10 Best Boat Anemometers (Reviews Updated 2022)

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A good wind meter is an important part of boating safety.  Having accurate and timely wind speed information at a boater’s fingertips is necessary to master the finer points of piloting and seamanship.  Some anemometers are mounted to a boat’s mast or bimini top, while others are handheld.

Either style provides important information about current winds so boaters can sense changing weather conditions due to coming storms, plot courses that take advantage of winds for speed and fuel savings, and understand local winds for ease of docking and anchoring.

Our buying guide reviews the best products on the market so you can understand the different features of each and choose the right anemometer for your boat.

Best Boat Anemometers

Here are our 10 boat anemometer reviews.

1. BTMETER Digital Anemometer

Btmeter Digital Anemometer

The BTMETER digital anemometer is the most basic wind gauge for boaters’ needs. This hand-held device can be kept handy at the helm, so boaters can quickly grasp it for a quick wind reading.  A device like this can also be used for target shooting, drone flying, or measuring drafts in buildings.

  • Wind speed range from .67 to 67.1 miles per hour and measures in meters per second, kilometers per hours, feet per minute, knots, and miles per hour
  • Includes a carrying case and wrist lanyard
  • Calculates wind speed, temperature, and wind chill factor
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2. BTMETER Anemometer Handheld

Btmeter Anemometer Handheld

The BTMETER handheld anemometer is the most economical wind gauge. This hand-held device can be kept handy at the helm.  A device like this can also be used for target shooting, drone flying, or measuring drafts in buildings.

  • Measures wind speed from 0.3 to 30 meters per second and temperature from -45 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius
  • Easy one-handed design with LCD backlit display
  • Manual/auto power on and off
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3. BT Meter Digital Wind Speed Anemometer with Wireless Bluetooth App

Bt Meter Digital Wind Speed Anemometer With Wireless Bluetooth App

The BT Meter Digital Wind Speed Anemometer has all of the basic functions of a wind gauge, and it syncs with an app on your mobile device. Synching with an app allows you to see and track trends, which is important for finding ideal conditions and forecasting dangerous weather.  Remote synching also means the device can be placed remotely, such as at the top of a mast away from ground or surface interference.

  • Anemometer can pair with your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or tablet via Bluetooth App.
  • Wind speed range from .67 to 67.1 miles per hour and measures in meters per second, kilometers per hours, feet per minute, knots, and miles per hour
  • Calculates wind speed, temperature, and wind chill factor
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4. TACKLIFE Anemometer Handheld with Flashlight

Tacklife Anemometer Handheld With Flashlight

The TACKLIFE Anemometer gives you all of the basic functions you need during the daytime, plus a handy backlight and flashlight for use at night or low light. The 9-volt battery is easy to replace.

  • Data hold function allows you to keep max/min/average/current
  • Includes backlight and flashlight for use in the dark
  • Uses 9-volt battery for convenience
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5. Davis Instruments Wind-Tels Vane Set for Sail

Davis Instruments Wind Tels Vane Set For Sail

These handy Wind-Tels from Davis Instruments are just enough to give sailors a quick indication of true wind while underway. These are specifically designed to be mounted on sailboat shroud lines. These Wind-Tels do not indicate the strength or speed of the wind, but they do show the direction, which is important when sailors plan their tack into the wind or while docking.

  • Fits all shroud sizes
  • Easy to install or remove
  • Port and starboard vanes in red and green
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6. Davis Instruments Black Max Wind Indicator

Davis Instruments Black Max Wind Indicator

The Black Max Wind Indicator is a perfect tool for sailors on small boats. This wind indicator will give experienced pros at-a-glance information about true wind.  For less-experienced sailors mounting the Black Max Wind Indicator and glancing at it regularly will quickly build your mental picture so that you understand true vs. relative wind.

  • Attaches quickly to the mast or boom on most small boats
  • Fits masts or booms from 1-1/2” to 1-1/2” diameter
  • Wind vane length is 8”
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7. AcuRite Wireless Weather Station

Acurite Wireless Weather Station

The AcuRite Wireless Weather Station includes a separate weather station and display. By mounting the weather station on the boat’s mast you can avoid surface interference and view the measurements on the remote display.  By mounting the weather station on the dock you can view the actual surface conditions which will affect docking maneuvering, which can be very different from the prevailing winds in weather forecasts.

