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Small maritime surface targets can be difficult to distinguish from sea clutter in radar backscattered signals, but discrimination may be improved by using coherent detectors within the dwell time of a scanning radar. Non-coherent integration, coherent integration, the Kelly detector and the adaptive linear quadratic detector are considered. Target detectability may also be improved by combining the results of a single dwell across multiple scans. Overall target detection times of 2, 5 and 10 s are considered and the trade-off between within-scan dwell time and multiple scan processing gain is investigated. Analysis of high-range-resolution coherent X-band data of small boats reveals that faster scan rates with corresponding shorter dwell times provide improved target detection performance over slower scan rates and longer dwell times.