Minimums for Lake Sailing Instruments


Member II
I have a windex on my E26-2. I do think though that a small piece of 4mm magnetic tape (old cassette) tied off on the shrouds a touch above head height is so much easier to see than looking up at the windex.

I have a depth sounder mated to an old Garmin GPS with an impossible to read screen. The logmeter / speed transducer is dead and not connected to anything.I don't bother with any of it. I just use Navionics.
Most of my sailing on the new to me boat is short 2-6 hrs on the local river (Hudson River, NY).

That said, I spent a week in the USVI on a 43' Dufour Gibsea (ASA 106 course) where we didn't turn on any electronics.
We sailed from St Thomas to St John to St Thomas to Culebra (Puerto RIco) back to St Croix (Fredericksted) to St Croix (Christiansted) and a night crossing to Little St James (St Thomas). All without any electronics. We used sight, binnacle mounted compass, paper charts, range finders, etc. And for the night crossing I used Polaris as we were going 5ºW and it was easier to look straight ahead instead of down at the compass.

For safety I have a handheld VHF and one mounted in the boat with a masthead antenna.

dennis Reger

New Member
Hey there, fellow land-locked sailors. My new-to-me E26-2 pretty much only has a VHF that works (well, it makes noise when I turn it on). The original depth and speed gauges are dead. If there was ever a compass on the bulkhead, it's long gone too. So, only sailing on my small lake in Kansas (~11000 acres), what should I be looking at as minimum equipment? Things like chart plotters, AIS, and radar are obviously a waste.

I grew up sailing dinghies on a MUCH smaller lake. We had telltales on the sail and the wind on our faces. We thought it was quite an upgrade when we got a windvane for the top of the mast. So, this is all new to me.

Appreciate your insights.
I suggest you down load one of the god sailing/ racing app. The one I like is I regatta 1.. I think it coast $10.00. This app runs on your smart phone and will give you SOG COG and will also provide a chart of the area , showing your location via GPS. The app allows you to enter GPS waypoints. ...good for finding your way home the dark. There is a lot more you may not use such as race start timers, time to the start line. It will tell you how much to turn (steer) to get to the way point, like a Garmin GPS unit. What it does not have is wind and depth. A good depth gauge is still a good item to have especially if the lake level is regulated. There is one other device that is very interesting . It is called sailer timer (check the web page).. This is a anemometer mounted on the mast top , it is Bluetooth and solar powered. It sends signals to an app on your smart phone .. wind direction speed , the app does the rest.. I would only get this if you plan to take it down in the fall .. I also have a simple hand held VHF good enough range for a inland lake. And the windex is a must , simple and effective.

dennis Reger

New Member
So, it turns out my depth and speed transducers are NOT dead and seem to work. I've decided to install a new head unit that will read both on one screen and I'm going to sell the Dragonfly. Why replace what ain't broke?

That being said, I have my Windex in-hand and I have found a sucker volunteer willing to climb my mast to install it, replace my mast-head light, and replace my steaming light. On to my question...

The Windex has instructions for adjusting the angle the tabs are spread apart. How do I know what to choose, here? The instructions also say: "The 3 different angles could represent, for heavy displacement cruising yachts 65°, cruising yachts in general 60°, and high-pointing racing yachts 55°".

Do my poor sailing abilities and crummy sails have any effect on how I should adjust this for my windward performance? Is 60° the right choice for me? Or do I set it at 65° and adjust it in later if I find I can point better?

(I'll mention I've only sailed her twice, so I don't know how well I point)

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60 is common, easy to look up and see what is going on... There is a web site ( that goes into all kinds of detail on how to read the windex angles. I attached an example of 27 degrees apparent wind. It has to do with the tail widths and how they line up with the flag.


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