  • Measures wind speed, direction, temperature, humidity, and rain
  • Anemometer and weather station permanently mounts to structure such as boat’s mast or dock
  • The remote display unit shows weather information up to 100 meters from the weather station
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8. AcuRite 01036M Wireless Weather Station With Programmable Arms

Acurite 01036m Wireless Weather Station With Programmable Arms

The AcuRite 01036M wireless weather station provides serious weather observation for serious boaters. The weather station mounts remotely and displays weather readings on a remote display, personal computer, or mobile device app.  Boaters can set alarms for any weather condition, which allows for peace of mind when anchored at night.

  • Accurately measures temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and rain
  • Connects to PC which allows you to remotely view your weather station through a smartphone, tablet, or browser
  • Set programmable weather alarms for temperature, humidity, wind, rain, dew point, heat index, and storm alerts including email and text alerts
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9. AcuRite 01024M Pro Weather Station with HD Display and Lightning Detector

Acurite 01024m Pro Weather Station With Hd Display And Lightning Detector

The AcuRite 01024M Pro Weather Station with HD Display and Lightning Detector includes all of the features of the AcuRite 01036M plus an HD display and lightning detector. The lightning detector is particularly important for boaters in areas that are prone to lightning.  This lightning detector calculates the distance to the storm and tracks lightning strikes over time, for trending and forecasting so boaters can stay out of danger.

  • Lightning strike counter displays running total of strikes detected and provides an estimated distance to the storm
  • Accurately measures wind speed, direction, temperature, humidity, and rain
  • Customizable alarms for temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainfall, and more
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10. WeatherHawk SM-18 SkyMate Hand-Held Wind Meter

Weatherhawk Sm 18 Skymate Hand Held Wind Meter

The WeatherHawk SkyMate handheld wing meter is a folding pocketknife style that is small enough to keep in a pocket. This style is good for boaters who keep a frequent eye on the wind.  This gauge can be carried on the boat, on the dock, or on the shore to build a mental picture of the current wind and trends.

  • The pocketknife-style case makes this wind meter easy to carry in your pocket
  • Water-resistant, floating design
  • Tripod adaptable, data lock feature, auto-shutoff and includes a replaceable, non-corroding impeller
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Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Right Boat Anemometer for You

Best Boat Anemometer System ReviewsThe wind has a very important effect on the proper and safe operation of a boat, but as land-based creatures, we tend to forget about the effects of wind on a boat.  Unlike automobiles, boats float on a mass of water that is constantly moving, and the portion of the boat that is above the waterline acts as a weathervane into the wind.  This means that wind affects a boat’s steering, which must be kept in mind while docking.

Wind also has an important effect on safe boating.  Many days start with calm winds in the morning, but those winds can become uncomfortable or even dangerous in the afternoon.  Using a wind meter throughout the day will help boaters gauge the weather because the wind changes sensed by a wind gauge often precede more dramatic changes that would be noticed with the naked eye.

The following review of categories of anemometers will help you decide which is best for your boat:

Telltales or Weather Vanes

Weather vanes such as Davis Instruments Black Max Weather Vane are the simplest devices, but for most sailors, this is all they need.  These weathervanes indicate the direction of the true wind.  They do not indicate the speed of the wind, so they are not as useful for forecasting or long term trends.  However, any time the wind direction changes from the direction of the prevailing wind indicates unusual weather:  possibly very nice weather under a high-pressure system, but most likely a sudden change in wind direction indicates an impending storm.

Handheld Wind Gauges

Handheld wind gauges are the most pervasive on the market because they are the simplest and most economical tool to give you the most information about winds and temperature.  These devices require no installation and run on simple batteries.  Many of them can be mounted to a tripod, and the BT Digital Wind Meter even syncs with a mobile device app.  These devices can be used for other purposes such as drones, drafts in buildings, or target shooting.  Be mindful that the wind strength and direction is entirely relative to the direction the device is held, so if the boater points the device pointing North, but the wind is out of the Northeast, the wind gauge will only measure the component of the wind coming from the North, meaning the device’s measurement will be less than the actual wind.

Weather Stations

Weather stations are the most advanced units.  They typically include an anemometer, thermometer, barometer, and weather vane.  Weather stations use a remote weather station and a display unit, which may be connected by a wire or wirelessly.  The remote weather stations have the advantage of being always on for constant readings over time and they are usually mounted away from interference that would affect the wind measurements.