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wind indicators/depth/speed suggestions?

Aug 22, 2021
14
1992 mcgregor 26s san diego
hello everyone, question from someone with a total of 5 hours of sail time. I just took my mcgregor 26s out for the first time and I really want to upgrade the wind indicator to something modern and electric. I leave it on the trailer so it needs to work with a removable mast. I'll take any suggestions cheap or expensive. thanks :)
20210827_143308.jpg
 
Feb 20, 2011
7,773
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
WIth a trailerable, I'd go (and stay) low tech.
PIeces of cassette tape in the shrouds and a windex at the masthead. The most bang you'll get for your buck.
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,405
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
Had to chuckle at how old this makes me feel. "whats a cassette tape?" No dig on you @danooxnard it is just a reflection of how much has changed and how old I am. It is an ancient sound/recording device that was the "cat's meow" back in the 1960's. If you had one in your car (or an 8-trac tape player) you were listening to recorded music that you like rather than just what was on the "transister radio". Think of it as dinosaur from which the current digital recorders/players decended. Dig in your Dad's attic and you should be able to find one. One is enough as it has enough tape on it for a sailboat for a lifetime.
 
Oct 13, 2020
26
catalina C-22 4980 channel islands
Sadly I am near ancient. I have memories of everything you mentioned.

Not to hijack the thread completely, I have a Davis Masthead wind indicator on my C22. It works fine without wires and large expense. Dano
 

Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
455
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
When I had my 26S, I used a Windex that was mounted so that it was easy to install and remove when the boat was on the trailer. I added an aluminum tube about three feet long to the masthead, so that it was pointing straight aft, and the Windex attached to the end of this tube with a ball-lock pin. This meant that it was pointing straight down when the mast was down, making it easy to reach when on the trailer, and the Windex could be easily popped off and kept in the truck.
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,853
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
If your'e going the electronic route, check out Labor Day sales. You may be able to find package deals for wind, depth, & speed.
 
Jan 18, 2016
664
Catalina 387 Dana Point
The Davis Windex (mentioned at least twice already) is the #1 most useful sailing "instrument" They're also pretty cheap.

Do you need depth? For sailing in most of SoCal we have three depths: RealDeep, Harbor, BeachOrRocks. Don't get on #3 you're fine.
Speed? GPS speed (sog) is usually enough and a VHF handheld with GPS will give you that. Nice to have a handheld VHF for lots of other reasons. Electronic Depth and Speed generally involve a hole through the hull.

If you want electronics, Raymarine,Garmin,B&G will all be around $2K+ for a package. Just wind? On a Mac26 I'd recommend wireless. The Garmin is pretty easy to remove from the mast.
 
Aug 22, 2021
14
1992 mcgregor 26s san diego
The Davis Windex (mentioned at least twice already) is the #1 most useful sailing "instrument" They're also pretty cheap.

Do you need depth? For sailing in most of SoCal we have three depths: RealDeep, Harbor, BeachOrRocks. Don't get on #3 you're fine.
Speed? GPS speed (sog) is usually enough and a VHF handheld with GPS will give you that. Nice to have a handheld VHF for lots of other reasons. Electronic Depth and Speed generally involve a hole through the hull.

If you want electronics, Raymarine,Garmin,B&G will all be around $2K+ for a package. Just wind? On a Mac26 I'd recommend wireless. The Garmin is pretty easy to remove from the mast.
yeah man I was thinking the same thing about depth.. thanks for the reassurance
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
yeah man I was thinking the same thing about depth.. thanks for the reassurance
In here, for every opinion there's an alternative one as well. Depth sounding capability is more important in coastal cruising than a having a digital weather station. You need sounding to know when you are over anchoring depth around here more than to avoiding running aground. Of course, one could rely on chart position if it's available but that's harder than looking at a depth display. In fog with no radar and no chart position the sounding is about all you have to deduce your distance from shore. (FYI: A GPS position is not a chart position unless it is plotted on a chart.)

You do not have to get a thru-hull transducer. There are ones now that work from the inside of the hull. Also, there are portable digital ones that might be hung briefly over the side. Finally, there is the old fashion lead line which take some practice.

All you need up top to start is a Davis Windex, as mentioned. Once you learn how to use that in sailing then you might consider whether a need for more wind information, etc. BTW. The Windex stays up even if a weather station is added.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
A digital weather station is of little value over the Windex unless you have the speed log included, and that likely would require a new hole in the hull. Without the speed log the weather station gives only apparent wind angle (AWA) and apparent wind speed (AWS). You get AWA from the Windex. You deduce true wind angle (TWA) by looking at the water. After learning about Points of Sail, that will make sense to you. As mentioned, a handheld VHF with GPS will give you your SOG. That, with a handheld anemometer will get you TWS.
 
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Jan 18, 2016
664
Catalina 387 Dana Point
I almost never disagree with KG.:) And we're not it _that_ much disagreement.

Sure, depth is nice for anchoring. It's the only time I look at mine. Boat prior didn't have one and I relied on charted depth and or dropping the weight to sound where the bottom was before setting the anchor.

I use my wind instrument a lot. Can't see the windex from the helm because the dodger. (A requirement by the crew to have the dodger..)
I use the wind speed a lot. That said, I use the windex more than anything else. (Otto's usually at the helm, so it's easy to look past the dodger)

I don't even put the paddlewheel in. SOG only. Use that a lot. Nice to be able to instrument that a trim change changed actual speed. New instruments I'm putting in have a combined wheel and sounder transducer - so I may need to install it. (You can also get SOG from your phone)

For an absolute newbie on a Mac26? Windex. Don't be buying stuff till you know you need it. Unless you want to. (The YAGNI principle)

For somebody that has a Saga 43, I'd recommend a full instrument/dual chartplotter/radar package. + a new windex while somebody's up the mast.
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,347
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
put another 15 to 20 hours on it then make a decision. I'm always looking up at my sails anyways (habit from dinghy sailing) so an electronic one is almost pointless. I guess there is an argument for sailing at night but I'm not planning on any night passages.
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,093
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
One thing to consider is despite being wireless you'll want to remove the mast head unit when trailering. Most likely the mounting systems will not be made for quick connect and disconnect.
 
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Jul 2, 2020
5
MacGregor 26C Nashville
A suggestion for checking water depth that costs very little - download the Navionics boating app to your phone. It will display water depths on the charts included, as well as under the surface objects. (Such as railroad tracks, bridges and houses underwater in our TVA lake. Very helpful when looking for safe anchoring spots.)

Davis Air-flow Tales are just a few dollars and last a lot longer than the cassette tape we were using on the shrouds.
 
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Jan 18, 2016
664
Catalina 387 Dana Point
One thing to consider is despite being wireless you'll want to remove the mast head unit when trailering. Most likely the mounting systems will not be made for quick connect and disconnect.
The Garmin Gwnd masthead sensor snaps into it's mount. Dunno about the ray (although I had a very early tack-tik on my previous boat and it was a complete POS. That + proprietary NMEA 2K connectors, raymarine doesn't get much of my biz anymore)
 
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Jan 22, 2008
189
Montgomery 17, Venture of Newport, Mirror sailing dinghy, El Toro sailing dinghy Mound, MN -- Lake Minnetonka
I hang this from my split backstay.
Unlike other portable units, this one does not have to be pointed into the wind, so you don't have to hold it in your hands. Is it necessary? No. But it is not very expensive and it does give you bragging rights when it's blowing like stink!

 
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