Wind indicator NOT for mast top - SailNet Community

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Old 03-29-2013
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Wind indicator NOT for mast top

On my O'day 27 i do not have a wind indicator and i'm planning to get one but i just don't want the trouble to install it on mast top.

I'm not racing, so i just want something simple affordable trouble-less.

I saw a couple of things that look OK :

1) Wind-Tels from Davis (shroud mounted)
2) Sailsteady (this is deck-mounted, flexible, mostly for lasers but i was wondering if it would be OK also for a bigger boat). Practical Sailor magazine talks a bit about it in the last issue.


Any recommendatation?

many thanks
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

Dig into an old closet or basement and find an old cassette tape.. Break it open and you'll have a lifetime supply of telltales you can tie on anywhere you like.. Shrouds and back stay works well.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

Mast top is best for undisturbed air.
Anything else is a compromise, as PS explains.
The sailsteady looks good for it's purpose, but tell tales, an ensign off the stern and many other things do just as well, look better and are less expensive.
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Dig into an old closet or basement and find an old cassette tape.. Break it open and you'll have a lifetime supply of telltales you can tie on anywhere you like.. Shrouds and back stay works well.
I like that and I thought about that, but how do tape compare with the other indicators i mentioned ? If really not much difference, i'll go with your advice.

The only problem.... i don't think i have any cassette tape anymore...
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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 claudino View Post
The only problem.... i don't think i have any cassette tape anymore...
Hey, Iíve been around long enough that I could probably find a couple of 8-track tapes to pull apart to do this!

I tried the Wind-Tels product on our Macgregor 25 and I wasnít happy with them. Mounting them wasnít as easy as it should have been and as I recall, the indicators pointed to where the wind was going, rather than where it was coming from as in the case of mast mounted indicators. (Might not be right about this.) They were just confusing. Last year, we got a traditional mast mounted Windex, and Iíve been much happier with it.

As for the Sailsteady, Iím not sure where you could install it on the deck of a larger boat that might not be in the way, yet still work effectively.
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

I wouldn't go a marine one at all.

When I was in the USA the Walmart had a series of weather displays. I bought one with a barometric recorder.. Ok it only records for 24 hours... But the unit is fine, works well, has good reception to the remote sensor etc.

So if I was looking for wind speed and direction without the marine BS prices I would have a look at their range

AcuRite Professional Digital Weather Center with Forecast / Temperature / Humidity / Wind Speed & Direction / Rainfall with AcuLink Remote Monitoring 01050C

Strap it to the stern rail. It won't be as acurate as mast top, but you will get to understand the offset for direction from mainsail draft etc.

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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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Originally Posted by arknoah View Post
Hey, Iíve been around long enough that I could probably find a couple of 8-track tapes to pull apart to do this!

I tried the Wind-Tels product on our Macgregor 25 and I wasnít happy with them. Mounting them wasnít as easy as it should have been and as I recall, the indicators pointed to where the wind was going, rather than where it was coming from as in the case of mast mounted indicators. (Might not be right about this.) They were just confusing. Last year, we got a traditional mast mounted Windex, and Iíve been much happier with it.

As for the Sailsteady, Iím not sure where you could install it on the deck of a larger boat that might not be in the way, yet still work effectively.
Yes, i saw some reviews mentioning the Wind-Tels installation is not as smooth as thought. For the direction, as long as it's understood how it works, it should not be an issue though.

On the Sailsteady i have the same concern.
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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

Shroud tell-tales, whether cassette tape or the commercial variety are a poor indicator of wind direction. As chuckles says, there is (mostly) undisturbed air at the top of the mast. This fact should not be dismissed lightly, air on the shrouds is affected by both the ground effect, hull configuration, mast, main, jib and will be inaccurate by may degrees (can be 10+). There is a reason why competitive boats put a windex up top. To be direct, if accuracy isn't an issue, then why bother at all? Just turn your head until the wind sound is equal in each ear - you nose will be pointed into the wind.

To install a Windex on the masthead is a 15 minute job, at most.
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
To install a Windex on the masthead is a 15 minute job, at most.
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).

I've thought about a Windex; I'd really like one. But my wife is scared to haul me up, and won't let me haul her or the boys up. She keeps saying something about 7 and 5 year olds not being able to actually do the work. But, anyway... Of course, you COULD pay a yard to do it for you, but then you're easily doubling your costs.

Yeah, I know, everything on a boat is a compromise...
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

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.
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