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  #1  
Old 11-23-2011
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Available Electricity free instruments ?

Hi all,

I am buidling a tacking sailing outrigger and will be using it for multi-day cruising while sleeping
on the beach, etc. Since I will not have engine and thus no electricity, I need to find some solution for
basic navigational instruments (except hand held GPS).

So - are there still any manufacturers that make trailing speed logs that need no power?

Compass I can have with no power, and mooring light I can get an solar charged LED light, since there are not
that many oil lamps for that, except collectibles which look good in the house but are not certified nor affordable.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-23-2011
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I don't think there are anymore manufactures that make the Walker taffrail log but you can come across them used occasionally here's one site, but it looks like all of the ones they have, have been sold. I would keep checking back with them.

I used one years ago, and loved it.

TAFFRAIL SPEED AND DISTANCE LOGS

here's a great former thread about them -

Walker Knotmaster log? anyone seen one for sale recently?

And actually there's a bunch for sale on ebay- but not cheap.

taffrail log | eBay

good luck.
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Old 11-23-2011
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Welcome to the Forum.
The handheld GPS will give you SOG. Do you really need STW ?

If you do a simple small 12v sealed battery (SAY 4-10 AHrs) would work fine and is inexpensive. Instruments use very little power and the battery would last weeks.
Or the Tacktic solar powered range.

Trailing logs are a pain.

Last edited by noelex77; 11-23-2011 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 11-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
Welcome to the Forum.
The handheld GPS will give you SOG. Do you really need STW ?

If you do a simple small 12v sealed battery (SAY 4-10 AHrs) would work fine and is inexpensive. Instruments use very little power and the battery would last weeks.
Or the Tacktic solar powered range.

Trailing logs are a pain.
I checked out Takctick - nice. Except:

(1) I would beach the boat - may damage underhull sensors.
(2) Price is also an issue.

The whole boat is hand built by me, 6m length, 0.5m width (Tamanu sailing outrigger). So going old school for some items would be beneficial.

I guess throwing a log and measuring knots would also be a way
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Old 11-23-2011
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Why not get a small solar panel to add to the small battery. This would also benefit the GPS. Like Noelex77 said, instruments do not use much power. If you are worried about beaching and damaging the instruments you can use a "tri-ducer" on a deployable pod.
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Old 11-23-2011
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With a little practice you can estimate your speed very well. I did this on my first two boats. Your handheld will give you all the data you want (and more). You can also do the math with a stopwatch to pass a floating object, that has worked for me too. Don't overanalyze this, most coastal sailing was done with little more than a compass until very recently.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingStar View Post
With a little practice you can estimate your speed very well. I did this on my first two boats. Your handheld will give you all the data you want (and more). You can also do the math with a stopwatch to pass a floating object, that has worked for me too. Don't overanalyze this, most coastal sailing was done with little more than a compass until very recently.
I think I will go this route. I have a small 3.5m dinghy and do coastal already.

Wanted to see what is out there but prices are ridiculous for marine instruments. I know there is extra waterproofing involved, etc...but being in electronics / hardware / software industry myself as an engineer I can't fathom why things cost so much.

Even wind speed meter costs a lot when in reality it is just a propeller turning a shaft and then you have a display showing you the speed. You can do it DIY hobby for a few $ and one afternoon.

Magnetic compass, bearing compass, binoculars, stopwatch, with a chart is what I think I will be using....

For those interested I am 30% in completion of this:



Tamanu
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Old 11-23-2011
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An affordable, reliable, unpowered knotmeter is the KnotStick.
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Old 11-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europe2seoul View Post
I checked out Takctick - nice. Except:

(1) I would beach the boat - may damage underhull sensors.
(2) Price is also an issue.

The whole boat is hand built by me, 6m length, 0.5m width (Tamanu sailing outrigger). So going old school for some items would be beneficial.

I guess throwing a log and measuring knots would also be a way
There are transom mounts where the transducer can be pushed up on a sliding bracket.
The other alternative is a small sub keel to protect the transducer. The paddle wheel only sticks out a few mm (maybe 1/4 inch) so it does not need much

I think Tacktic are a bit overpriced and a small sealed battery with a cheap log or combined log/ depth transducer would be a good option

My choice would still be a GPS giving STW and a spare unit with fresh.
batteries.
Unless you are racing, STW is not really necessary. SOG is more useful. Many large boats have such poor calibration on the log that they use the GPS for their primary speed information and pay little attention to log.

If you set up a good quality log. position it well, calibrate it and keep it clean you will get good information on tidal effects, but many cruising yachts give up.
On a much simpler vessel, such as yours, I would not hesitate to forgo the difficulty and rely on the GPS for my only speed information.

Pulling in a trailing log, using the dividers, handbearing compass and map to plot your position sounds romantic, but its hard work and difficult to do in a small boat. You will use the GPS and if it fails you will be glad you have a spare.

Last edited by noelex77; 11-23-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europe2seoul View Post
I think I will go this route. I have a small 3.5m dinghy and do coastal already.

Wanted to see what is out there but prices are ridiculous for marine instruments. I know there is extra waterproofing involved, etc...but being in electronics / hardware / software industry myself as an engineer I can't fathom why things cost so much.

Even wind speed meter costs a lot when in reality it is just a propeller turning a shaft and then you have a display showing you the speed. You can do it DIY hobby for a few $ and one afternoon.

Magnetic compass, bearing compass, binoculars, stopwatch, with a chart is what I think I will be using....

For those interested I am 30% in completion of this:



Tamanu

Are you on the woodenboat forum? There is a whole thread there about outrigger canoes. I built Gary's Wa'apa outrigger canoe and sailed it most of this summer. Fun boats!
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