I'm an internet geek, so I get all excited like a puppy who accidentally got into your stash of Five Hour Energy (aka - legalized crystal meth) about electronics. One of the interesting bits to come out of the London Boat Show, other than the stellar foulies fashion show, was the roll-out of the T033 Entry Level Wireless Wind System from TackTick.
Personally, I would have put "Entry Level" in quotation marks because this system comes in at a not-so-pokey $729.00. Yes, I realize that spending $729.00 has the budgetary impact for some of you that ordering off the value menu at Burger King has for me. And if you fall into that first category, I'd like to propose marriage (sight unseen) to any of your daughters... and I'd also say that you should take a look at some of TackTick's other Micronet systems.
For the boat on a budget though, this isn't a bad option. Officially, TackTick classifies this system as ideal for cruising boats up to 35' -- we can see applications for any boat under 35' where there is an internal 12V battery to power the display.
The T033 is a simple system compared to its big brother, the T101 Wind System, but that's to be expected for a savings of almost $500.00. It will show you the wind speed and apparent wind direction -- true wind direction is also available, but you would need to integrate your boat's speed via GPS or in-water impeller.
One of the big advantages is the cleanliness of this system. The wind transmitter is relatively easy to install -- securely attach it to the top of the mast and you're done. It has a built in solar panel to power itself, so there you avoid the fun of trying to snake the wire down the mast. It's actually a nice peice; unless there is a change that they haven't mentioned, the wind transmitter unit is relatively light and the wand is carbon.
The display is simple -- it's an analog pointer for the wind direction with a digital readout for the wind speed. My biggest peave with the pointer can be a little hard to see clearly, depending on how far away you are from the display you are. Also, minor wind changes aren't always super clear.
This display is not like the RaceMaster where you'll get heading, whether you're up or down for the leg, etc. Nor does it have the requisite faux carbon look for that extra burst of speed. This is a simple, basic display that gives you only the information that is begin collected at the top of the mast.
Brass tacks: this is a nice system if you're looking for a clean wind system setup that won't cut into the year's beer and sandwiches budget. If you're looking for a more complete package that provides obscene amounts of data, this ain't it. Then again, you should get your head out of the boat anyways, so maybe the simplicity of this system is a blessing in disguise. Keep it in mind, depending on your needs.
We'll have these up on the website shortly -- if you have any questions about this system though, feel free to contact us at 800/729.9767.