Mailport: April 2014
Windvane vs. Birds
In regard to the March 2014 wind instrument reviews: I installed a Garmin package, including a GWS10, a little over a year ago. The unit works well enough, but the flimsy windvane has fallen victim to birds three times.
The biggest threat to a windvane is birds, not rough weather. This applies to all models, from a simple Windex (estimated life expectancy about three months) to the old Nav5 all-metal vane.
I plan to retrofit our Garmin GWS10 wind indicator with a bird deterrent. This unit is the second replacement vane from Garmin (no charge); the first one, which had no bird deterrent, lasted only a month before being killed by birds.
The new bird deterrent will be made from an old VHF antenna and stainless fishing leader. The old antenna will overhang the vane while the fishing leader will be attached to the vane in the shape of a “V,” centered on the vane’s axis. There is no modification of the vane itself, but others should be aware that this modification most likely nullifies the maker warranty.
I’ve found that the “V” works well without unbalancing the vane. On our last attempt using the “V” on the vane’s axis, the GWS10 windvane lasted about six months. A similar addition to our previous instrument, an all-metal Nav5, lasted for several years after a small initial bending. In my opinion, the “V” setup should be a factory feature. I will let you know how it holds up.
Vision, 1989 Gemini 3000
Next: Instrument Range