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Speed wheel isn't registering


freewheelin

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I just launched the boat, new clean bottom. Had the plug in all winter. When I spin the wheel with my finger it spins freely and registers speed on the instrument panel. When I replace the plug and put the wheel in place in the water, no speed registers. Just stays at 0.0.

Anybody have an idea of what is going wrong? Help!

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potentially not seated all the way so the wheel is flush with the hull?

alternately, get a bucket of water and put the transducer in the water and spin it to make sure it's not shorting somehow?

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You are tied to the dock? If not that, then some, like ryley wrote, deceptively hang up short of being fully seated. They do not spin. Otherwise "it is always a bad connection" even though that appears to be ruled out by your observation.

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thanks for the suggestions. what is weird is it was working last year, and the housing hasn't changed. I will start with the bucket trick and go from there.

No, not tied to a dock. On a mooring, and have been doing the testing underway.

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41 minutes ago, toecutter said:

Once upon a time, I installed a new set of Nexus instruments to replace the old Nexus instruments. Because the original instruments used side by side offset two through hulls, I went with the same option for the new instruments. I originally placed the speed transducer in the rear most hole and the depth transducer in the forward hole. No matter what I did, the speed log would not register any speed when installed. The only fix was to swap transducers vis through hulls and it worked fine in the forward through hull forever and a day. All I can put it down to is that there was turbulence or some other interruption of the water flow in the rear most through hull. Perhaps something's changed with your hull profile or the through hull has rotated slightly and this is preventing a smooth flow of water over the paddle wheel?

I don't think the posotion of the through hull was the problem. I once had a problem of no speed signal with Nexus 43 mm transducer. When I tested it taken off the through hull it rotated freely and I got the signal. Finally I found out that the problem was a thin layer of antifouling inside the through hull. The gap between the wheel and the through hull is very small. I just took the paint away with my finger nail and it worked without problems for years after that.

I had rolled antifouling over the through hull with a blind plug in place of the transducer. That allowed some paint to be sucked between the plug and the through hull.

If you have depth and speed transducers at the centerline, manufacturers always recommend you to put depth in front, since turbulence may cause problems for depth transducer, not for speed (it may cause inaccuracy, but that's a different story).

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5 hours ago, godd said:

Try rotating 180 degrees, worked for us for three years, Raymarine gear.

Haha. That reminds me of the time I sat there in a stupid moment contemplating the unlabeled arrow on the speed transducer. "Does it indicate water flow as on a plumbing fitting, or forward?"

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49 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

Haha. That reminds me of the time I sat there in a stupid moment contemplating the unlabeled arrow on the speed transducer. "Does it indicate water flow as on a plumbing fitting, or forward?"

I had some stuff that good once. But it has been a long time...

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8 hours ago, Joakim said:

I don't think the posotion of the through hull was the problem. I once had a problem of no speed signal with Nexus 43 mm transducer. When I tested it taken off the through hull it rotated freely and I got the signal. Finally I found out that the problem was a thin layer of antifouling inside the through hull. The gap between the wheel and the through hull is very small. I just took the paint away with my finger nail and it worked without problems for years after that.

I had rolled antifouling over the through hull with a blind plug in place of the transducer. That allowed some paint to be sucked between the plug and the through hull.

This could definitely be the issue. I painted this spring with a blind plug as well, and didn't worry about it. Did you dive on the boat to fix it, or were you able to do it from inside?

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1 hour ago, freewheelin said:

This could definitely be the issue. I painted this spring with a blind plug as well, and didn't worry about it. Did you dive on the boat to fix it, or were you able to do it from inside?

how much water are you willing to get in the boat? I don't think it'll matter whether you dive or scrub from inside - either way you'll be gushing. I'd get a tube brush with a wire handle, maybe 1" diameter. Pull the transducer, plunge the tube with the brush, re-seat. should only be a few gallons at most ;)

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How about you just tape a circle of something stiff to the front of the plug and use it to dislodge the AF paint from the inside using the plug itself? That should limit the amount of water that gets in and keep the pucker factor manageable.

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You can also put a tarpaulin, sail etc. below the hull to limit the water flow to minimum while working the paint off. I have to say I don't quite remember how I removed the paint. It was about 10 years ago. The boat was definitely in water. I guess it must have been from inside, since I usually do these things alone and I would not have left the water flowing and go swimming.

But I do remember It took me several days to understand the problem was the paint. I took the transducer off many times and just could not figure out what was the problem, since it had worked very well during the previous season. And there really was not a lot of paint, just a thin layer.

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Thanks for all the helpful advice. Just a follow up on the situation. I started with the bucket method - and the speed registered so happily that ruled out a short. I tried brushing with an abrasive to no luck. I got frustrated and dove the boat to see what was up.

Just like Joakim suggested, the wheel was getting hung up on a lip of paint created by painting with the plug in. I was pretty easily able scrape away the paint with a screw drive once I was under the boat. Easy (but cold) fix!

Moral of the story: Spin your wheel after you paint BEFORE you launch

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