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Old 18-06-2019, 13:01   #1
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Flag as a Weathervane?

Hey! The title pretty much says it, but is there any reason why I couldn't just use a 3x5 flag on a pigstick at the mast head of my 16' dinghy as a wind indicator?

Not opposed to getting a weathervane, but I am a designer and I like the idea of doing a custom flag
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Old 18-06-2019, 13:50   #2
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

People usually put a Windex at the top of the mast because it's more sensitive than other things, but if you want to try a flag, have fun.
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Old 18-06-2019, 13:59   #3
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

It will need replacing much more often than you may expect.

Cheers!

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Old 18-06-2019, 14:14   #4
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

I suppose any streamer would do, but windexes will do a better job of telling you the wind direction at the masthead, as mentioned above.

Three by 5 is an odd size: did you mean inches? (If it's meant to be showy, that's too small, but 5 ft, even for a narrow streamer, would be very large compared to the boat.)

Jim informs me that from a pigstick at the masthead is exactly where you would fly a house flag from, so I'll guess you were thinking feet, not meters.

Cheers.
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Old 18-06-2019, 17:03   #5
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

16 dinghy.
Do many have any kind of wind indicator?
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Old 18-06-2019, 17:07   #6
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

Some small boat ideas :https://westcoastsailing.net/parts/wind-indicators
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Old 18-06-2019, 17:09   #7
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

The flag will be less accurate / stable. Why not a custom wind cock with your colors painted on then?


b.
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Old 19-06-2019, 09:50   #8
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

16 feet dinghy? I sail a 20 feet cat with nothing on masttop.
I would suggest the following:
Three sets of teltales on the jib/genoa near the luff.
Three sets of telltales on the leech of the main.
Single strand of cassette tape (or some similarly thin and light material) on each shroud.
Experience of judging wind direction by the feeling on your face and looking at water surface.
Leave Windex for yachts where the skipper is disconnected from the environment.
AND - A PIRATES FLAG ON MASTTOP IS VERY NICE��
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Old 19-06-2019, 10:44   #9
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

I use the the Little Hawk that is in Deblen's link on my 11' dinghy. Works well except when it's in the shadow of the mast. A streamer at the top of the mast would work ok. I think the most important function of the windvane is to let you know when your sailing by the lee before the boom tries to knock you out of the boat.
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Old 19-06-2019, 11:07   #10
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

The best wind indicator I've used is a VHS tape cut to about 10" and tied on the shrouds. Replaced periodically
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Old 19-06-2019, 11:15   #11
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

I used a bit a yarn tied to the stays on my Hobie 16'. Actually I still use yarn on my current boat as it is difficult to see the masthead with the bimini.
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Old 19-06-2019, 11:21   #12
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

I used to fly our ensign/flag on my backstay, above head height. While I never needed it going upwind or beam reach, it came in VERY useful when going downwind.


When I got too old to feel comfortable going up on our perch seat to hang it, I moved the flag to a flagstick on the transom.


If you choose the right fabric, not too heavy, it should work just fine.


Good luck.
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Old 19-06-2019, 14:08   #13
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

Quote: "Experience of judging wind direction by the feeling on your face...
Leave Windex for yachts where the skipper is disconnected from the environment."

Precisely! Look to weather. When the wind feels the same in both lug'oles, you are looking straight into the apparent wind.

BUT what the OP is looking for is somewhere to display his design skills, The pigstick is the proper place for that - even in a 16-footer :-)

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Old 19-06-2019, 18:06   #14
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Re: Flag as a Weathervane?

Sixteen foot dinghy? Just tie a piece of yarn from the shrouds, you aren't in the Americas Cup.
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