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Old 01-23-2015, 07:55 PM   #1
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Wind indicator

This is a question primarily for those experienced sailboat folks here who've come over to power cruising.

Our boat came with a perfectly functioning, top-of-the-line Furuno Loran-C navigation receiver and display. We used it as a backup to the Echotec green-screen, C-MapNT GPS plotter we installed on the boat when we acquired it in 1998. At the time, GPS still had the big skew in it so its accuracy was about 300 feet. Loran, on the other hand, would put you right on the dot. I"v always thought of Loran as an inaccurate way of getting accurate information.

We continued to use the Loran as a secondary navigation system until they turned the northwest chain off. So now we have this nice piece of elecronics in our panel that does nothing whatsoever. So from time to time we think about what could go in its place.

We've considered an AIS transponder but in our waters we don't see any value it it other than finding out the name of that ship over there. The waters used by shipping here are very well covered by three VTS systems--- Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver--- and when in poor or no visibility we have to cross shipping lanes or simply want to know what's headed our way, we talk to the VTS folks.

What we keep coming back to is how nice it would be to have a proper windspeed/direction indicator on the boat. Right now, we use the club pennant on the bow pulpit jackstaff.

What we have in mind is what we see on the mastheads of the sailboats in our marina. I used to crew on a racing sloop for a few years after moving to the area and we had one with a nice dual dial display showing the wind direction and speed.

We can mount the direction and speed head on a pole where the Loran antenna is now, and getting the wires down to the display in the panel would be very easy.

So my question to those of you who've had experience using or outfitting a sailboat is what brands of these systems have the best reputations for accuracy, reliability and longevity?

Thanks much in advance.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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Can't help since in my sailboating days we had no electronic goodies. (Bow burgee is good enough for me now, yarn tell tales back then.)


Currently there is a thread on cruisersforum discussing weather stations. That might help.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:16 PM   #3
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We have a Maretron WSO-100 ultrasonic weather station and three of their DSM-150 displays, which display all the data from them along with whatever else is on the N2K bus. If you have a gps connected you can get true wind too. It has no moving parts to break so that's a plus. It'll cost more then other standalone systems, but you'll benefit when you upgrade other things in the future that are N2k capable.

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Old 01-23-2015, 08:28 PM   #4
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Currently there is a thread on cruisersforum discussing weather stations. That might help.
Thanks, Mark. The boat I crewed on had the yarn telltales on the mast stays, too, and we actually used them more than the instrument.

I've read through the thread on weather stations and that's not what we want. We can get the weather from several sources on board now. What we want is a large-ish, simple display with the wind direction relative to the boat and speed only. That's why we're interested in the sailboat masthead system.

We can set about asking sailboaters we see in our marina, but I thought there might be some sailboat folks here with knowledge of good, bad, and indifferent systems.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:35 PM   #5
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Check out TackTick. They make wireless stuff that's pretty darn good. If all you want or need is an anemometer on a mast somewhere, with a decent display below, this is just right. It can give you wind speed and direction, plug in to your NMEA for apparent wind and speed versus true wind speed and direction, etc. I think most instruments can also graph the changes, so for example, you could see the highest wind in the last five minutes, or confirm a trend in wind speed, which can be useful
In route planning.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:12 PM   #6
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Check out TackTick..
Thanks, I'll do that. I'm not so concerned about whatever we get being wireless. A cable is a snap to run from the flying bridge to the lower helm station. NMEA connectivity is not important as we would be using the vane/anenometer and its display as a stand-alone system.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:28 PM   #7
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Wind indicator

Here's a nice and simple system.
http://www.hodgesmarine.com/Clipper-...w.htm?click=19
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:33 PM   #8
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That's the sort of thing we're after, thanks.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:49 PM   #9
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Marin,
Did you get a new boat? Thought you had a GB. We replaced our Loran with a nice piece of black King Starboard and then mounted a digital clock on its surface. Had a wind instrument at one time but all it did was scare me.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:02 PM   #10
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Pretty sure all the big name marine electronics manufactures have a wind direction and speed instrument.

I'm most familiar with Raymarine but Furuno and Simrad should have them as well. There are more out there and are all pretty pricey for what you get.

You can step down from a marine unit to a good home instrument but the cheap ones don't last and by the time you get a good one...the price tag may not be too far apart but the home instrument will give more weather and the marine instrument can sometimes be interfaced to nema and provide other marine data.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:07 PM   #11
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Garmin offers a nice instrument package with their GMI20 display. Bought it to replace my Simrad setup, but haven't finished the install yet. Around $1, 200 gets you 1 display, wireless wind sensor with temperature and barometric pressue, and a depth transducer. System is nmea 2000. My boat has a Garmin nmea 2000 network so the display can also offer GPS related information. Plan to add another display to the master stateroom (only need to run a network cable) so I can check what's going on at night. Even has an anchor drag alarm (if you add gps to the network).

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Old 01-23-2015, 10:07 PM   #12
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Marin,
Had a wind instrument at one time but all it did was scare me.
We have a handheld anemometer but it has no wind direction capability and we have to go outside into clear air to use it. One thing we have learned over the years of using our handheld is that when you're convinced it's blowing 25 it's actually blowing 12.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:36 PM   #13
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Standing outside occasionally provides lots of input on what's happening weatherwise (whereas permanently stationed in an open flying bridge is too much exposure, not counting the need to climb stairs or ladder.) That's one benefit of having the helm adjacent to the deck rather than the middle of the bridge/pilothouse. (My engine and rudder controls are within arm's reach from outside the pilothouse door.) Regardless, it's only necessary to stick one's head out from the top-side of the pilothouse's Dutch doors.

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Old 01-23-2015, 10:38 PM   #14
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We have a handheld anemometer but it has no wind direction capability and we have to go outside into clear air to use it. One thing we have learned over the years of using our handheld is that when you're convinced it's blowing 25 it's actually blowing 12.

Yep!!
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:51 PM   #15
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Marin,

The Garmin GMI 10 with GWS 10 Bundle is still available on Amazon for only $600. It provides wind direction and speed, temperature, barometric pressure. When connected to a NMEA 2000 network, it will also display true wind direction and speed. Unlike the GMI 20, it is not wireless, but you mentioned mast wiring is not a problem.

Obviously, B&G, Raymarine, Ockam and others make great wind instrument systems, but they would all be overkill for what you need on your Grand Banks.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:56 PM   #16
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Thanks, I'll check that out too.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:25 PM   #17
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We have a handheld anemometer but it has no wind direction capability and we have to go outside into clear air to use it. One thing we have learned over the years of using our handheld is that when you're convinced it's blowing 25 it's actually blowing 12.
Handheld anemomoters on our sailboats were seldom used. Sensing the wind's effect on the boats and their sails was more important.
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:29 AM   #18
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Yep!!
Marin,

A lot of sailors use the Maretron. I like it and best of all, you can add other pieces as you see fit AND you don't need their display, but can use n2k view on your computer and any monitor.
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:12 AM   #19
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Thanks, I'll check into Maretron.
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:18 AM   #20
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I have the Raymarine ST70 with sensor up on the mast. Flawless!
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