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  #11  
Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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As long as you either have a deck-stepped mast or are OK with going for a ride up the mast (and have someone to help you)
That would be true. But anyone with a sailboat should be able to inspect their masthead. Whether it involves lowering the mast or riding to the top, it's a safety issue as important as making sure that there is oil in the engine or lifejackets aboard. I can truly appreciate that some people are uncomfortable with heights or hanging on a 1/8" wire, so alternate arrangements need to be made. The ability to go aloft and inspect rigging is an important but often neglected safety component.
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
That would be true. But anyone with a sailboat should be able to inspect their masthead. Whether it involves lowering the mast or riding to the top, it's a safety issue as important as making sure that there is oil in the engine or lifejackets aboard. I can truly appreciate that some people are uncomfortable with heights or hanging on a 1/8" wire, so alternate arrangements need to be made. The ability to go aloft and inspect rigging is an important but often neglected safety component.
It's a good point, and I agree. I should make that effort (i got the boat recently) and i will do it eventually but not in next 2-3 months, likely.

But the main point for me was the difference in accuracy between a mast top indicator and others at lower level (shroud or deck mounted). According to what you say, the difference in accuracy is so large that is not even worth considering the second one. Being without having one is just as good.
Others don't seem to dismiss it so strongly , though.

Me, i kind of like to have something to look at. Being inexperienced, it gives me some confidence/reassurance.

i have more doubts now than when i started this thread... Thanks guys
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
IMHO after a compass a Windex is the single most valuable instrument you can have on board. It's the cheapest as well.

Go to the trouble to install one, you won't regret it. Telltales on the sails & rigging help a lot too but the Windex is more important.
Agreed! The first 6 months of sailing my neck was constantly sore becuase I was always looking to the top of the mast. I still do all teh time to tell me exactly the driection of the wind so I can make adjustments. For me, Windex is for rough adjustments, tell tales are for fine tuning.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

Telltales on your sails are probably worth watching more than a little display that gives wind direction. Especially if you are new to it all. Far more important than where exactly the wind is coming from is how it's flowing over your sails. I might encourage you to look a little further afield than the wife and kids for someone to hoist you up. Surely it will take you less than 2-3 months to poll your buddies or your neighbors at the marina and get someone to hoist you. Otherwise a caving ladder on a halyard will get you up when you need to and no be permanent additions to your mast like steps.

Anyway. Your sails are what you need to be watching. And guess what else is up there- the mast head conveniently enough.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
As long as you either have a deck-stepped mast or are OK with going for a ride up the mast (and have someone to help you).
Are you in a marina? You can probably find someone who can help. You can also use a product like the ATN Mast Climber (there are cheaper alternatives discussed here and elsewhere) that let you do it solo. I would still have someone (like your wife) spotting you and winching a safety line on a halyard, but she doesn't need to do any real work.

Tape or yarn on the shrouds works okay and is easier to see. You just need to get used to looking at the correct shroud.

Putting one on top is the best idea anyway. Put a LED in the anchor light while you are up there.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

I look at the water. The line of chop. That's the true wind direction, every thing on the boat is apparent wind. I've never understood how a person can stand out side and not be able to look directly into the direction the wind is blowing. it seems like an obvious force. If you can tell "that" the wind is blowing, you should be able to tell from "where" it is coming. Also it should only mater in regards to how High you can point. in which case your sails will start flapping and you'll stop moving when you can't go any higher, so fall off till the fill and you start to move.. On a down wind run, again I angle my self at an angle to the line of chop. In very light winds, which is the most challenging. tell tails will lie flacid and a windex will swing with the boat motion as the stronger force. I suggest, going out side, looking at the water and just look and obsereve and develope the sense of the wind, put your cheak to it, turn into it, like someone said earlier, feel it in your ears. It's an essential part of being a sailor, sensing the wind.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

I agree with most of what Capt aaron says, except "That's the true wind direction, every thing on the boat is apparent wind. " While true, we sail in the apparant wind, so I wouldn't dismiss it so lightly.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

If I'm going to sail some where, I look out at the water, and immagine how I'm going to deal with the wind that is out there, not with how the wind will appear to be on deck. In prep for a passage, I look at the true wind flags on passageweather.com and the predictions for the time I'll be out there. And I plan my passage accordingly, and again, only when its on any kind of a point does it even mater, any thing off the wind is "How much" not 'where from".
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

As usual, Capt.aaron, you are a wealth of information. I, in fact, have been attempting to read the water like you describe and feel the wind on my face, etc. Hope I have a good season this year, which there's actually wind on the weekends.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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Originally Posted by carl762 View Post
As usual, Capt.aaron, you are a wealth of information. I, in fact, have been attempting to read the water like you describe and feel the wind on my face, etc. Hope I have a good season this year, which there's actually wind on the weekends.
Well, I guess what I'm saying is, the best place for the wind indicator is in you. I made a lot of money as rigger installing "wind Chickens" or re-adjusting 'em for people. And I've taught enough people to sail that I know this Sensory Wind sensation is something the most land lubbing city kid can develope.
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