Wind Speed Indicator Tips

No wind speed indicator? This reader found a budget-friendly alternative.

November 14, 2013

Weather Station on Bowsprit

Weather station unit mounted on the bowsprit Ken Guarino

My Hunter 310, Coast Awhile, had a wind indicator for direction but not wind speed. I wasn’t keen on stepping the mast, routing wires and cutting holes for a wind speed indicator display. I looked into wireless (which is the way to go), but prices are extremely high and the lithium batteries would have to be replaced. Solar rechargeable batteries are better but even those don’t last forever.

Then I came up with a poor sailor’s solution. I purchased a (non-marine) wireless weather station and mounted it on the bowsprit. I realize it has limitations: it is mounted low, and is not very good for downwind sailing. The price, however, is under $100 and it works better than the handheld I used before. I remove the weather station when back in the slip with a simple stainless steel pin.

Mount the unit with the sensor pointing north or in the 12 o’clock position. It tells both wind speed and wind gusts. You can set a wind alarm to alert you to increased winds, which I find is nice not just under sail but also when at anchor. I bring the receiving unit down below when we spend the night as a simple way to tell if I need to check the anchor and let out more rode.


A view of the array of instruments at a glance.
Note: the one on the right is a wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer – One probe tells me temperature in the engine compartment (boat has a high temp alarm but no gauge). I have another probe in the refrigerator. A touch of the channel button and I can toggle temps in either spot.


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