Every time I removed the speed log for cleaning I had a terrible feeling of foreboding. The simple act of lifting out the speed log and replacing it with a temporary cap was always accompanied by thoughts of ‘what if something went wrong’? Would I be stuck with my hand over the hole keeping back the ocean like the little boy in Holland with his finger in the dyke? Of course nothing went wrong, but the sheer volume and pressure of water that comes spurting through the speed log hole into the boat is terrifying.
Speed logs are great things when they work, a little paddle wheel spins beneath the boat powered by the passing water and gives a readout in the cockpit of speed through the water. The problem is that the little paddle wheel gets fouled up with slime and small invertebrates over time. These little passengers put the little wheel out of kilter and the speed registered tends to get slower over time. Hence the need to pull the log out and clean the wheel.
Over the winter I decided to get the log taken out and the hole sealed up. One less thing to worry about and the less holes in the boat the better I think. Of course this means that I wont be able to get a speed through the water read out, but I can live with that. GPS provides speed over the ground information and I will just have to estimate and calculate the current effect. A small price to pay for peace of mind and one less thing to worry about.
The hole is sealed up with a wooden plug, being larger diameter on the outside than the inside, so water pressure naturally pushes it into the hull. The outside has been glassed over nice and smooth and the inside covered in epoxy to match the interior. It all looks very neat and shipshape.