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I read a thread here a couple of weeks ago in which most said that they were pleased with the new C-Vane wind vane. My recent experience is that it is not very sensitive in light wind giving some very misleading info, and that it is very inconsistent also in heavy winds. The biggest problems I am having with it is when going downwind, which is the primary use for a vane for me. I believe the claim that this device will survive a competitor's mainsheet trying to grab it at the start line, but other than that I am not seeing how this can be worth the price they charge. Is there some way to make it read the wind better?


New Member
Try putting McLube on the pivot points for the vane, and adjust the black plastic bar that holds the 'C' part together to see if you can't increase it's sensitivity. What is it doing weird in heavy air? I confess, I use wind indicators more in light air and almost never look at them when it's ripping out.


New Member
Mine works just great in light, moderate, and heavy winds. Have you tried using another type to see if you get the same results? Or try some yarn or cassete tape to compare.
I noticed some lack of sensitivity in light air with the C-Vane. So lately, if it's light air, I switch to my Davis Black Max. I'll be sailing in our Summer series today in what should be light air, so maybe I'll mount both and compare readings.
:cool: I sailed some yesterday in varying winds (5-15 mph) with both the C-Vane and Black Max mounted on the mast one on top of the other; C-Vane had high spot. They were mounted in front of/in line with the boom about 1"-2" under the height of the boom. The mast-mount on the C-Vane is superior to the Black Max; the bungee on the Black Max is not as durable as the plastic and velcro set-up on the C-Vane. Regular users of the Black Max might epoxy or glue down the point where the metal rod inserts in the mast mount as the rod tends to twist in the hole. The single screw that firmly secures the Black Max rod in the hole is not able to be tightened down fully (finely threaded metal screw in a relatively short soft plastic hole....no surprise). I found that in light wind the C-Vane stuck often and for long stretches compared to the Black Max, which always played freely (upwind and downwind). The C-Vane either responded erratically downwind or gave false readings. I adjusted the plastic bar and tweeked the holding rods on the C-Vane to little effect. The Black Max caught slight shifts consistently. My recommendation: unless you sail in many big-fleet regattas where others' booms swiping your wind-vane would be a risk, go for the Black Max. And if you go for the C-Vane, expect to have to play with the vane retaining system and perhaps not get usable light air and downwind info. If the mast mount of the C-Vane could be used with the Black Max rod and vane then that'd be a sweet wind-vane. I typically mount my Black Max so the vane is hanging under the rod, so it's protected top-side from bring swiped by an errant boom. The chance of it being swiped bottom side is negligible. My test shows that the performance benefits of the Black Max outweigh those of the C-Vane and the Black Max more useful in most racing conditions.
Hope everyone's getting some good sailing in this weekend.


New Member
used the C-Vane for the first time this weekend racing and I really liked it.

I don't like sailing with wind indicators, but it seemed really sensitve compared to my old Little Hawk II. It spun freely when going hard by the lee, and it seemed to react just as it should.

Little heavy, but very well built, and I now have a case of them at the shop that I'm comfortable selling.

I didn't do anything to it out of the box, just clipped in the vane, attatched to the mast, and sailed. Just one more opinion in the pile though. Got lots of compliments on it :)


New Member
I have had mine a few months now. After use it seems just fine. But for some reason I got the idea that it was ok to store it in my board bag. Now the arrow is all jacked up and sometimes doesnt swivel. When i flex it back its about to break.

So now I am waiting on an email from the c-vane company to write me back and let me know if you can just purchase the yellow arrow.

Maybe someone already knows how to just get this piece, otherwise I will post c-vane's reply.
I have had some trouble getting mine to read right. I did 2 things that have helped me a lot. first I move the black clip back very close to the mast - the further away from teh yellow arrow it is the more sensitive the arrow seems to be. Of course too far back & I risk losing the arrow.
The second is I taped a 4" piece of straight plastic rod from a clothes hanger onto the black plastic sliding clip. The plastic rod sticks down and on the end of it I taped a couple of 2" pieces of cassette tape. This gives me very sensitive wind indicators in light air and as the wind speed builds the C-vane seems to work fine.


New Member
My experience (with a Davis windvane, FWIW) when sailing by-the-lee is that the windvane just spins continuously for the entire leg of the course, presumably from some vortices exiting the "leech" (i.e. the mast) of the sail. Anybody else eperience this?


New Member
I goofed around with mine to see if I could replicate the trouble some people have had.

If you put the windvane in upside down, it doesn't work well at all (and it's easy to do).

If you have trouble, flip the indicator 180 degrees and re-attatch it. It is apparently only designed to sit one side up. Do that, and it should work top notch in my experience.


New Member
i bought 2, one for me and one for my son because they appeared to be good. Neither has worked well. In one the yellow arrow has cracked with minimal use, the other sticks in light wind. i will try some of the ideas posted, but am disappointed.


Upside down?
Staff member
Chris123 said:
My experience (with a Davis windvane, FWIW) when sailing by-the-lee is that the windvane just spins continuously for the entire leg of the course, presumably from some vortices exiting the "leech" (i.e. the mast) of the sail. Anybody else eperience this?
Yes, I have seen that as well, sailing by the lee in >15 mph winds. Pretty crazy and made me (newbie Laserite) pretty nervous as to what was going to happen next (another swim? :eek: ). But I am still here :) .....


