Garmin Wind Vane:
We heard back from Garmin in response to our inquiry to them since we have "lost" our third wind vane due to the Frigate bird - "Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I would be happy to help you with this today. I am sorry to hear that you have had such trouble with birds and the wind vane. Garmin has redesigned the wind sensor and our gWind transducers are available. "
New, redesigned product: gWind Transducer
So what does that mean?
Are they going to kick us down one for free?
Well not likely :)
We did hear back from our electronics dealer in San Diego - Shelter Island Marine Electronics - where we inquired about the new product - "It is not quite plug-and-play. You’ll have to run a new cable down the mast. This cable plugs into the included GND interface unit. The GND10 will then tie into your existing NMEA2000 network. Getting the new cable down the mast is the only difficult/time-consuming part."
The last times Debbie had gone up the mast, retrieved it and we replaced it on the boat. Then Debbie went up the mast again and replaced the whole thing by screwing it back on the top of the mast.
The darn Frigate bird has claws and not webbed feet. It is agile and can perch it's self on top of the Garmin wind vane. But sometimes when they fly off they fly off with the Garmin wind vane! We have "bird spikes" up on top of the mast but they can only reach so far without stopping the Garmin wind vane from moving around. So if Garmin does not send us a free re-designed "Wind Transducer" then we will install the new vane along with a rake up on the mast. It is supposedly a proven method to repel birds here.
Not sure about the Garmin wind vane as it sticks out a ways in front of the mast. We will be trying it most likely this summer when Debbie goes up the mast again to replace the old-style wind vane and install the "leaf rake".