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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first boat didn't have an anemometer. I didn't mind, because I figured that there were only 3 states of wind: Too much, not enough, or just right. My second boat came with a simple davis anamometer mounted in the cabin and I confess it became our favorite toy on the boat. My wife and I would try and guess the speed of the wind, or gusts and see who got closer. We would also use it to see how close of an anchor watch we needed to stand based on increasing speeds.

I would love to have a wind meter that has multiple readouts. One in the main salon, one readable from the bed, and another in the galley. Doing this with marine units gets expensive very quickly. Are there any of the hobby weather stations that have multiple displays? I would also LOVE if the unit would record the speed of the maximum gust and/or allow you to set an alarm when a speed gets above a pre-set limit, which none of them seem to do.

In my perfect boat, I would have a wind meter with max wind and alarms, that could be mounted above my bunk and readable in the dark. Oh, and an upsidown compass. ;)

MedSailor
 

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Master Mariner
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We installed one of those LaCrosse technologies wireless home weather stations about 8 feet up on the front of the mizzen. I have a readout w/direction at the chart table and another w/ speed only in the aft cabin. They seem to last 2 or 3 years of cruising (24/7/365 out in the weather), changing batteries about once a year. They are around us$200.00, not bad for the features, and as you say, a great toy.
It does not replace the ST-60 at the helm, though.
 

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I too confess, I spend alot of time looking at that gauge. After almost a year with our boat, I'm starting to know what the wind is by what the boat is doing (and looking at the water). Didn't grow up with one, but it's part of the sailing instrument package I have so I use it.
 

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What instrumentation system do you have on your boat?

Raymarine i40 anemometer fed into a SeatalkNG network will show you wind data anywhere that you want to see it and plug in a display. The i40 wind instrument is around $400.

The used marine store in Poulsbo had piles of Raymarine ST70 instrument displays (which talk SeatalkNG) for cheap prices. They aren't as nice as the current Raymarine i70, but they are pretty good. If these are the ones that used to be at Second Wave they might need to be serviced by Raymarine to be able to save their settings (the two that I used were stuck in demo mode, I bought one for a discounted price and had Raymarine fix it for me).

If you are hardware/software nerd I can share the source code and wiring for having a Davis anemometer talk to NMEA 0183 using a Netduino. Hardware costs are about $200 and don't include a display, so having gone this route I'd recommend just getting the i40 (which includes one display).
 

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Hey,

Do you have, want, or use an Ipad, tablet, or laptop? If so, the best thing would be to put all the boat data onto a network and wifi. Then you will have the information anywhere you want, whenever you want.

I know it can be done. Just don't ask me HOW to do it.

Barry
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The boat has an anemometer (an ultrasounic masthead one) with displays that can display speed, depth, wind etc. They look, in form and function, like the raymarine 4x4" units that are so common, but it was an older looking model from a brand I had never heard of. Good thought on sourcing more of those display units on the used market.

One thing I don't like about those units though is that they don't capture max wind or wind trends like some of the weather stations do. I've heard that the weather stations only last a couple of years though, which could add up quickly....

MedSailor
 

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The ST70 and i70 can graph wind trends and show you max data from any networked wind instrument. I assume that modern instrument displays from any of the major companies can do the same.

Getting NMEA2000 data (Seatalk NG) out over Wifi is an expensive proposition. The cheapest options retail for about $400.

If I have a moment at the boat this week I can shoot a short video.
 

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baDumbumbum
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Most home weather stations -- esp. wireless -- offer fairly low resolution. For instance, our Zephyr Instruments (a re-labeled older design) only polls every 45 seconds or minute. Seen fractally, from a distance, the data probably hew pretty tight to the distribution curve. But transient events (gusts & lulls) do get lopped off. And the wind direction readings are coarse verging on useless: 45 degree increments. Also, conditions are updated every minute but logged every 30 minutes (to save memory), so unless you have the base station plugged into a running laptop 24/7, you lose even more resolution there.

That said, these stations are cheap; the batteries last a long time; and you could likely use multiple display stations with a single sending cluster. Connections on the senders are via phone jacks, which might not like a marine environment much. By the time you get into higher-end home weather stations, like the Davis units, you are very close to the price of purpose-built NMEA kit, which offers steer-to-wind capability and instant readings.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Most home weather stations -- esp. wireless -- offer fairly low resolution. For instance, our Zephyr Instruments (a re-labeled older design) only polls every 45 seconds or minute. Seen fractally, from a distance, the data probably hew pretty tight to the distribution curve. But transient events (gusts & lulls) do get lopped off. And the wind direction readings are coarse verging on useless: 45 degree increments. Also, conditions are updated every minute but logged every 30 minutes (to save memory), so unless you have the base station plugged into a running laptop 24/7, you lose even more resolution there.

That said, these stations are cheap; the batteries last a long time; and you could likely use multiple display stations with a single sending cluster. Connections on the senders are via phone jacks, which might not like a marine environment much. By the time you get into higher-end home weather stations, like the Davis units, you are very close to the price of purpose-built NMEA kit, which offers steer-to-wind capability and instant readings.

Now that is some useful information that I didn't even think to ask. Thanks. You probably saved me spending some money and then really regretting it.

MedSailor
 

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I was at the boat today and captured a couple of low quality photos (lighting was terrible, and I just had my cellphone).

This shows the i70 doing a apparent wind speed history chart. This is for 1 minute, but you can change the time interval to 1 min, 10 min, 1 hour, 10 hour, 1 day.



This shows the device configured to show apparent wind angle and speed along with minimum and maximum wind speeds:


You can also see wind angle history dots, they track the recent maximum and minimum wind angles.

This is being measured using my homebrew amemometer that talks to my Raymarine e7d over NMEA 0183, and that translates it to NMEA 2000 for the i70.

It looks like the budget i40 that I referenced earlier uses the cheaper Rotavecta wind instrument which isn't recommended for sailboats (it isn't accurate enough for wind direction).
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


What I have appears to be a NEXUS system, which I had never heard of, but appears to be a high end system geared towards racing. It appears they are still in business (yay!) and they have some kind of partnership with Garmin. I'll have a lot of catching up to do on all this NMEA/SeaTalk stuff but it may be that I can buy a garmin unit similar to what you posted, or even connect it to the raymarine unit? That wind graphing is nice....

MedSailor
 

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I think Garmin bought Nexus, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the system has been maintained.

An old Nexus dealer posts quite frequently on Seattle Craigslist trying to get rid of their old Nexus gear. I don't know the system well enough to know if the deals are good.

Chances are that your Nexus gear can output NMEA 0183 sentences that can be shown on your Garmin system.

Garmin makes a similar display to the i70 that is well reviewed on Panbo. I assume it can show similar graphs:
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Garmin GMI 20, hand's on, surprises found
 
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