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Wind rating

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:34 pm
by DLee
We sailors spend a lot of time talking about the gales we face in our folding forays all the time. But I for one seldom take my wind meter out with me to accurately measure these sail harnessed forces from mother nature. Mainly because I don't own one.

The Beaufort Scale was developed a pretty long time ago to visually describe wind conditions on the ocean. I've always found you could kind of adjust that to the inland waters that we sail and paddle on - less the big waves. I've seen the BFT scale used in a fair number of other forums and figure maybe we should try using it here? What y'all think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_scale

d

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:26 am
by gbellware
D- you probably have more experience with using Force measures that most. I have never really understood how they improve knowledge about conditions. I know Force was useful way back when they were linked to the description of wind and waves on commercial sailing and steam vessels. But, for me, I want to know sustained and gusting wind speed, wave height and action, and any advisories.
Like the Richter scale, which does more to confuse someone who does not know how to translate it in some linear terms, I think one would have to spend a lot of time learning what Force really means. But maybe I am just lazy?

Best,
g

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:14 am
by john allsop
On inland lakes including Lake Superior i think in wind speed in mph or kmph and i have a hand held meter to check it. But at the coast or on the sea i think in force as the beaufort scale, from experience, knowing what to expect as the force number rises. I expect this is by living in the UK where we would allways listen to the shipping forecast which of course uses the beaufort scale. A typical weather warning for shipping would be, "western approaches gale force 9" and we knew that in the area mentioned the gale would be severe and if we wanted further info it was usually in english dictionaries, no computers at that time. Now on the coast they still use "force" as a measure of sea conditions. If the lifeboat has to set out in a force 9 those of us on shore are concerned about the lifeboat crew as well as the ship in distress. Although not often, sometimes the lifeboat dosn,t come back. As the wind speed or "force" rises then the waves will become bigger and we should know what wind speed we can paddle against, if we are paddling hard and not moving then we should be on shore. A handy investment is a wind meter, although the wind on the lake seems to be stronger than on the "beach".

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:33 pm
by gbellware
Thanks John, that is helpful. So Beaufort and knots for the ocean and wind speed and mph/kph on inland waterways for me :-)

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:16 pm
by StrangeMagic
I own an anemometer, a Kestrel 1000 that I've had for decades. Before that I had the old Dwyer with the little bouncing pith ball. I strongly recommend the use of such a wind meter, as it will quickly reveal that many of the tales of powerful winds that people claim to have paddled in are pure fiction. I've found that it is common for paddlers to estimate wind speeds at often 150% of value, and often more. Thus, we routinely get stories of people paddling in 35 or 40 knot winds (Chris Cunningham of Sea Kayaker Magazine was one such), based only on "I think....". The Kestrel will provide data on instantaneous, maximum, and average velocities, and do it in feet per minute, meters per second, kilometers per hour, miles per hour, knots, and Beaufort force. Anemometers such as the Kestrel are tiny and lightweight, and can easily be carried in a PFD pocket or hung around the neck on a cord. But the whole idea behind having and using an anemometer is that you can now reliably assess the wind speeds you paddle in, can report that accurately to others, and, if they also have anemometers, you can rely on their reports also. It's just better to know than to guess.

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:40 pm
by DLee
Think I'm going to get one of these things.

A search tip I just discovered is that you will find a lot more listings searching for a 'wind meter' rather than an 'anemometer.'

Strangemagic's point is well taken that actual and perceived can be highly different here. There is an iPhone app. for 0.99ยข that might be accurate but people think it's not. One comment I read was some guy saying (I paraphrase) "I tested this app in a storm, the Wind App said it was 24mph out... but it had to be at least 80mph! - This app isn't accurate!" Funny, I wonder which was right.

Anyway, if someone recently did the homework and has an inexpensive recommendation around the $50 mark, I'm interested.

d

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:05 pm
by john allsop
My wind meter is a Windtronic 2 which i trust. If it tells me the strength of the wind and gusts, i belive it, perhaps i shouldn,t, but it is awfully close to what the weather reports are on the tv. These units are waterproof and float, although i havn,t tested it.

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:12 pm
by DLee
John I like that. I hadn't considered the actual need for pointing the others into the wind for accuracy. Your meter can be 'hands free.' Makes me think that I could mount it somewhere on the boat to track changes...

Have you taken readings while out sailing? I'm curious how you distinguish between forward speed and wind speed... or do you?

d

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:41 pm
by john allsop
Dennis, i havn,t taken any wind reading while underway, don,t know why, perhaps i thought it didn,t matter. You know this "wind in the face" while moving, some people seem to think they are going into wind when they feel this.

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:04 am
by DLee
speaking of wind in the face John, you ever use a tell-tale up on the mast?

d

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:58 pm
by john allsop
Dennis, I have never bothered to use telltails, perhaps i should if they really help. Before setting out with the klepper rig i might look at the wind direction indicator on top of the mast but thats about all. One thing i have never tried to find out is photo,s on the site, some like mine require to be logged in to see them, some others, yours i think are seen without being logged in,why?

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:58 pm
by DLee
John when I said telltales I actually meant wind direction indicator. I like that one in your picture. I should try and find one of these and some telltales.

I was wondering how much the wind indicator holds true while underway and how much it is influenced by forward motion? It sounds like you don't give it much attention once underway.

As far as the pictures go, I don't know. It may be the photo hosting site I use: Smugmug. It might also be the fact that the pictures are publicly viewable in the original gallery so maybe they show naturally from the link? I don't know. I've had pictures that were not in public galleries and I can't remember now if they displayed or not - when not logged into this site. It does seem I always have to log in to see you pictures.

Have you a delivery date from Mick? What kind of sail area are we talking about? I think I have the same sail book that you have but I can't find it at the moment. I wanted to read up on that sail design. Really looking forward to hearing all about it.

d

Re: Wind rating

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:58 pm
by john allsop
I suppose the wind indicator will be somewhere between the actual wind direction and the wind created by the forward movement of the boat. You assume correct, i don,t really take any notice of it. I let the sail out untill it reaches the luff point and then pull it in slightly so it stops "luffing" at that point i think it is correct and probably as good as it will get, of course i might be wrong. About the photos, you are probably right, my photos are just on a "file" in my computer. As regrds the sail from Mick he said he would put it in the post to-day, but as you know Mick is a very good sail maker, i think he makes them himself, but he tends to forget sometimes so we will see. As the snow is still falling and we have had the coldest winter for years, even Superior is frozen over, a rare event, it,s going to be some time before any of the local lakes are liquid. I am expecting a few decent weeks before winter starts again.