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Old 10-08-2016, 10:25   #16
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Re: Options for wind indicators

Why don't you go up the mast and install a Windex, no need to go the expense of pulling the stick. Unless the masthead is SS, it's easy to drill and tap aluminum to install the wind indicator. If you don't have a Mast Climber for getting to the masthead or a home built outfit using rock climbing gear, the money saved by not pulling the stick will pay for it.

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Old 10-08-2016, 23:17   #17
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Re: Options for wind indicators

As a "pretend" racer on Perth's Swan River you get used to the fluky windshifts. Without the mast head indicator it would be a lot more challenging. It's also easy to tell a newbie to keep the vane close to a tab.
The big issue is the birds using the plastic vane as a perch. I'm lucky to get a few years before having to down the mast for a new one. This season I'm going to try fixing some thin stainless rod/bar partially over the vane (like you find in car windscreen wipers) to make their rest a little more difficult.

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Old 11-08-2016, 00:03   #18
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Re: Options for wind indicators

To the OP. For some sailors it helps them to have Red telltales on one side of the sail, & Green on the other. And I know that you can sometimes buy them pre-packaged this way. With the neat part being that you can get them in neon colors if you like, to make them that much easier to see. Particularly in low light.
I'm not sure why it helps some folks, but... worth a try.

Also, a few other "tricks" are:
- Mount telltales on sails in several other locations besides just the sail's luff, plus the main's leech. That way it's also easier to "see" the wind flow on the sail. Which can help trimmers as well.
- Sometimes sailmakers can add tiny windows to sails where the telltales will be so that it's easier to see the leeward ones. Personally I find it distracting, but it might help.

There are a few types of Windex's made which can be mounted to the backstay. Though you'll likely need to see your chiropractor if you use one much.
The other option for this is to add a tall, forward facing wand to your transom, & mount a Windex on it. Much akin to the swan neck type masthead wind instrument wands.

Or, you can mount a wind instrument wand to the transom, & wire it to readouts in the cockpit. It won't be as accurate as a masthead wand/instruments, due to being downwind of everything onboard, but it's a decent alternative. And for anything but fully close hauled sailing, it'll be more than good enough. As even some offshore racers do this for reaching & offwind work.

A couple of techniques which may help speed up your learning;
- Trying going sailing a few times where you have someone else watch where the boat's heading, & for other boats, obstructions, etc. So that you can focus purely on sailing to the telltails without having to worry about traffic.

- Do the above, but also have a sharp eyed, practiced sailor onboard, who's task it is is to call out the wind shifts which are coming your way. As, for example, on a good day I can call whether a shift will let the helmsman come up or need to fall off (lifts & headers), a good half a mile+ away.
This way the helmsman doesn't suddenly see that he's pointing too high & grossly overcompensates for a shift.
Plus it's good training for other crew in terms of learning to read the wind. And they'll learn how to feed the timing of when the shifts will hit to the helmsman as well.

- Find a relatively flat patch of water to practice in, which also has pretty consistent wind, or regular oscillation cycles. That way there are less variables for you to deal with when learning the finer points of helming.

PS: It'll sound like a racing thing, but it's DIY coaching for anyone. Buy a couple or three good books on sail trim, & do some home schooling. You'll likely learn a lot. I surely did, & also, do; every time I pull them out for a refresher.
And break out the highlighters, take notes, etc. On & off the water. Just like for a regular class for school.

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Old 11-08-2016, 00:27   #19
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Re: Options for wind indicators

if you have sea room let the helm go the boat will find the wind direction

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