I had the wind instrument on the last boat. It was totally solar powered. The display head
was under a Bimini
and in 3 years it never failed to show a full power level. You can use the supplied bracket to allow you to remove the display head
and take it with you. The problem with it is it is also stealable. You can hard wire it as well if you like but I never saw the need.
They do use a very small amount of power. It's the only reason they even work. The units have no serviceable parts
and are factory sealed. The unit I had worked for 3 years and never had a battery issue. You can't change the battery. I believe they use silver halide batteries. They are a great battery but they don't put out a lot of power but do have an exceptionally long duty cycle. Getting the power use low enough really is the only reason they work. You just couldn't make these types of instruments if they didn't.
For the Wind Instrument you bolt a cup to the top of the masthead and then the instrument is attached with 3 screws so that you can remove if need be. The stalk is carbon fiber wrapped.
You do a training session on the ground with all the devices close and turn them on and they find each other. It's a wireless network and communicate with each other. Once the unit is attached to the mast
head you just turn the display head on and off. I found I could walk down the dock
with the display in my hands 70 feet or more and still read the display.
The units are not cheap
by any means but the cost of installation
is almost nothing. The hull
transducers need 12 volt power but no signal wires. they also have a NMEA
device that can be used to connect a GPS antenna
and then also supply out pout for a PC as well as do true wind computations. The devices integrate as you add them. They know what can be done with the various signals.
If you consider the problems you have with wires it's not a bad way to go. I avoided a mast
unstepping that would have been required to install the conventional units. That would have cost more money
than the Tacktick. Ocean Equipment
out of California
is the distributor. The parent company is British. I had some initial warranty issues and they were quite generous in how they handled it. Normal warranty I think was far longer than you get from Raymarine
The stuff does work.