Mailport June 2014 Issue

Mailport: June 2014

More Vane Woes

Photos courtesy of Brian Zeichner

Reader Brian Zeichner made a homemade bird deterrent for his Garmin wind instrument (inset), which is installed aboard his CS36T, Wind Rush.

About five years ago, I dropped my mast for the first time, and while it was down, I installed a Garmin GWS10 (see PS May 2014 and April 2014 online). Within a week, I saw an osprey land on the new vane (they weigh 2.25 to 4.25 pounds), and when it took off, the vane plunged into the creek, never to be seen again.

In retrospect, I should have known better. The Chesapeake supports a large osprey population. A rigger told me of a customer who lost several Davis wind indicators because ospreys were harvesting them for their nesting material. And I had previously convinced Davis to provide a bird spike for its wind indicator because osprey continually decimated mine, but since my previous Data Marine anemometer was never bothered, I did not anticipate a problem with the Garmin.

I think the reason the Data Marine never had a problem is because it was not roost friendly. It was built like the tail of an airplane with the leading edge sharply sloping downward and the horizontal portion too short for an osprey to perch on, similar to the NKE HR, or perhaps the B&G 508 in your March 2014 issue.

In my opinion, Garmin instruments are great. By using an Actisense, which converts NEMA 2000 to NEMA 0183, I have been able to fully integrate NMEA 2000 wind and GPS speed and direction data with my Raymarine (SeaTalk) SX-5 wheelpilot

So to protect my new anemometer, I installed a bird deterrent (see photos). Made of aluminum U channel and rod, it is attached to the holes in my spinnaker crane. I have once seen an osprey sit between it and the Davis bird spike, and I have seen smaller birds temporarily sit on my bird protector, but the anemometer has not been harmed.

Brian Zeichner
Wind Rush, 1983 CS36T
Chesapeake Bay

Next: Autopilots and Cruising

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