I ran mine on watchstanding mode for 12 hours/day (always at night) until we hit the tropics...then we ran it all night to track squalls...and we weren't trying to avoid them. We were trying to determine which ones we could catch.Not if you don't have the power available to run it 24 hours a day. Which sailboats tend to struggle with. Every 20 minutes on a monohull and 15 minutes for speeds over 15 knots does the trick.Technically speaking, if your vessel is equipped with a radar, you're required to stand a radar watch. Its in the COLREGS. If your radar is on, and your paying attention to it, and you don't have the rain clutter turned off, you can detect and track squalls. We do it every night once we hit the tropics on the way to HI.a well equipped boat like that must have had radar, whats your point?Did RM have a radar? If yes, what was it? And was it on? If there was any moisture or hail in the cell, it should have shown up.
I'll defer to Mark M., but I imagine that a squall/cell capable of generating a 70kt burst is going to up in the atmosphere probably carrying ice, and moving with some forward velocity. IOW, it might have been detectable before it walloped them.
We had a great time of it in Tobago Cays one week, betting on who could plot the closest TOA.