Join Date: Dec 2011
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I also have the Raymarine unit. It's what came on my Catalina 309 in 2007. I like it fine, but have not had experience with any other makes.
Still, if I had to give up one of my electronic gadgets, gps, depthsounder, autopilot, etc., the first one I'd give up would be the wind speed and direction. What's the next one I'd give up?......none of 'em.
I can't usually guess the depth, but I can tell you how hard the wind's blowing. It's either not enough, just right, let's reef, or Heeeeelp! It's not that hard to know where the wind's coming from, and a simple mechanical device can do the job. I've found that I become a bit of a slave to looking at the wind direction readout. You're sailing along, and looking at that needle and keeping it where it should be for your current sail trim. I can get pretty much the same thing by keeping an eye on the sail and watching out for any luffing.
So, if mine breaks, I'll probably fix it. Probably.
I believe that Siamese is right, A windx on the mast head and some yarn on the shroulds gives most of the info you need. My 2 cents worth from cheap old me.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."~Mark Twain