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The windmeter tested immediately reveals good quality from the very packaging and confirms this objet as a professional instrument.

This device is simple and user-friendly: just take off the protective cap from the 3-blade impeller – quite surprisingly it’s not fitted with the traditional cups, which are often very delicate – and the windmeter is ready for use.

The display has high visibility in daylight and is backlit for use at night. Wind speed can be read in knots, m/s, mph, fps and – most interesting – in the Beaufort wind force scale. The device also records the average and maximum speed over 24 hours.

The ergonomic handle has a good grip; moreover it’s watertight and floating which makes this wind meter an extremely helpful device powered by 2 traditional batteries.

The test was carried out in different conditions and over several days, and when possible the results have been compared with the traditional onboard instrumentation. The Skywatch has turned out to be extremely sensible even to very light breeze: it responds prompty and in line with its senior siblings and it sometimes seems to be more precise.

 

 

Why buy it?

These windmeters usually address sportspeople and hikers instead of those who fit out a cruiser: just think of drifting or similar situations rather than paragliding on the mountains, etc. Referees hold a windmeter during regattas and of course it is also used during competitions where a careful reading is needed to save every single second and where every single gust of wind is exploited for victory.

But it actually finds, or should find, a place aboard pleasure boats although vessels are already fitted with a wind station. In fact it isn’t unusual that a seagull or a gust of wind or the device old age cause damage to one or all the cups, or that the electronic system short-circuits. Moreover the wind speed at a height of 15-18 metres is different than in the peak and a correct perception of its strength can help manoeuvring the boat and make it safe on time.

Somebody can say that the wind has to be “felt”, that in the past real sailors didn’t have any windmeter, and so on. Yes, it’s true, but times have changed and pleasure boating is lived and interpreted by an increasingly larger number of sailors: they might probably prefer to avoid sailing in the Roaring Forties therefore among many devices that often prove to be useless this windmeter finds its place among the necessary instruments on board.

 

Osculati code: 29.801.16

Giampaolo Gentili

Giampaolo Gentili vive in barca e naviga principalmente in Egeo dal 2008.
Scrittore e fotografo, collabora con vari media e svolge corsi sul "cambio vita" e gestione della barca, da cui il sito sailyx.com.
E' autore del libro "Si può fare – Come vivere un vita da sogno con 500€ al mese" e di vari saggi e mini ebook inerenti la vela.
Giampaolo Gentili

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