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capttb 01-29-2009 09:32 PM

Do the birds eat your windex ?
The birds don't bother it for a few years, then they start pecking little pieces out of the tail until the whole tail is gone. My theory is that the salt builds up and the birds peck at that, my dockmate thinks the paint wears off and the birds peck at the moving shiney spots. How about someone in freshwater, does your wind indicator disappear from the tail forward ?

CalebD 01-29-2009 09:42 PM

Mine disappears from the mast up each time I accidentally drop the mast while lowering it. This on a 19' Lightning w/no windex currently.
What is that thing supposed to do anyway, keep the birds off the top of your mast?
Thread hijack: Who thinks a windex is a valuable tool for sailing?

mrwuffles 01-29-2009 09:46 PM

I find myself constantly looking up at it to see how my boat sails when pointing and to make adjustments. I think it's useful.

Sailormann 01-29-2009 10:23 PM

We are in freshwater and it gets chewed up regularly, along with the rigging tape that is wrapped around the spreader bases.

I tried tying a cat to the top of the mast and sending up food once a day on the pennant, but that just turned into a hawk lure (how was I to know they liked cats ? ) - big mess on the deck after that and I'm still dodging the SPCA ;)

CalebD 01-29-2009 11:54 PM

Cat poop vs. Bird poop.

Neither is the lesser of two weevils. Watch out for the SPCA. They will doggedly search for you! I was thinking of re-installing a 'Windex' on my Lightning to keep an Osprey from enjoying his lunch at the top of my mast. Ospreys don't like cats either but cats don't really like boats, especially at the mast head.

I know the area you sail in and I also know that you are smarter and younger then me. I can only surmise that the windex helps you judge what is going on at the top of the mast when you really can tell what is going on with the wind and sails just by observing (listening to the sails, watching the wind on the water and the feeling of the tiller - yes, I said tiller - no wheels here). Do you think that Joshua Slocum had a windex on his 'Spray' when he did his circumnav circa 1910 or so? My point is really that prior to the 'windex' people always relied on their senses to determine what to do. The advent of the 'windex' was a nice low tech invention that has paved the road for chart plotters and apparent wind instruments and I should not be crapping on it like the sea gulls do. You can sail quite well without a windex if your senses are tuned to the environment.
On our delivery cruise with Bene505 from Mtk. to Glen Cove I suspected that we had gusts up to 40 mph outside Port Jeff. The next day (Sunday) I knew that the wind was stronger and you posted a link to the buoy system that showed gusts up to 50. Since the mast on the Bene 505 is at least 60' above the deck I doubt we could have seen it nor would it have been of much use. The most important part of our duties were to get the boat up wind to her port - which we did without the benefit of a single wind instrument on board. I only used my ears and my eyes to spot the cat paws (winds ruffling the waters surface) rushing by our boat to guess the winds approximate speed.
My most obscure point is that looking up at the top of the mast or at a chart plotter are not the best places to be watching for the weather that is in front of you.
For racing in light winds I suspect that the windex is a valued tool by most that lurk here.
Sorry we missed you at your get-together in Huntington. I look forward to the spring as all of us northerners do.

AdamLein 01-30-2009 03:12 AM

Try putting windex on your windex. The birds will learn pretty quickly not to eat it.

sander06 01-30-2009 05:40 AM

What a hoot! The birds in this Florida marina SIT on the windex until it breaks. One guy had an osprey decide to rest on his with the resulting destruction!!

astraeus 01-30-2009 08:47 AM

Haven't had birds eating the windex, but they like to ride it like a carousel.

mrwuffles 01-30-2009 01:56 PM

Caleb I learned on a minifish which had no windex but when sailing my cat22 which is the only boat I've had which has one I find it helps to glance at it to compare to. I do not rely on it it is just another tool used to help me improve with my sailing.

ckgreenman 01-30-2009 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by CalebD (Post 440607)
but cats don't really like boats, especially at the mast head.

That's weird. I would have though they'd like being up high. Our cats spend a lot of time on top of the cupboards so I would think the top of the mast would make them ecstatic.

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