Budget Vacations - giant weathervanes

Thursday, May 12, 2011
A puny Michigan weathervane
This is another of my public service posts suggesting budget vacation destinations for summer travel. 

When going on vacation a person generally wants to see something unique and awe inspiring if possible. So, with that criteria in mind, my thoughts naturally turned towards wondering where the world's largest weathervane was located. 

A quick Google search reveals that Montague, Michigan claims to have the world's largest weathervane. They even have the WLRA Weathervane webpage dedicated to it.  On the top of it is a replica of a lumber schooner and, at 48ft tall, with a length of 14ft and weighing 4,300lbs, it would seem to be a solid contender.

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the good citizens of Montague, but...

Swiss one-upmanship
 On the shore of Lake Geneva, in Ouchy, Switzerland there is a weathervane that is also quite large. It appears to be larger than the one in Michigan. I don't have the actual dimensions for it, but from looking at several pictures of it from numerous angles (obviously, a highly objective method of weathervane size detection), it appears to be taller and wider. 

It also has four pillars around it, with a hemispherical notch cut into each pillar. When you line up the pillar's notch with the curve of the weathervane and get an 'O' you can tell the direction the wind is coming from. 

Boaters report that not only is it useful for gauging the direction of the wind, it is also helpful, since it sits on a breakwater, in locating the entrance to the harbor. 

It's a fine contender as the world's largest weathevane, but could there be one even larger?

Now, this is a weathervane worthy of the World's Largest title
Why, yes there is a larger weathervane. In Whitehorse, Canada there is a DC3 mounted on a pivot which is billed as a weathervane. A 15mph breeze is strong enough to swing it into the wind. The plane is an old Canadian Pacific Airlines 'Gooney Bird' that flew her last flight in 1970.

So there you have it -- if you're near Switzerland or Michigan you can pack up a picnic lunch and view the also-rans, otherwise you can trek up to Whitehorse to see the real Champion of Giant Weathervanes.