There are many tools and systems available for your trip. Lew tells you about many of the options and describes their use.
You don't need radar at all. Radar is good for spotting ships and rain, and coastal navigation. AIS is probably better for spotting ships, since it gives you their name.
Spotting rain is nice because then you have an idea of how big a squall is.
We like to have both!
Ever wonder how a navigator might prepare for a big race like the Pac Cup? In this navigation systems article, Lew walks us through the tools he might use for crossing the Pacific. The topics covered include grib files, weather forecast charts, navigation software, instruments and more. Best of all, Stan Honey contributed to the article his insight on computer routing around the Pacific High.
For those using routing software like Expedition or Deckman, consider the following: Computer routes suggest courses that are too close to highs when sailing around them downwind, but it isn’t due to any bugs or defects in the polars, software, or grib files.