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About Marine Instrument Systems
Marine instrument systems include wind instruments, depth sounders, and knotmeters and log instruments. These instruments can be installed as dedicated, single-function displays or combined into a comprehensive system with a multifunction display.
Installed in the cockpit or at the base of the mast, wind instrument displays inform us of the apparent wind direction and speed. Knowing how high or low a sailboat is pointing in relation to the apparent wind, a helmsperson will head up or head down.
Basic speed instruments tell us how fast our boats are going through the water. Combined with a GPS, speed instruments can also display Speed Over the Ground or SOG. More importantly, they can also display Velocity Made Good or VMG, which is the actual progress of a boat toward a waypoint or mark.
Indicate how deep the water is so you can set your anchor with proper scope, navigate more accurately and avoid running aground. Transducers, similar to those of a fishfinder, gather depth and speed information and pass it to connected displays.
Wireless Transducers Make Installation Easy
Each function requires a separate transducer that feeds information to the display. Examples of transducers include masthead electronic wind meters and vanes, knot meter paddle wheels and in-hull or thru-hull depth transducers. Until recently, most transducers required a cable that connected to the display. This made installation difficult. For example, when installing a wind instrument system on a sailboat, a data transmission cable had to be run from the display to the wind transducers at the top of the mast. Not an easy process, since this usually entailed removing the mast! Thankfully, wireless transducers are now available for the ultimate in installation convenience.