C-Vane wind indicators

Thread starter #1
there is a 2005 thread on wind indicators, but I wanted to know if anyone is using the C-Vane Wind Indicator.


works like any other wind indicator, but trys to prevent a mainsheet on another boat from snagging it and ripping it off.

I know nothing about it, what say other Laser Sailors?


Yes, a few of us have them at Cedar Point, been using them more or less since Ryan started marketing them. They do shed mainsheets without getting ripped off the mast. In our 40-50 boat starts, that's a real plus...
I have one and don't like it much yet - may say more about me than about the wind indicator. It doesn't have any sort of a low friction mechanism for the vane & what I've seen is that in winds under 8kts it gives very erratic information. I'm thinking of putting some yarn or cassette tape on the botom of the vane to get better info in light winds.

knot_moving said:
It doesn't have any sort of a low friction mechanism for the vane & what I've seen is that in winds under 8kts it gives very erratic information.
Hopefully Mr C-Vane will give instructions on how to fix this. I also had "friction" problems with mine and then Ryan applied his healing hands and did some magic to the metal supports and it has worked like a charm ever since. So, don't give up on it yet!

I like the c-vanes a lot. Since the mid-winters Ryan has come up with a snap on plastic spreader bar that holds the ss rods a precise distance apart, so the rods can be bent to fit exactly as needed, and held there. You can slide the spreader towards the mast when you want to disassemble for storage.

I also wrap some tape around the front of the vane to more precisely balance it. Otherwise it will point "uphill" in light air. All brands and sizes of wind indicators need this.

I also learned years ago to tie a safety line around the old style mast mounted wind vanes, very loosely, so at least the thing would stay on the boat when ripped off the mast.

Al Russell 182797


Hey Al, can you post a pic showing where you placed the tape to balance it and approx how much you used or how you determined it was balanced well enough ?

The spreader bar does help with the friction issue, you should also check the end of the SS rods to make sure they are cleanly cut, if nec, run a little wet/dry paper around it to polish it smooth.
Here's a pic. I just turn it on edge, spin a few times to avarage out where it stops, then wrap some tape. It's trial and error, but not much more than 1 wrap.

It helps, but still, zero apparent on a light run is still zero. lol



Love my C-vane! No friction problems. I use the spacer to adjust the amount of dampening. Windier conditions, I move it forward, lighter, I move it back a bit. Some of the other indicators give really odd results in light air (too fickle). This lets me adjust it!
I have been using the C-vane for about a month and like it a lot. It's responsive and secure. I like the velcro attachemnt better than the bungee set-up of other brands.
The very best wind indicator is a balanced pheasant feather waterproofed with hairspray - but secured to the top of the mast.

Unfortunately they tend to get wiped off if you deathroll in less than mast depth water.

Nicky Bethwaite still sells these for the Tasar I think - but with a special wire pon - which might let you straighten the thing out after a deathroll.
Thanks for all of the interest in the C-vane Wind Indicator! Indeed, this year’s launch of the C-vane has been successful enough that we are back in production (and making subtle improvements).

Allow me to address this particular string’s critical points, or at least the two essential themes of FRICTION and BALANCE.

POINTER BALANCE: Our injection molding (IM) supplier has increased the volume of the tip in an effort to bring the part into perfect balance. It was noted in an earlier post that all styles of vanes are off to some degree. We did not want to rest at “best”, but continue to strive for perfection. We are talking about shaving microns from the tooling cavity.

Additionally, the IM tooling engineer has built a radius around the intersection of the pointer to dramatically increase the durability of the part.

FRICTION: The C-vane is designed to have the least amount of friction of any other Laser-appropriate wind indicator; the actual pivot point is built into the pointer and rides on the flat surface of the bracket. With the “C” bracket design, the upper arm not only “sheds mainsheets”, it also provides friction-free retention. Single-bracket designs must utilize some other method that restricts the vane from flying off on its own. Flip those same brands “cleverly” upside-down and the friction dramatically increases.

To be clear, the upper portion of the bracket should not be making contact with the pointer during normal operation/rotation. If the pointer has any noticeable friction while rotating, please ensure that the upper portion of the bracket is not making contact. The clip was developed quickly after the product’s release (when a certain unnamed crash test pilot and former Olympian would perform extremely hard death rolls and dislodge the vane). In the end, the clip provides the bracket with support keeping it from opening while also maintaining overall consistency of the bracket’s critical gap dimension. Just as in London’s Tube, “Mind the Gap” applies. Ensure that the bracket ends are horizontally and vertically aligned with a 2.4mm space in-between. The lower end may need to be slightly aft (of the upper end) or merely raked just aft from vertical. This is where the “healing hands” (as posted below) sometimes have come into play.

A prior posting below referred to using the clip as a “dampener”, particularly as the wind increases. While we are pleased by that user’s satisfaction with the C-vane, adjustable dampening was not our intention. However, much like the (stupid-rope-trick) days where the Laser fleet was smarter than any designer, this solution does make sense. This would be best accomplished by the “C” bracket cleanly pinching the pointer during higher wind speeds (as opposed to the bends of the bracket rubbing), and then removing the pinch/friction by sliding the clip a bit aft in light air for maximum sensitivity (and when hard death rolls are not an issue). Again, not our designed intention, but should you like the idea of dampening the response in higher wind speeds, it is great thinking.

Again, thank you for your interest and postings. Go sailing, and point in the right direction!

Best regards,

- Ryan


Active Member
So, one Wednesday night last summer ( while Ryan was visiting our fleet for the night) one of my sailing buddies snagged my windy doodle and yanked off the vane.
I had two complete spares ready to mount but I too am sick of losing my windy doodle very time some stray mainsheet wanders across the front of my mast.

So..I decided to make my own snag free windy doodle.

I put the new windydoodle on the mast right side up. Then I put the old "vane free" windydoodle on upside down just above the new windy doodle.

I placed some packing tape over the front of the mast collars to hold them properly apart and then removed the collars from the mast and fully secured the two with more tape at exactly the correct distance.

It worked perfectly. I built my own mainsheet proof windy doodle.

When the tape tires, I will replace it with a bent sheet of aluminum and some fasteners.

With the money I saved, I will buy more beer and RC Colas for the local fleet.