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Old 16-04-2011, 05:46   #1
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Wind Instrument and Tacktick

I just discovered my "new" boat doesn't have a wind instrument. I thought this had to me some mistake, but looked at the orginal bronchure and found that a wind instrument wasn't a strandard thing (but speed is and I don't even use this any in the day of GPS). Maybe it isn't that a big deal as I didn't have one the first year I sailed where I "learned" how to. But I sure have gotten used to having one for sail management and planning while out on the water.

So for CRUISERS; how many of you sail without a wind instrument?

On another note to install one a TickTac wireless unit is around $300 more than a standard Raymarine ST60Plus, but not having to run the wires seems to be worth it all considering. What is the general opinon of these wireless wonders?
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Old 16-04-2011, 05:57   #2
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re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

If you have the budget, everyone I know who has put Tack Tick on their boats loves it. When the time comes for us to change, we'll be going with Tack Tick but I sincerely hope that its not for a few more years.
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Old 16-04-2011, 06:00   #3
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re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

Don,

I bought ST60s because a friend at Raymarine pointed out they were selling off the pre "plus" stock on e bay a couple of years ago. And they did, each instrument cost circa $120 at the time which was too good to miss.

However, I did see the Tacktick instruments at the Southampton Boat Show just before this. Inside a large marquee the Tacktick stand had a set of instruments submerged in a fish tank with the winder sensor on a pole outside. Sales rep said they (incl depth and speed) had been in there since the start of the show 4 days previously. So not only reasonably waterproof but the batteries were holding up well from solar chargers even inside a marquee with artificial lighting.

It took me 5 trips up the mast to replace the old instruments with ST60s. I don't like heights even 38 feet up. Tackticks were becoming a serious option.

They do have a cheaper T030 range if price is an issue.

I do like having the wind instruments, tells me if the wind is increasing in speed therefore a reef is going to be needed or that there is no wind in the right direction so fire up the donk.

BTW I have edited the spelling in the thread title so future searches will our posts.

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Old 16-04-2011, 07:01   #4
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

I installed a Tacktick wind speed indicator on my boat 3 years ago and love it. I was surprised to see it run all night long.
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Old 16-04-2011, 07:53   #5
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

I have 3 instruments of choice:

- windex (no electricity, no hassle, low cost),
- ST40 Ray - cheap, relaible but wired,
- Nexus wireless - more expensive, dead accurate,

There is also the vane-less, turbine-less sensor that sends nmea right to your plotter and corrects for yaw and roll - this is probably the thing to use if you ever plan to rig the wind instrument into your autopilot. It is also pretty seagull-proof.

Onboard we have the wind instrument that is based on the turbine making small current and the gauge at nav desk reading out in knots / ms / B. Very cool, no power required but it is speed only - no wind dir.

b.
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Old 17-04-2011, 18:41   #6
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

We like the Tacktick because you not only don't have to run wires up the mast, but you can put the displays anywhere you want with velcro-backed tape. Our setup included a hand-held unit for the navigator that he can switch between sources to see any of the data at any time.
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Old 17-04-2011, 18:59   #7
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

Quote:
On another note to install one a TickTac wireless unit is around $300 more than a standard Raymarine ST60Plus, but not having to run the wires seems to be worth it all considering.
I'm on my second boat. Both had ST50 Raymarine wind instrumnets go belly up. The first boat was DOA and the second boat died a few years after I bought it. I did TackTick for the same reasons you came up with. The only installation is to tap the holes on the masthead so you can attach the transponder. It's just a plastic cup that has threads inside a metal insert so the transponder can be attached. Should the transponder go bad you just screw in a new one and re init the the wireless network. This install take 40 minutes done right.

With traditional wind you need the wire from the transponder secured inside the mast else if flogs itself to death in 3 years and you play all over again. With TackTick you can add more modules and with a GPS get true wind. You can take the display head below at night and watch it blow a gale at anchor and not get you butt wet and stay warm. If you want multiple displays can do.

I'll say they are not perfect but they have more in the plus column than doing a proper job with a mast wire bundle so it won't die all too soon. The added cost up front is nothing compared to a proper wired install.

