I'm just back from my first cruise
and first practical experience with the WSO ultrasonic wind
So far my experience is exactly like others'. It works perfectly.
I ended up having a long aluminum
pole made for it, about 1.2 meters long. It goes straight up from the masthead without any bends or kinks. I figured that 1.2 meters would be enough to get it out of any turbulence, and that a straight pipe would be better structurally. Aluminum
so it wouldn't be too heavy and shake itself loose (the stainless pipe I bought was horrendously heavy).
I am using the B&G Triton displays for it, which are the best wind
displays I have ever seen, by far. The analogue representation of True and Apparent at the same time is absolutely brilliant. The only flaw for me is that the numbers for the digital display are slightly too small for me to see easily from the helm
(the displays are mounted on my scuttle about 3 or 4 meters forward of the helm).
While we're talking about ultrasonic transducers, I also have an ultrasonic speed transducer. I am less convinced of its accuracy, than of the accuracy of the Maretron WSO100 wind transducer. My speed transducer is an Airmar CS4500, installed at horrible expensive and considerable trouble. The transducer itself is expensive, and then -- it doesn't output N2K, it doesn't even output NMEA0183, it only outputs pulse. So I had to buy a pulse-to-NMEA0183 adapter (Actisense), then wire NMEA0183 to my Zeus plotter, which bridges that data to N2K.
If I were you (speaking to the OP), I would consider the LJ Capteurs transducer. I haven't seen any actual practical reports on it, but right off the bat you have advantages in that it was designed specifically as a sailing instrument. Besides that, it is much smaller. I would bet that it is better than the WSO100. Do they make it in an N2K version yet? If not, that would be a downside. I didn't buy one because at the time I was buying
, there was no N2K version, although it was promised for the nearest future.
Yesterday when motoring in a glassy calm, I cranked up the engine
to blow the cobwebs out, as I regularly do after motoring at low speeds for long periods of time. As I passed 10 knots of boat speed, the speed transducer went crazy, eventually giving me a reading of 35 knots. I am guessing that if I exceed hull speed
some air gets entrained under the hull
, and this throws off the transducer. If that's what's happening, this will be serious disadvantage when sailing downwind at high speed, where you really, really need to know your speed in order to stay out of trouble. This is all pretty disappointing after spending more than $1000 on this setup.