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Old 03-01-2008
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pulling speed log paddle wheel

The paddle wheel for my speed log is constantly gunked up rendering all my fancy instruments useless. I have a diver clean the bottom regularly and the speed log will work fine for a couple of weeks after he visits but then it will get gunked up again. I have heard second hand stories of folks that pull the sender out from inside the hull and quickly put in the plug, clean the sender and then put it back.

Is this crazy? Do folks do this regularly? I haven't screwed up my courage to try it. I meant to practice the last time the boat was hauled, but I never got around to it. Every so often I don a wet suit and go diving, but I don't have any equipment so its hard to do more than dab at the paddle wheel.
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Old 03-01-2008
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Yes, we really do it. I get maybe a couple of tablespoons of water during the exchange.
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Old 03-01-2008
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Yes.. I do it and actually pull my sender after everytime out and leave the plug in for the down time at the dock. Only a cup of water gets in

Dave
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Old 03-01-2008
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We pull ours for every lift... saves the worry of a sling damaging the impeller. It can be a bit unnerving but be sure to have the plug in hand and you'll be fine.

If it's only a cup that gets in it looks like more (surprising amount of pressure and it's a largish hole.)
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I get a lot more water than a cup... its fascinating seeing light come through the geyser, so maybe I wait a little too long!! Just do it. have some rags handy
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Old 03-01-2008
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Mine is a Raymarine (Airmar) speed paddle and I only plug it in when required. There's a flapper built into the thru-hull which closes the hole when the transducer is withdrawn. Not much water enters when hole is closed by flapper before the blind-plug is put in. Ofcourse in the transit period when the sender is push in or pull out, quite some water can be expected. With the flapper, its not going to sink the boat if you fumble. BUT without the flapper, you'll have to work fast, Be prepare to place your palm on the thru-hull hole if you need to buy some time to recollect your thoughts.
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It depends on your reflexes, how coordinated you are, where the transducer is located and how accessible it is. If it is reasonably accessible, and you are reasonably coordinated, you can do a plug for transducer swap in about a second or two and keep it below a quart of water. Some of the newer transducer through hulls have the flapper valve that Trantor mentions, but most older ones do not.

BTW, make sure the plug or transducer is seated properly and that the locking collar is screwed ALL THE WAY DOWN.... or you'll have a small leak that can be a pain to trace.
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Maybe thats why I only get a cup....and thats all I get so those who have doubts to that,,,,thats the story and I am sticking to it...**:**).

I do this every time I am out. I have the pressure on the transducer with one hand and unnscrew the lock nut with the other and keep the pressure on the transducer. Before i pull out the transducer I have the plug in my free hand so its pull one out and replace with the other. Yes I also have a flapper valve there also. Once in a while I fumble...lol...say a few choice four letter words...miss the opening and a quart or two get in, but usually its down to a science. The trick is being organized and smooth and since I do it often the repetition makes it a rountine.

It is sure easier to do this as opposed to getting out Q Tips to try and clean the slime between the paddlewheels on the transducer and its body. I take the transducer out as part of my rountine every time I am out just like shuting my thru hull handles is my rountine when I leave the boat for the week.
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Last edited by chef2sail; 03-01-2008 at 05:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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Another tip: of course clean the 'o' rings, then add a little bit of silicone o-ring grease will ensure it goes in easy and stays watertight.
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Are we still stuck in the dark ages?

I used to have one of those (not any more, depend on GPS for boat speed)and also used to pull the paddle wheel whenever we left the boat and re-inserted it to go sailing.

When one thinks of all the other technology that is freely available, when will the Raymarines of this world design one of these devices using Doppler rather than a pre-historic paddle wheel.

When they do that, I may consider buying one (or have they and I just haven't been paying attention?)

Andre
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