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Old 03-09-2012, 15:51   #1
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Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

Just doing a survey on brands of wind speed/direction indicators on how well they've done as far as sea miles. I have a Tack Tick that was doing OK (for the past three years) until I was in a rough anchorage just recently. Now it loses it's signal when I get within a couple miles of land (cell tower distance). It's always had a bit of trouble in port due to it's height (60') but now it's on the blink and I want to replace it for the best I can find.

I have a bad neck, as well as a large mainsail that blocks the view of the mechanical direction wind indicator. So I'm looking for somp'n that holds up in all weather conditions.

What's your make and model? And how many sea miles have you put on it & how long have you had it?

Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:08   #2
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

We had a B&G network wind system for 14 years. The control board in the wind vane transducer blew 3 times on it and the bearings seized once. The price for repairs was the same as buying a new vane.

We now have a Maretron ultrasonic transducer. It gives wind angle, wind speed, temperature and humidity with no moving parts. It has been in place for a year with no problems - even during close lightning strikes that took out our masthead LED nav lights mounted adjacent to it.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:58   #3
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

I have a B&G H3000 system. The stuff is built like a tank with aluminium casings bonded glass faces etc.

It is now only three years old, but looking at the construction quality I expect it to far be far more durable than Raymarine equivalent.
The price, especially for spare parts is very high, but a basic system can be assembeled for a reasonable cost. B&G don't do themselves any favours, their core customers are high end racing machines, so their packaged systems are elaborate and expensive, but a basic package of wind, speed and depth is about 2-3 x the cost of similar Raymarine system.

As well as the construction quality the speed and accuracy of the equipment is better. If the budget will stretch, at least give high end systems like this some consideration.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:34   #4
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

Gave up after fixing the mast mounted Datamarine unit several times $$. Now sail by feel more and if available get readings from nearby buoys via cell phone. Only time I missed not having a wind speed indicator on the mast was at anchor during during Hurricane Earl:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: I should have known better.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:03   #5
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

The Maretron transducer is an NMEA2000 instrument. As such, it can be used with any NMEA2000 compatible display or MFD. So you can get the best of all worlds - a rugged transducer and a display you like at a reasonable cost (the Maretron was less than 1/2 the price of a replacement B&G transducer for our system, and the same cost as getting it repaired once).

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Old 05-09-2012, 00:50   #6
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

Thanks colemj, I like the idea of no moving parts! I'll research the Maretron unit.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:28   #7
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

Well, I did the research. It averages $1800 for the transducer and display. But I also was reading that some were having trouble with it blinking out as well, either due to it's mounting location or RF problems.

How is yours doing, so far?
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:47   #8
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

I have had a Raymarine Wind unit up there for 15 years. Have lubricated it once (techs there told me to put some WD 40 on it when it slowed a bit and it worked). No problems. Seems to be accurate. I am sort of for tried and true.
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Old 05-09-2012, 15:28   #9
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Well, I did the research. It averages $1800 for the transducer and display. But I also was reading that some were having trouble with it blinking out as well, either due to it's mounting location or RF problems.

How is yours doing, so far?
Were you pricing it with the Maretron DSM250 display? Those are very expensive, not the best choice for outside, a bit long in the tooth and way more than you need. It would not be my choice for a wind display.

The Maretron wind sensor sells in the US for ~$539 USD. It can be used with any N2K compatible wind instrument or MFD. For example, you could pair it with a sweet (and relatively expensive) B&G Triton T41 for another $470 USD for a total package around $1,000 USD.

For around $900 total, you could pair it with a Garmin GMI10.

But keep in mind that in addition to wind direction and speed, for that money you are getting, air temp, pressure and humidity along with a fully functional multifunction display that can show depth, boat speed, GPS data and many other functions when used with N2K transducers and sensors or when used with NMEA0183 transducers/sensors and a 0183-2000 converter.

A replacement wind sensor only from B&G is over $1,000 alone.

Ours is mounted at the top of our mast and we have not had any problems with it.

Attached are some pictures showing a few of the different display functions you get with MFD's in addition to just wind speed and direction (although their are 3 T41's in the pics, any single one can display all the information - you just toggle through display pages with a single key). Note that the T41 graphic gives you both true (red arrow) and apparent (blue wedge) wind direction.

Mark
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Old 05-09-2012, 17:11   #10
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

My Raymarine has held up pretty well. It was installed new in 2004, but finally died on me last season.

Of course, it was the one thing I did not replace when I had the mast down a couple of seasons ago.

The replacement units are of course absurdly expensive for what they are.
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Old 05-09-2012, 22:28   #11
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

That's two for Raymarine but I do like your set up colemj! How do you like the compass? Can you steer by it? I find my magnetic compass is too slow to react and end up yawing my course. I do better following the GPS.

Thanks for the tip on the T41. I won't need the weather stuff, I'll be putting in a satellite weather system.
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Old 05-09-2012, 23:38   #12
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

At the "cheap & cheerful" end of the spectrum, I think that the NASA Clipper instruments are worth a look I put the wind spped / direction instruments in about 4 years ago and they have worked faultlessly since. Having said that, these are "budget" instruments, and as such, they don't communicate with other istruments, but if you are looking for strictly apparent wind speed and apparent wind angle, these are competitively priced and, in my experience, reliable.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:01   #13
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

Yeah they do look like a good deal. The vane/cup assembly looks fairly robust.
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Old 14-09-2012, 09:34   #14
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

I have the original B&G Hornet and Hecta instruments including the AWI which has been working atop the mast for 27 consecutive years.

Beat that!

Replacements:

display in one cockpit repeater
anemometer cups
button panel on cockpit display
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Old 14-09-2012, 10:26   #15
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Re: Wind Speed/Direction Indicators

I've had my Tack Tick for a couple years. When I got the boat it wasn't transmitting and I got great service from the company and it's worked well ever since.

My favourite feature is that I can move the data heads around the cockpit or down inside. I set it next to my bed at anchor in windy conditions so that I can see changes in wind speed or direction (and depth) without getting out of bed when I wake with a start in the middle of the night. You could also give distance to a waypoint so that you can see if you're dragging (via nmea).

They also integrate well with the raymarine autopilot and chartplotter
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