Hardly any sailor does without the wind indicator in the mast top - when looking over a full harbor, there is almost no mast without the moving flag. Usually it is a Windex from the Swedish company of the same name. Launched in 1964 and almost unchanged since then, it has been sold around 1.5 million times according to their information.
In order to function, a clicker must meet certain requirements. It does not matter whether it is a Windex, another make or a self-made one. It should be light so as not to weigh down the mast top, the more the sportier the boat, the more so. And it should work smoothly in order to display accurately, especially in the important low wind range. In addition, the attachment must be reliable. Quite a few wind flags were already lost in the swell or flipped off the pole when the backstay was suddenly released. The pole itself, on which the flag is enthroned, should be a little way away from the masthead so that the indicator is not influenced by the winds of the mast or the sails.
But why do you actually need the wind indicator, especially in times of electronic transmitters?
The article deals with the following areas of application:
- Determining the wind direction during port maneuvers
- Formation and change of the apparent wind depending on the course and speed
- Steer according to the wind vane on the close-hauled course
- Steer and trim the sails according to the wind vane on lower courses
- Setting the indicators and their correct use
- Use of the Windex in maneuvers
- Correct reading of the clicker in regattas as a tactical tool
- Interaction between the analog wind indicator and electronic sensors