Trailing Logs

Skylark

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Walker logs regularly appear on e-bay. Normal rules apply. Bide your time until a good one comes along. I bought one a few years back, box in good condition, two spinners, all mounting flanges, clean housing and gauge, original oil bottle. It was about £60. Haven't got round to using it yet, no doubt it will keep. I'm sure it will not look out of place on my nice and shinny AWB :)
 

BruceDanforth

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I got myself a wasp on ebay. There's quite a bit of competition for them. The one I got had about 5 miles on it. If you get a walker then make sure you get a mouting bracket for the rail as these have often parted company.
 

30boat

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I have a Wasp and a Walker.I use them regularly as my Nasa has packed up and I don't feel like buying a replacement.The Wasp is incredibly accurate anyway so why bother.
 

Seajet

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I think trail logs are a great thing to have, much less prone to mounting position errors than in-hull, a lot more accurate for navigation and most don't need electricity.

One does need to keep an eye on the spinner that it hasn't picked up weed though; one develops a 'pull & jerk' method which usually clears this.


That pull & jerk is of course rather easier than clearing an in-hull log !

On the minus side, the rotating flywheel churning away can resonate through the puskpit or hull, but I find this comforting personally, on a cruise of a few weeks one can get used to the sound and judge how the boat is doing from one's bunk ( with someone else on watch ! ).


I have a Wasp trail log, must be 30 years old now; although always looked down on by people with Walker logs, I think of it as an old friend and wouldn't willingly cross the Channel without it.

As I have mentioned before, there is a gap in the market for a modern, affordable trail log.
 

jamesjermain

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Walker logs regularly appear on e-bay. Normal rules apply. Bide your time until a good one comes along. I bought one a few years back, box in good condition, two spinners, all mounting flanges, clean housing and gauge, original oil bottle. It was about £60. Haven't got round to using it yet, no doubt it will keep. I'm sure it will not look out of place on my nice and shinny AWB :)

You will be plagued by people who, with the very best of intentions, will point out that you're trailing a line - I speak from experience!
 

Seajet

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You will be plagued by people who, with the very best of intentions, will point out that you're trailing a line - I speak from experience!

True, and smartar*es in dinghies will seem to home in from all directions trying to short-tack within millimetres of one's stern !

I would only use a trail log in open waters, not the Solent on a busy clear day for instance.
 
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I would only use a trail log in open waters, not the Solent on a busy clear day for instance.

Was it not the traditional practice to stream the log just before logging the Departure Fix - e.g. Portland Bill, The Lizard, The Bishop Rock - and dropping over the horizon?

I can't quite equate that with the likes of 'Jack In The Basket' or the 'Hamble Spit' buoy en passage to Yarmouth....

:D
 

DanTribe

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If you do buy one, make sure you pull it before you put the engine into astern.

Otherwise known as the rope cutter test.

Don't ask.

JDS wrote that many a fine passage has ended with a little flourish of astern, and the dial of the log facing the sky and quivering.
I surely can't be the only one to duck a starboard tack boat a bit close and notice, too late, the trailing string?
 

rhumbunctious

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I have a knot stick which I like alot. It's very sentitive, good for sail trimming, and also serves as a backup to my through hull paddlewheel log. It won't calculate distance over water, but with even casual log keeping, you can calculate that if/as needed. Much cheaper and easier to deploy/store than an old-school trailing log.
 

Seajet

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Is there a nautical equivalent of E-Bay ( please don't say the boat section though there's the odd fine boat ); or should we invent one ?

Average sellers on E-Bay don't seem to know even what boat they've got ( hence the oft repeated suggestion for owners of recently stolen boats etc to have a look ) so what chance someone who's quite honestly inherited a trail log ? - ' quaint antique flywheel operated nut crusher / little man with an axe driver ' ?

I was recently speaking to a chap ( a very decent, otherwise very clued up guy ) who's recently bought a small cruiser on E-Bay; " there's a thing like an old fashioned speedo' " ...

On seeing a photo, 'yes, that's a Seafarer log, had a look at the paddle-wheel, or is it the rare flush twin sensor doppler job' ?!

The 'for sale' section here ought to have been far better supported, I am as guilty as any but there's still the 'can't directly replace it, may come in handy' syndrome - apart from trail logs, I can't think of anything which will come in handy, apart from Captain Kirk collecting antiques in the 23rd Century which is a tricky one to make a profit on.
 

Woodlouse

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I still carry an old Excelsior IV trailing log on board. It's been used in anger on a holiday to Brittany a couple of years back when the cable to the Sumlog broke. Also it's quite fun every now and then to run it to make sure the onboard log is still telling the truth.

Would never use a trailing log in coastal, busy waters though. Why would you need to?
 
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.... Would never use a trailing log in coastal, busy waters though. Why would you need to?

Navigation in poor visibility if you dont use a GPS, for example. For many years I navigated with these devices exclusively in coastal waters.
 

Evadne

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The Stowe electronic trailing log, which I've had since 1985, is one to look out for as well. Parts are available; I won't say it hasn't had its problems but the circuit board is very fixable and simple.

Re trailing in the Solent, I have been doing that for 20 years, I didn't realise it was dangerous. Normal habit is to take it in on entering a harbour.
 
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