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The Perfect Solution


Don Silsbe
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I’ve been trying various locations for windex placement.  On top of the mast is out of the question, for guys like me over 70.  A little lower, please!  Today, I think I hit on a great solution.  At least it will work for my solo outings, which are most of the time.  

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@Aphers— This boat has sprits, way up high.  And the sail clears it.  I had it on the front of the mizzen, but the main kept whacking it. @Chick Ludwig— yeah, yeah.  I also have tell tails on the sail.  This is mInly for figuring out those famous Appalachian foothill wind shifts.

 

Everyone— I’m still experimenting.  Next, I might mount it to the forward bulkhead.

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I have tried it on the mizzen, both high and low.  The high position must be above the snotter rig.  This spot is clear of the mainsail, but too high to be useful.  The lower position is effective, but interferes with the mainsail.  If I locate this rig on the main mast, rotation of the mast makes the wind indicator unusable much of the time.  Since the vane is below the mast, it is less affected by sail.  The main purpose for this wind vane is to give me a general idea of wind directional change.  Here in the foothills, there is a lot of highly variable light air.  When there’s a 40 to 90 degree shift, it’s nice to know what to do.  When I have a good breeze, I can adjust the telltails attached to the sail.

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I am sure the 2 paw vane reads accurately.  It is in front of the only sail.

 

I can think of only 2 locations for a cat ketch.  The top of either mast, and forward of the main mast. All other locations have had the wind polluted/distorted by a sail.

 

I fly a pennant from the top of both masts. Decorative and as a tool.  Looking up isn't always comfortable to do, but I only use them once in a while when I question my apparent wind. When I get "turned around".

 

Mostly I get my info from my sails. Every proper sail trim for any point of sail will result in a feel that can be remembered.  And if you aren't luffing, but something seems off, heading up (maybe later sheeting out) is almost always the answer. At least heading up will give you the wind direction, then you can correct. I have made always knowing the wind direction, apparent to the boat. at all times. a priority my whole life. I can't relax unless I know.

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Fwiw:  the telltales on the rear of the sails help me, which I didn't really expect, not having had much luck with same in the past on other boats.  Keep 'em flyin'. 

And in a bit of serendipity, I found that when I put the fish-like turtle ball from b&b on top of the mizzen last summer, it acted like a windex, too.  All good.

  Also, I found that adding the turtle ball to the mizzen only added literally a minute to setup at the ramp.  So maybe you want to put your vane atop the mizzen and screw it on each launch.

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Dave has the most useful location for a wind indicator.  I now use the mast main head which is the most accurate and best.  I needed racing help on lakes when first starting sailing and made a small one mounted on the bow.  Not the most accurate wind direction but better than yours and allowed great vision which showed wind changes well and was in the line of sight without looking at the sun or causing neck pain.

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@Paul356

tell me about it!!!   Old age is not for the faint of heart.

 

Everyone:  I know all about sail theory.  But I’ll be darned if this doesn’t work.  I did it again today.  DANG— it still works!  And my neck is crick-free.  (I’m gonna relocate

my telltales next.)

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