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Wind Speed and Direction - On the cheap but not frustrating

2998 Views 32 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  mal5033
Can you post some details about your wind systems - especially if you added a system to a 40+-year-old boat?

I would like to add a wind speed/direction system. I have nothing for wind right now but would like to wire the mast before we splash this summer. I found some mast cable, and the display for an old Datamarine system on ebay for around $200 but the transducer is almost $900.

Thank you!!
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We've used a lot of stuff for wind direction and boat speed over our (approaching) 50 year sailing life. I remember using a drag behind knot meter that would pull a plunger to approximate speed at one time. I truly appreciated the keep it simple attitude but I admit I am spoiled by the newer stuff (including GPS, which was not always around to help)
The windex has always been a part of it and I had the stiff neck to prove it. Having had questionable performance with the instruments on our new (to us) boat, we scrapped it all and installed a 9 inch Raymarine Axiom MFD, an !-70, and a new autohelm. I am amazed by the performance of this setup (I probably am jinxing it by saying that). It does way more than I need and I am still learning its capabilities. I still use the windex and lower shroud streamers but am finding I use the display more now.
I used the existing mast-top and hull sending units with adapters. It cost a few boat-bucks but it was money well spent.
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@mal5033 Thanks for posting this. In my "someday-life" I hope to have a modern, standard set of gear. For now, I have my toughbook, OpenCPN and whatever things I can figure out how to hook into it. Finding a budget-friendly wind speed/direction transducer is a real challenge. Windex, yarn, face, ears are all have now. Before I put the mast up for the summer, I'd really like to get a mast head unit mounted, if at all possible.
As I mentioned, I have used many different methods of measuring wind/speed/etc. The common thread is that I have always loved the sailing!
My future may go the other way due to increasing costs of ownership. I am considering a switch to a basic cat-boat sans all of the electronic devices. So maybe I will go full circle...
Just enjoy the sailing, that's what matters. I will.
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