New Member
The velcro strap for me tore apart. I brought it to a sail maker and he made a new one for me with much better material. I haven't tried it out yet, but hopefully this one won't tear.

All together, I'm not very happy with the C-Vane. The main reason I bought it was for downwind in light air. It just doesn't perform in those conditions. The arrow sitting on the metal frame will rub against it when at any angle and really kill the readings. I'm waiting to try this new strap then I'll contact the maker.


New Member
Wow! I've found my C-Vane to be just greate, other than breaking a vane (which was promptly replaced by the vendor). The Black Max was way to "twitchy", but also the least durable windicator I've ever owned. I went back the the Little Hawk II, but after losing a couple in as many weeks at regattas, was excited by the C-Vane. As long as I don't mess it up (keep the rods and vane straight, and keep it aligned), it works great. I use the "c-bar" like a trombone to dial out over-sensitivity in heavier air.


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).

One of the main themes of this message string, FRICTION, was also discussed in Laser Forum thread 3861 at URL:
http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=3861. Please review this prior message string as it attempts to address concerns where contact by the upper portion of the wire bracket and the pointer is causing unintended friction and reducing the performance of several C-vane wind indicators. Each C-vane is designed to rotate freely on the pivot-needle molded into the “NY Taxi Cab Yellow” pointer and not touch the upper part of the wire during normal operation.

The second theme here is of DURABILITY, both of the pointer and of the supplied strap. Here is what we are doing regarding both parts:

POINTER: Injection molding (IM) tooling has been modified with a radius built around the intersection of the C-vane pointer. Our IM engineers suggest that this will increase the durability of the pointer significantly. We underestimated the abuse, overwhelmingly done while loose in gear-bags, and want to put a stop to any breakage, particularly on-the-water.

STRAP: The strap has seen a failure rate of less than ½ of 1%, all but one occurring at the stitching where the hook is joined to the loop portion. We are currently speaking to the manufacturer (before submitting the job order) to alter the method of joining the strap materials and increasing its strength (probably with a box stitch).

During our first sailing season, most of our dealer network has been supplied with replacement parts and we have certainly kept up with individual requests made to us directly (fulfilled at regatta venues where possible).

In closing, I’d like to note two important points that I have learned from Fred (gouvernail) Schroth through his postings over the years:

1. GO SAILING. Better still, in a Laser/Radial, and bring friends.
2. The Class Rules severely restrict what additional equipment/instruments may be added to your Laser; make good use of the ones that are allowed (tell tales, wind indicators, compass, etc).

I will add a final closing point:

3. A Laser skipper making use of a wind indicator while racing, upon losing it, should not have to wait until the end of the day to replace it. IT SHOULD NOT GET RIPPED OFF IN THE FIRST PLACE!

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

Best regards,

- Ryan


Sorry to drag up this thread again, but I have to mention that I have one of these C-Vanes and find it is constructed far too robustly to be accurate in light winds. I have had a Windward dinghy indicator on the bow eye and a C Vane on the mast and in the slightest breeze, the Windward is dancing around reacting to the breeze while the C Vane is just sitting there not moving. I find the C vane is far too fiddly to set up. You have to careful not to set the slider too far forward or it will jam the vane. The best setting is when there is a slight amount of play between the "pincers" that hold the vane, so that it rotates freely. The trouble is that the wire is very thick and therefore the bearing surface is large, features which make for too much friction. By comparison, the Windward pivots on a very sharp needle bearing and has much less friction as a result. The C Vane itself is too heavy to be reactive enough. However, it is robust and is my choice when the wind is up over 10 knots, and it also holds to the mast very firmly.

My recommendation would be to redesign the bearing, increase the area of the vane, and use a much lighter weight of plastic. Polycarbonate can be very thin, light and strong, hint hint.


In my experience it works pretty well especially in shifty conditions, sometimes you can see a big shift before you feel it, downwind it can sometimes be helpful, the flow is usually disturbed when by the lee, it may spin around in circles downwind depending on your angle to the wind, you need to keep the pivot points clean for it to work in lighter air, it won't sail the boat for you but it can be informative


Hey Oztayls -

Welcome aboard the C-vane Sailing Team! Happy that you brought up the issue.

It is clear that your wire bracket is not spaced or aligned properly. First ensure that the wire is aligned vertically at the gap, then measure the gap itself, which should be 2.36mm (or about the thickness of the bracket's black clip in the middle). When the clip is attached just aft of the vane the upper portion of the wire bracket should not touch the vane itself. In fact the vane should rattle a bit if you were to shake it.

Also, the "needle" bearing of the C-vane is incorporated into the vane itself and rides with the lowest friction of any indicator on the smooth, flat surface of the lower arm of the bracket.

One of your countrymen just received his C-vane and let me know how pleased he was with the performance in light air (which I did not think was part of Aussie sailing) so your results should be similar.

Also, I was hoping that our C-vane for Sunfish might go well on your GI Skiff, but the gaff angle looks a bit too swept.

Let me know how you go please.

Sail fast and point the right way,

- Ryan
I am very happy with mine. I find it stable and very good in light air. I like to stand up in very light condition (below 1knt) so that I get a better view of puffs and feel the wind on my face and noticed that the C vane picked up the wind accurately.
I set the black plastic seperator about 1cm behind the vane and this works well.