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Old 25-12-2014, 11:16   #1
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Taffrail Log

Does anyone know how to open the fish on a taffrail log to install a line or wire leader. I assume that the top or bottom is screwed on but before I start reefing on it with a vice grip I am hoping to hear from someone that has actually done it.

I know these are historical artifacts. But last summer, 8 hours into a 400 mile passage the speed log stopped working, so for $95.00 on eBay I now own a log with two fish. It might not be the best or easiest system but its a back up, (perhaps now that the log is on board the speed log will never fail). Perhaps its just me but I had no desire to pull the log while on passage. I am not a luddite but on open water passages I don't use the chart plotter. Both the radio and AIS have GPS so this is not an issue of knowing where the boat is. Thanks.
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Old 25-12-2014, 12:31   #2
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Re: Taffrail Log

Figured it out
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Old 25-12-2014, 12:49   #3
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Re: Taffrail Log

I bought an old one years ago mostly for show. I have the fish but I don't think it is matched well. Thinking I may want to see if it works and use it as a back up. Hmmmmm
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Old 25-12-2014, 15:28   #4
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Re: Taffrail Log

Your GPS isn't a reasonable backup?
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Old 25-12-2014, 17:00   #5
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Re: Taffrail Log

You can never have too many back-ups.
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Old 23-01-2015, 14:29   #6
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Re: Taffrail Log

The nose of the fish is threaded in the opposite direction to usual.


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Old 23-01-2015, 14:42   #7
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Re: Taffrail Log

OK I was in Minney's the other day and I came across 3 taffrail logs and I excitedly started checking them because there aren't many of us who actually WANT one. I asked if anyone knew of someone local who might work on them or know how to fix them. Two other guys in there, older than I, practically laughed me out of there. Am I that behind the times? They are only good for a museum? I think not. So if anyone has one in good working order, and you are (to my mind) foolish enough to want to part with it, tell me how much you want for it! And laugh all you want!
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:28   #8
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Re: Taffrail Log

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
OK I was in Minney's the other day and I came across 3 taffrail logs and I excitedly started checking them because there aren't many of us who actually WANT one. I asked if anyone knew of someone local who might work on them or know how to fix them. Two other guys in there, older than I, practically laughed me out of there. Am I that behind the times? They are only good for a museum? I think not. So if anyone has one in good working order, and you are (to my mind) foolish enough to want to part with it, tell me how much you want for it! And laugh all you want!

Hi Don C L
Taffrail logs are really beautiful pieces of mechanism and extremely accurate. Since they are simply very sturdy pieces of clockwork I'd say that any good traditional clockmaker could repair one if it was not in too bad shape. You can get them on eBay quite reasonably. I bought one last year for roughly 150. If you buy a Walker Knotmaster (the best for a yacht) make sure it has the port and starboard shoes which you will fix to your aft transom or deck AND the outrigger which connects the log to these shoes. Some Walkers can also be fixed with a shackle to the aft rail and of course a lanyard. I love mine and use it to calibrate the random number generator which Raymarine call a speed log. The only problem is when you are retrieving it you suddenly realise why they call it The Knotmaster.


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Old 23-01-2015, 16:32   #9
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Re: Taffrail Log

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Originally Posted by jack2 View Post
Does anyone know how to open the fish on a taffrail log to install a line or wire leader. I assume that the top or bottom is screwed on but before I start reefing on it with a vice grip I am hoping to hear from someone that has actually done it.

I know these are historical artifacts. But last summer, 8 hours into a 400 mile passage the speed log stopped working, so for $95.00 on eBay I now own a log with two fish. It might not be the best or easiest system but its a back up, (perhaps now that the log is on board the speed log will never fail). Perhaps its just me but I had no desire to pull the log while on passage. I am not a luddite but on open water passages I don't use the chart plotter. Both the radio and AIS have GPS so this is not an issue of knowing where the boat is. Thanks.
I like your approach to navigation. The log is probably 100 years old and still works fine. Not going to get that kind of reliability from a GPS.

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Old 24-01-2015, 06:23   #10
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Re: Taffrail Log

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I like your approach to navigation. The log is probably 100 years old and still works fine. Not going to get that kind of reliability from a GPS....
Sounds romantic. But the log is not 100 years old, the design is 100 years old. The reliability of GPS far exceeds a taffrail log. Its fun to use old navigation tools. I have an old RDF and my sextant. But they just don't hold a candle to what is available today.
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Old 24-01-2015, 12:23   #11
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Re: Taffrail Log

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Sounds romantic. But the log is not 100 years old, the design is 100 years old. The reliability of GPS far exceeds a taffrail log. Its fun to use old navigation tools. I have an old RDF and my sextant. But they just don't hold a candle to what is available today.
Trail the Walker Log on passages. Gives me a reliable readout of distance run through the water for DR navigation should the electronics pack it in. Comforting to look back and sea the little bigger reading off the miles.
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Old 24-01-2015, 23:37   #12
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Re: Taffrail Log

Of course I agree that GPS is way more accurate than logs, sextants, chronometers and compasses. But I just like the idea of relying on the old stuff that doesn't need electricity and keeps on working after being soaked in salt water.
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