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Old 23-02-2012, 18:51   #16
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Hope you enjoy the Kestrel. Friends also gave us a regular weather station with wind, barometer, temperature & rain gauge that we have on our aft deck attached to a outboard motor lift so its somewhat hidden. It actually gives excellent results-even when we sail! It's nice to see whats going on even when our instruments are off! I know it sounds strange but it's pretty nice!

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Old 23-02-2012, 19:29   #17
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

darn, I wish I saw the Kestral before I got mine in the mail yesterday, I got an Extech Anemometer/Thermometer for almost double what the Kestral costs. While it is waterproof, I'm not sure it floats.

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Old 23-02-2012, 19:46   #18
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

Completely useless. Had one on a prior boat.

The wind speed over the deck varies so much with sail selection (deflection), wind direction, and the nature of the puff that the information borders on worthless, in practical terms.

Either get a masthead unit or simply watch the water and feel the wind on your ears. Just as accurate. It's fun to look in catalogs and try to get big boat stuff to work on a small boat. The truth is small boats respond better to visceral measurements and big boats to hard numbers, primarily because small boats are about reaction and big boats are about planning.
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Old 23-02-2012, 20:32   #19
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I'd get a handheld unit as a gadget but wind speed is the least important info I use when sailing. The little vane at the top of the mast is reliable, sensitive and always points to the apparent.

In fact on the boat I have been trimming on the skip and I are often at odds regarding how high he is pointing. I finally got on helm during a main douse and his electronic display is 15 degrees off. Of course he is looking electronic and I am looking at the vane...
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Old 23-02-2012, 21:16   #20
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

Here's a fool proof way to estimate windspeed without buying any gear and it's been tested and proven for going on 200 years. Beaufort Wind Scale
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Old 24-02-2012, 08:46   #21
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I've used a Kestrel 4000 for the past five years. It's a full weather station, including a windy. Records data going back many days, and displays in graphical format. Particularly nice for barometer readings.

We now have a windy at the mast head, so now I can compare speed differential between top of mast and cockpit.
I'm curious, so what differences are you seeing?
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Old 24-02-2012, 09:12   #22
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

Originally Posted by teejayevans View Post
I'm curious, so what differences are you seeing?
Wind can be quite different 50' up, both in speed and in direction. The difference is especially pronounced in lower wind speeds, where the difference can be 6 knots or more, and the direction can vary by 15 or more degrees. This all has a major factor when it comes to sail trim -- especially the mainsail.

All this is no surprise, of course. It's necessary to trim the upper part of the sail differently than the lower. Measuring with the two devices just puts numbers to all this.
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:47   #23
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Wind can be up to 30% higher at 10meters off the water, known as wind shear or wind gradient.
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Old 27-02-2012, 18:45   #24
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

My mast top wind meter has also stopped working. Not the first one either.

For a handheld unit, my main criterion is that it must survive salt water spray, which happens often at deck level.

I like the compact look of the Swiss designed Skywatch Xplorer units - the low end model can be had for around $65.

A cup style meter is more likely to give an accurate reading, but is also more likely to be subject to mechanical failure or accidental breakage (heavier, larger spinning parts).
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:12   #25
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

We have an older Kestrel which was the only wind meter on our prior boat. I agree with those who say it's not "necessary", but that applies to lots of stuff on board. We found it most useful/entertaining at the mooring or on the hook when squalls came through to assess max gusts. Beaufort doesn't work all that well in a harbor full of boats without fetch and with gusting variable winds.

Our current boat has a masthead indicator so we rarely use the handheld for windspeed, but still pull it out for the thermometer/wind chill readings. It gets cold on the edges of the season, and it's nice to pull out those nasty windchill numbers to justify another round at the bar.

It's interesting to think about mapping the difference between masthead and deck speeds some day.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:03   #26
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Re: Handheld Wind Meter

Just posted my review of the WindMate 200 from SpeedTech here. Looks like the OP already settled on the Kestrel, but the review might be useful to others.

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