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sailing wind direction indicator with a feather

Discussion in 'Canoe Sailing' started by chris pearson, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    I remember seeing a cool wind direction indicator on a sailing canoe at an assembly a few years ago. It was very cool and made with a pen and feather and some other things. Anyone recall this? Photos?
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  3. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    No good photos, but both Don Boehl and Don Kerr (both in Upper Chesapeake Chapter) have them. Don Boehl's is shown in the excerpted photo below.


    Attached Files:

  4. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

  5. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    This is how the ones we used to use on catamarans were made. The feather is glued into the back end of of a small chunk of plastic or metal tubing. A counterweight (which can be anything that works - a stack of washers on a bolt, a pin with a lead ball, etc.) is stuck into the front end of the tubing chunk. It can either be fixed, or threaded for in/out adjustment for balance. A pin runs through a small vertical hole in the tubing and connects the vane to a base shaft (more tubing, dowel, solid aluminum rod, etc.) and the vane can either sit on top of the shaft (deck mount or masthead mount) or hang below it. Putting a right angle bend in the shaft would allow installations such as protruding forward from the front end of the boom into clear air on a lateen.

    You can certainly make a decent fly with no more than a strip of Mylar, creased down it's middle for stiffness and free to turn with a tubular hem wrapped around a vertical post. But, the nice thing about having a counterweight and being able to adjust the balance of the vane is that it greatly reduces the effect of gravity throwing off your readings as the boat and concequently the mounting post heel over.

    If your feather gets kind of nasty looking after a while, hold it over a steaming tea kettle for a couple of minutes and it will usually come back to its original condition pretty well.

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  6. OP
    chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Yup, thats it....

    I might come up with something half way between this and Todd's idea. You could also pivot the whole assembly using a counter weight underneath it to keep the vane plumb as the boat heels. Thanks for the input...
  7. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    The question then becomes "Since its function is for sensing the apparent wind, rather than the true wind, do you want it plumb?" Hmmmmmm.... have to think about that one.
  8. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    I fletch arrows with Turkey feathers, but use Goose feathers when i get them for their resistance to moisture and rain. Since its going on your sailing canoe, maybe go with the latter....:D:D
  9. OP
    chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Good idea, got any?
  10. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    tons, i'll mail you some and bring to assembly. Al Witham had a really kool one on his sailing canoe, i'll see if i can dig up a picture from Killbear

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