Fishing and Boating Weathervanes

Sometimes we just can’t get enough of fishing and boating. Our first step begins with the innocent purchases of shirts and hats pockmarked with fish and boats. Later on we spackle living room walls with pictures and paintings of our favorite species and craft. As if that’s not enough, some of us decorate the outside of our homes. Laugh now, but don’t be surprised if you wind up with a weathervane that tells the world you’re an angler and a boater.

Fish are among the most popular of weathervanes, with a species to suit everyone’s tastes and preferences. Out here on Cape Cod I see a lot of species that folks love to catch. Striped bass are highly prized among anglers, and it’s sort of a yawn to see one on top of a house. Some are ornamental while others offer incredible detail, right down to the individual scales. They’re tough to see when they’re shiny and new, but give ‘em a little time. When the wind and the rain turn the bright copper into the weathered patina, they’ll stand out.

Many anglers like weathervanes that remind them of a fish that they caught on a trip. The cost of mounting a sailfish or a marlin is pretty big, and so is the space required to hang it. Many times you’ll see an angler commemorate a fish-of-a-lifetime with a weathervane, like this sailfish right here.

One of the more innovative combinations sits on top of a bank. It’s the weathervane of choice that reflects my region and our namesake fish. This cod has a tail that resembles the shape of Cape Cod, thereby creating a play on words. It’s brilliant, and it only took me about 5 years to notice it on top of all the Cape Cod 5 banks. Maybe I should look up a little bit more often…

Boats are also on the top 5 list of weathervanes, with sailboats being the most popular. Some examples, like the masts in this picture, offer incredible detail. The rigging is remarkably accurate for a piece of copper artwork that sits so far from view. Copper sails are assembled in painstaking fashion, with fore and aft configurations being the most common. Have any of you ever seen a powerboat weathervane? There are a tremendous number of skiffs, center consoles, flats boats, offshore deep V’s, and motor yachts on the water, but I’ve never seen one on a roof top.

At the end of the day, a lighthouse points the way home. And when the wind blows even a little bit, so too does the weathervane.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at