The speed sensor paddle wheel – hated, seems to almost never work, full of barnacles, weeds, tiny critters, and anything else that can stop the speed wheel from spinning. Sure, we have GPS (gives us speed over land), but this gives us the actual boat speed through the water. It has a little propeller that spins in the water flow and internal electronics convert spin speed to boat speed, as shown at the instrument panel. Unlike those folks who have made the break away to warmer waters, diving overboard in Maine waters is something generally avoided so when the thing stops working, it just does.
Enter what is expected to be the answer to this problem. I am sure there are other manufacturers out there producing a similar product, but this transducer that senses speed and water temperature can be had as a retrofit into the current thru-hull in the boat. It is made by Airmar Technology Corporation and has no moving parts – no paddle wheel to foul and clean. It uses ultrasonic sensing and calculates the speed every half second. It has been added to the “to do” list for spring. It will be nice to know just how fast we are going again.
Speaking of spring, it does not seem to be destined to show up in Maine. Single digit temperatures again today. It will be a flurry of activity when it does pop since the winter has been spent prepping items that need to go in or on when the boat cover comes off and FifthQuarter once again sees the light of day.