Mailport: April 2014
Dude, Where's my GWS10?
Regarding the Garmin GWS10 windvane (PS, March 2014), not mentioned in your review is the insecure vane attachment. The windvane is secured to the shaft with a metal clip. The clip is a slip-fit into the vane. I’ve found that in any serious up draft, the vane flies off, leaving the metal clip secure on the shaft. This is apparently so prevalent that replacement windvanes are discounted on Amazon.com.
Punta Gorda, Fla.
While we noted the cup attachment, the vane itself also drew our eye. The vane attaches in a similar way as the cups, and is just as fiddly to attach. It isn’t the greatest piece of design by any measure. While we’ve not heard of any other GWS10 vanes flying off in high winds (we will look at this closer in Round 2 of testing), reports include losing a vane while trailering at highway speeds, a bird flying away with a vane, cups lost to icing in a winter storm, and cups and vanes just falling off. We suspect the culprit in most of these cases is a mixture of marginal design, sometimes poor user assembly, and resourceful birds. We just replaced a B&G 508 that was damaged by an osprey. In our research, we could find about 15 negative reports—mostly about the cups. If anyone has found a fix to these issues, we’d love to hear from them. As we said in the article, if you like the Garmin system, the more robust gWind is the best choice. We suspect that the GWS10 vanes will soon be discontinued and replaced by these twin-fin, impeller-type sensors, which earned high marks in our test.
Next: Doubling Up Joints