Review: Raymarine i60 wind instrument package

By: Adam Morrissey, Photography by: Adam Morrissey

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Raymarine i60 wind instrumentation lets you know what the wind is doing - even when it sucks.

 

  • The Raymarine i60 wind instrument has large numerals and digits, plus a red backlight to protect night vision.

 

  • It interfaces with SeaTalk and SeaTalkng and is NMEA 2000-compatible. There is a built-in Raymarine transducer interface.

 

  • The Raymarine i60’s 110mm x 115mm footprint is identical to older Raymarine ST60 wind instruments.

 

  • Multiple data source support eliminates potential data conflicts.

 

  • The front-mounted design allows for simple installation.

 

Checking Raymarine i60 wind instrument on a sailing yacht
Captain Pat checks the instrumentation as a momentary lull gives 7.1 from 7.7.

When I bought my South Coast 36 cruising yacht Voyager II on Lake Macquarie, NSW, the plan was always to sail her home to Melbourne. But there were a few things to fix first, including the wind instruments.

Hooking up the new Raymarine i60 gauge and transducer was a breeze (sorry!) and since the footprint is the same as the unit it replaced, it sits in place perfectly. With newer but similar DNA it happily talks to its older relatives, though it definitely upstages them with a far classier appearance.

Incidentally, having also updated my mast-top nav/anchor and spreader lights to low-current LEDs, the electrician noted that the lighter-gauge wiring made drawing the new cables down the mast channel far easier than pulling the old stuff out.

 

Raymarine i60 wind instrument in action

Leaving Lake Macquarie in fine weather, it was a shock to hit what we thought was the tail end of a storm and with a reefed main and 20kt breezes we coped. But when a seemingly endless series of squalls kicked the Raymarine i60 to 30kt, we bolted for Pittwater.

A day later the storm blew itself out – we weren’t far past Botany Bay when the gauge fell to 1kt and sat there. Eventually, 5kt of breeze came up astern and we motor-sailed into Eden at 7kt.

Raymarine i60 wind instrument
More realistic numbers - but still very good.

The forecast promised something useful when we left and once clear of Twofold Bay’s headlands, the Raymarine i60 was showing 9-14kt winds 45 degrees off the port bow.

That simple info says a lot – the angle meant setting the sails on the centreline, while the wind speed said we could get 6kt. After working on the mainsail shape with the still-unfamiliar rigging we had 5.5kt. Adding the mizzen to the same recipe added 0.5kt, and tweaking the genoa leech and finessing all around dragged out a few more tenths. As a side note, owners of racier vessels can also opt for the Close Hauled version of the i60 but in a beamy full-keeled cruiser I’d only use the last third of the scale.

Six-odd knots is hardly speeding but with some current we were gaining on our passage plan enough to meet an early slack tide at Port Phillip’s infamous Rip.

As night came on, hitting the Raymarine i60’s brightness button dimmed the old gauges too. While the old green hue isn’t harsh, the Raymarine i60’s red backlight was noticeably softer.

Turning around Wilsons Prom pushed the wind towards abeam. My instinct was to ease sails but we lost speed and flicking the i60 from True to Apparent revealed why – boat speed meant the apparent wind was still ahead. Sheeting back in a touch we hit hull speed – 7.3kt. Okay, tide-assisted.

I’ve got no doubt that the Raymarine i60 is a huge benefit to my sailing. The real-time readout helps me accurately judge local conditions; combined with a recent forecast you can really see what’s happening. Flicking between True and Apparent helps me set the sails appropriately, True showing what’s being delivered, Apparent explaining if I’m using it effectively.

Knowing what’s possible is a huge help in getting the best from a sailing boat and I’ll be asking the Raymarine i60 wind instrument a lot of questions.

Moored sailing yacht.

 

Raymarine i60 wind instrument specs

Nominal voltage 12V DC

Operating voltage range 10-16V DC

Power consumption <1W, display only; 2.4W max with transducer

Current consumption 45-65mA, display only; 200mA max with transducer

Operating temp range -20ºC to +55ºC

Storage temperature 30ºC to +70ºC

Relative humidity Up to 93 per cent

Waterproofing IPX6

Connections 2 x SeaTalkng and transducers, compatible with marine industry CAN systems

Conformance Europe 2004/108/EC

 

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