sunfish wind indicator

Thread starter #1
a weekend or two ago, I followed the general guideline put together by Windline Sails for making a wind indicator to mount down at eye level on my Sunfish. basically it's just a wire coat hanger bent into shape, and strands of cassette tape made into (2) streamers to gauge the wind.

I modified the Windline Sails version slightly, and instead of mounting it to my upper spar with duct tape, I made a custom clamp (of sorts) out of a piece of PVC pipe. I cut a 1 1/2" diameter piece of PVC in a "c" shape (by trial and error) and it fits nicely over the upper spar.

I mount it fairly low, but that way I can raise and lower the sail without having to move (or remove) the wind indicator, and it is at a nice eye level for me while sailing. I've only tried it once so far, but was pretty impressed - it works really well, especially when the wind is light, and you've stalled or are just drifting along trying to read the wind out on the water.

here is another picture of it mounted on the upper spar.

it's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it gets the job done.



Very Senior Member
It's a great idea. And it looks like the guys with the good ideas are getting younger every day..........
Thread starter #3
yeah, that's my 3-yr old. any time I have the boat out in the driveway to fiddle with things on it, clean it, etc. - he's the 1st one to climb up in there and "go sailing". I did take him sailing just a few weekends ago - he loved it. this is him and my oldest son riding along with me on Lake Erie - that was my first trial run with the wind indicator, too. 2011-08-21 sail t2 luke.jpg
A good idea. I wonder if the "clamp" will withstand a strong gust or a capsize. Add a piece of line to secure it to the spar?

For those of you who use the coat hanger indicator: don't use duct tape, use velcro strips. You can remove and attach easily without the sticky tape residue.



Well-Known Member
As a Sunfish sailor who regularly enjoys what NOAA describes as "light and variable winds"—my gadget is somewhat easier to fabricate, free, and doesn't rust :p.

It's made of a thread from a worn-out poly tarp, tied to a large paper clip, then glued to a breast feather. In my case, mallard or loon feathers are picked from the surface, but any feather will work. I presently have a lifetime of tarp threads available. :D

The large paper clip will weight it enough to keep it from spiraling out of one's vision.

To avoid peering into the sun periodically, I also found that adding a tell-tale within a few inches of the corner of the tack will "telegraph" what every other tell-tale on the sail is doing. :cool:


The paper clip and feather will not work if the boom is as low on the mast where most racers have it. Even recreational sailors, such as me, keep the boom fairly low. Good idea though.