NASA Clipper - opinions solicited

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I have long coveted a wind instrument but could not afford the
prices of the ones available here, (Raytheon and similar).

I recently heard of the more moderately priced NASA Clipper, a brand
which does not seem to be very well known on this side of the Atlantic.

I would like to hear the opinion of anyone with experience with this
equipment, good or bad, before taking out a mortgage on the cat.

Thanks for any help.

John Musgrave
 

Strathglass

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Re: NASA Clipper - Wind

I have fitted them to three different yachts for people and never had any problems. In use the electronic pointer is very good. If the wind is veering quickly then the pointer becomes a broader, but less distinct band with a more visible indication at the mean wind A steady wind gives a single line pointer. The only disadvantage is that NASA instruments can not be used to show VMG if you require that function. I have also found that the casing of one of the original black ones faded to grey after two seasons use without the cover.
 

Plum

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I have NASA Target instruments which, although still available, are an older design to the Clipper range. However, the masthead wind direction/speed unit appears to be identical on both models and it is this masthead unit that I have had problems with. Twice in the last 2.5 years I have had to repair it because the rotor has come off. The first time the stainless steel spindle broke in half.

Also, this unit is on the end of a relatively short arm so that it is difficult to mount it so that the rotor and vane are away from the turbulance of the mast. This may result in false readings when the mast is to widward of the sensors. This is certainly the case with mine.
 

JeremyF

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Re: NASA Clipper - Wind

I fitted Clipper Wind and Duet 2 seasons ago. No problems, apart from the inevitable need to clear the log paddle every few weeks. One negative on the wind instrument is that the masthead unit cable is shielded multicore, and is prefitted with a plug. There is no way one can pull it down the mast, through deck glands etc, under headlinings with the plug fitted. You have to be brave, and cut the cable, despite advice not to do so, and then join again on a multiway strip. Seems to work OK after cutting.
 

Charieis

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I fitted a Clipper wind instrument myself at the beginning of last season and am concerned about the robustness of the mashead unit. The direction vane broke off within two weeks of fitting and two of the anemometer cups broke off before the end of the season. Whether or not this was due to a wandering albatross coming in to land I am unable to say.
I replaced both vane and cups and yes, you have guessed it, the vane is broken again, although it did last 5 months this time, despite the fact that I also fitted a bright red fibreglass cone to the top of the masthead light to remove the landing pad for our feathered friends.
I still have the hub from the first unit and what is left of the vane is certainly very flimsy and brittle, possibly due to its short exposure to UV and the magnet inside is already rusty. Needless to say, I shall not be buying yet another one from NASA. I shall make my own from some more suitable material.
I have no experience regarding the longevity of the other brands, but maybe you get what you pay for!
 

vyv_cox

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Get what you pay for

is probably true, but the value/cost curve is far from being a straight line. My boat is fitted with B&G Hornet instruments, now 15 years old but superbly reliable. The anemometer cups were broken when they contacted the sling when lifting the mast off about 5 years ago and at that time they were probably the original ones. They were quite brittle and I fitted new ones. I took the mast down again last year and there was no sign of any brittleness in the plastic. The indicator is still the original one. However, the threads on the arm holding both the anemometer and direction indicator were in a bad way, so we replaced the whole arm. It cost a fantastic amount of money, something not far off 400 pounds, from memory.
 

Avocet

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I've had a Clipper log and depth sounder (2 separate instruments) for 3 years now and had no trouble out of either except that the depth sounder has, once or twice, gone bananas. I think the auto-ranging function gets itself in a knot when the water is turbulent or when the nature of the bottom changes frequently and suddenly.
 
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I have a Clipper wind instrument which has been in use for two years without any problems. All I can say is that it has done everything it's supposed to without fault. I am about to change boats and will fit another to the new one.
 
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I have a full set of Nasa Target instruments for 5 years with no problems, I recently fitted the Clipper GPS repeater to an old and obsolete GPS and it works great!
 
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