True and Apparent Wind Question - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-24-2015 Thread Starter
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True and Apparent Wind Question

So I'm sailing small dinghies, a 505 and a Siren 17. Needless to say theres not much room for navigational equipment but I would like to know just how fast I'm going. On the 505 I know when I've reached a good speed as my wife begins to yell at me threatening to sell it. The new purchase is the Siren and we want to do a trip on an inland lake and I'd like to keep track of speed and distance.

Question is this, I bought a small handheld instrument that will measure wind speed in knots. If I held this over the side or in a somewhat sheltered position from the true wind, is the apparent wind speed a decent indication to my actual boat speed?

If your laughing right now...your welcome, just send me a link to some cheap instruments and I'll have something to do while the ice comes off the lake.

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post #2 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

If you are on a lake there is likely no current. If so, then a handheld GPS would give you a fairly accurate boatspeed.
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

Second the hand held GPS. You can get one at WalMart for 80-100 bucks, last I was in the market. It will give you most of the info a big GPS will, just not as fancy. Speed, direction, miles travelled. Lots of settings to pick from. I used one for offshore fishing. Very accurate. Kevin
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

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On the 505 I know when I've reached a good speed as my wife begins to yell at me threatening to sell it.
That's the most accurate instrument there is for sailing fun.
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

Windspeed and boatspeed are two different things,it depends on your point of sail.
Get yourself a knotstick,or handheld GPS.Check out Ebay.
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

Here ya' go!
Handheld Gps - Walmart.com

w.com/search/search-ng.do?query=Handheld%20Gps&cat_id=0&facet=brand:Magellan%7C%7Cbrand:Garminww.walmart

I am no sailing expert but, You can't determine speed measuring the wind speed. What if you are sailing downwind, you don't usually feel any wind, right? Get a gps, they are great! You can use it in the woods, the car, anywhere!
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

Same speed over ground feature is available on most smart phones...
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

go with the speedpuck (especially if you ever race)... (its a GPS knotmeter, also measures lifts/headers)...

Now for wind, you could do lots of things, but these got great ratings, are handheld, accurate and cheap... get the knot readout.
Portable Wind Meter | Portable Wind Meter | Dwyer Instruments

Also learn the beaufort scale. At times nothing is more accurate.
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

If you have an iPhone, use iSailor or iNavx. Indispensable for quick navigation.

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is the apparent wind speed a decent indication to my actual boat speed?
No. Not even close. Like comparing apples and tubas.

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post #10 of 24 Old 03-25-2015
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Re: True and Apparent Wind Question

Like a wind speed meter, GPS does not report boat speed. You can make a good guess by timing the transit of bubbles or flotsam from bow to stern.
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