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Old 07-02-2020, 04:04   #46
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Gulf of Finland
Boat: Y40
Posts: 64
Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Terve, ChrisseH. So you're using a CV7 for racing? How does it compare to mechanical sensors made for racing? Since the great majority of racers are still using mechanical ones, I had the impression that the mechanical ones are still more accurate.

I've been using ultrasonic wind sensors for many years, first a WSO100 which was not very accurate and not reliable, now a CV7. It seems to be quite accurate but I am still gaining experience with it.

Terve Dockhead, I have (from CF) noticed that you have done quite a bit of sailing here in Finland :-)

Mechanical wind sensors is the safe way to go and all major boating electronics companies manufacture their own (mechanical) wind sensors. And early ultrasonic wind sensors had indeed challenges, but the technology is now gradually maturing. In professional meteorology ultrasonic wind sensors are now used in more than 90% of all new installations.

Also I have been using mechanical wind sensors in the past. They work quite well, but if you want to make serious measurements you need to change the bearings at least every second year. If not, the sensor will not perform well during light air downwind sailing (which is not a problem for a cruising sailor, who then typically use the engine). Ultrasonic wind sensors have not this problem nor have they problems related to the inertial properties of rotating devices. The latter means that a mechanical and an ultrasonic sensor have somewhat different characteristics in gusty conditions. This doesn't mean that ultrasonic sensors are perfect either. Below 2 kts of wind also ultrasonic measurements are gradually less accurate.

No matter if you use a mechanical or an ultrasonic wind sensor, the quality of the wind measurement is ultimately dependent on how well the system is calibrated and compensated for heel, leeway and possible upwash. And here I think especially B&G has done a good job in offering users means to to do all this. And if their mechanical sensors work well why should they bother to go through the heavy process of changing sensing technology? Also I would love to use a B&G 700 series wind sensor with the highest carbon pole, but it is at least three times the cost of the CV7-C and l would still need to change bearings on regular basis.

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