, stacked array lens)
  • Types of active reflector in common use (RTE, Racon, SART)
  • The limitations of passive radar reflectors

Understands Collision Avoidance:

  • The principles of relative motion
  • The existence of automatic radar plotting aids
  • The implications or IRPCS Rule Numbers 5, 6, 7 and 19 (look out, safe speed, risk of collision, restricted visibility)
  • The practical limitations of small craft radar
  • Assessing the risk of collision with another vessel
  • Assessing the closest point of approach of another vessel, and determining whether it will pass ahead or astern
  • Assessing the course and speed on another vessel

Fixing position by radar:

  • The principles of a three-point fix
  • Selecting landmarks for a three-point fix
  • How to take and plot a position fix using the EBL
  • Limitations of the EBL for position fixing
  • Plotting the vessel’s position on a chart using the VRM

Pilotage by radar:

  • ‘Eyeball’ pilotage by radar
  • The imitations of ‘eyeball’ pilotage
  • The principals of parallel indexing
  • Preparing and executing a simple pilotage plan using clearing ranges