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    Re: taffrail log (Walker's log)
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2008 Oct 12, 23:09 +0100

    Paul Hirose, Carl Herzog, Jeremy wrote about the Walker mechanical taffrail
    log.
    
    Indeed, such a log is still in occasional use on my own small boat. However,
    it has to be withdrawn when I'm towing a mackerel line, as otherwise the two
    get inextricably entwined, even when towed from opposite quarters. I used to
    have a spare rotator, until one sad day when I engaged reverse gear, having
    forgotten that the log was still streamed.
    
    The description by the seller is quite wrong. The log that's illustrated
    does NOT measure speed (though some models did have a dial for speed).
    Instead, it measures distance run. If you want speed, you have to subtract
    distance-run, at two known times, and divide by the time interval.
    
    When I was in my teens, around 1950, I travelled from Liverpool to Belgium
    and back on a 2000-ton coaster driven by a triple-expansion steam engine. It
    carried a Walker log on the taffrail, and someone came down from the bridge
    every hour to read the distance-run. The taffrail was one of my favourite
    spots on the ship, especially when she got into some serious pitching off
    Land's End. I've always been pretty-immune to seasickness, and the motion,
    up and down as in a lift, was quite exhilarating; something I'll never
    forget. That particular log had an inertia-wheel, a spoked wheel about the
    sixe of a big dinner-plate, a few feet aft from the taffrail. Presumably
    that was intended to keep it spinning smoothly, but I've never worked out
    how, or if, that really worked, or if it mattered.
    
    .
    George.
    
    contact George Huxtable, now at george{at}hux.me.uk
    (switched from george---.u-net.com)
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
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