The company backs them well. They extended a warranty beyond the written amount for me on boat 1. The old support company was not so good but the new one is far better. The whole installation of sail electronics is a PITA. Should I need more replacements I'll stick with TackTick. Odd thing is it's all Brit.
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Old 17-04-2011, 19:06   #8
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

I replaced my B&G with a Garmiin unit. The wire was fairly easy to trace as the new wire was smaller. It fit down the conduit without much problem. The Garmin was about $1100 and in,cluded a depth, speed, water temp sensor and one display along with the installation equipment. I felt it a good value.
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Old 17-04-2011, 19:07   #9
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

Would I sail without an instrument? Probably. I did it for a year. It's still nice to have and the Admiral feels better (that would be a hint). Being able to watch the changes in velocity is hard to read. Reading the basic direction I think you get used to quickly. In changing conditions it might make you reef earlier or change course or tack. It helps with a new boat since you don't know it as well. It can get to a point where you don't need it so much but it helps even that feeling get there sooner.

There is a just a bit more security.
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Old 17-04-2011, 20:16   #10
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

We have the same problem, and have been considering Tacktic. There have been previous threads here on CF where folks reported the wind instrument not working in rainy conditions, and reported that the Mfg. said that was normal. Seems a drawback to me... any other opinions?

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Old 18-04-2011, 04:33   #11
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Re: Wind Instrument & Tacktick

Quote:
previous threads here on CF where folks reported the wind instrument not working in rainy conditions, and reported that the Mfg. said that was normal.
Not normal. I rode out a a Nor'easter at anchor for 2 days and had data the whole time. It rained hard and blew hard. Battery power is quite good. Even under a bimini it still charges.
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Old 18-04-2011, 05:11   #12
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Re: Wind Instrument & Tacktick

Well, you did ask how many of us sail without wind instruments. I see no one has yet confessed to that, so I'll be the first. Our instruments died in the first few months after we started cruising. After having used them as weekend sailors for 10 years, we thought we had to have them, but put it off as we weren't in a good spot to purchase and fit them. We bought an inexpensive depth sounder as an interim solution.

That was about 12 years ago. By the time we got to a place where it would have been easy to replace the instruments, we realized that we didn't miss them at all. Certainly, if you are accustomed to watching them, you miss having them for a while, but the behavior of the boat tells you all you really need to know about the wind. When there's not enough, you start the engine, or break out a good book. When you're overpowered, you take a reef. Round up in the puffs and fall off in the lulls. Sailng is pretty intuitive, after a while.

Of course, we don't get to brag with scientific accuracy about how hard it was blowing. We do have a 50 year old Davis handheld wind gauge that still works, if we really want to know, and we've gotten our skin calibrated pretty well over the years. Our estimates are usually accurate enough. Might as well confess that we never turn on the autopilot, either --not even for two week plus ocean passages. Guess we're confirmed Luddites.
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Old 18-04-2011, 05:16   #13
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
... There is also the vane-less, turbine-less sensor that sends nmea right to your plotter and corrects for yaw and roll ...
Sounds almost magical.
Make & Model?
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Old 18-04-2011, 05:35   #14
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Re: Wind Instrument & Tacktick

You know, I keep forgetting about them!! We have them - but never use them. Well, maybe once a year when a newb crew says "What are these grey covers for?"

Them tell-tales (tails?) do the job just fine!
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Old 18-04-2011, 06:16   #15
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Re: Wind instrument & Tacktick

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Sounds almost magical.
Make & Model?
That would be the Airmar ultrasonic wind instrument:

AIRMAR Electronic Catalog

"The PB200 WeatherStationŽ Instrument informs you of instantaneous changes in the weather. Wind Speed and Direction are measured using four ultrasonic transducers; no moving parts make it durable and reliable. The internal, WAAS GPS engine and three-axis solid-state compass provide both Apparent and True Wind Speed and Direction without the need to tack on additional sensors. Also, the WAAS GPS generates navigation data as well as magnetic variation and is suitable as your primary GPS source. The internal temperature and barometric pressure sensors help predict changing weather patterns. Combined with the internal heading sensor, all of your navigation needs are there! No other instrument on the market incorporates all of these sensors in one compact housing. | | What sets our data apart from the competition is the 2° heading accuracy under dynamic conditions such as rough seas. Airmar's unique dynamic-motion-correction software is the key. The PB200's heading is highly accurate and stable under most sea conditions, even if the vessel is pitching and rolling up to 30°. Also unique to the PB200 is that the 3D accelerometer and rate gyro are temperature compensated, resulting in precise tilt and rate-of-turn data. This allows the PB200 to accurately measure True Wind Speed and Direction even when tilted up to 30°."

It sounds fabulous, and I want one. Although I have used Raymarine ST60's and ST60+'s for decades and find them bulletproof and accurate.

See also: Airmar PB200 WeatherStation
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