It all depends on whether you find them useful. If you can figure out the wind without an indicator, then skip it. Personally, I find an indicator very helpful, especially in light, shifty winds. Of course, light shifty conditions are when an indicator does not work especially well.
I think they are very useful downwind as it is good to know how far dw or by the lee you are sailing. I don't think they are essential but I sailed for a while without one but now that I have a wind indicator I am used to it and miss it when I don't sail with it.
Wow, those are some impressive arguments against the use of a wind indicator guys, you've completely convinced me.
For Sale* - One pre-loved Black Max wind indicator which no longer indicates the apparent direction the wind is coming from. Paid $30 new, selling for $1.99 or may be willing to exchange for a crystal ball
* Note: This is not an actual offer for sale. I'm with Ross B. on this one, I won't sail without it.
I lost mine last week and I feel like something is missing. It looks like a personal decision to make, there is no NO and YES answer to this one it's only another tool to help like a car tachometer for instance, you don't need it but it could be useful too.
I've been sailing without one for the first year, but I find that sometimes I'm slow to notice big lifts. I'm going to add one to give myself one additional clue.
Agree with those who say keeping head-out-of-the-boat is most important. Some of my biggest gains are when sailing downwind, when it seems like I'm the only one on the course to look behind me to see where the next puff is going to come from, and position myself to take advantage of it. This leads to those magic "presonal-turbocharger" passing lane effects and is always great to watch.
What is the source of this anger? I found zoophyte's post in this thread to be ironically humorous. Contrary to popular belief, humor is allowed here. Saying that someone has no life, in anger, is bordering on a personal attack. That's not allowed here.