The images come ...

ZenLoch, Loch boat 3rd millennium

After sextant future (¹), presented at the Paris Boat Show in December, here is the log of the future revisited by a "Professeur Tournesol" electronics engineer and inventor of Nantes engineering.

The oldest among us will certainly remember this venerable and inexpensive instrument of old sailing ships : le « loch à bateau ». Quote (²):

The "boat" is a wooden board, ballasted to float vertically and connected to the line by a loch bridle. On the line of nodes is made, prince of spatiality in 7m71 (is 1/240e nautical mile). It puts the "Ship To" water and let slip the line. Then there are, from the first node, how many nodes pass in hand 15 seconds, which gives the speed in knots.

You can not get any easier, and to compensate for the slight training of the board when the log file line, can slightly reduce the node spacing (7m50 eg) to ensure measurement accuracy.

loch a bateau

Mounting the loch boat (Illustration New Course Navigation Glénans 1972)

A laser counter

The creator, who contacted me and requested anonymity before the publication of a global patent, had the idea to highlight this ancestor marine instruments to associate a particularly nifty little device : a counter nodes laser rays, powered only by solar cells miniaturized latest generation.

The principle is to pass the line of nodes loch boat, installed on a fixed spool reel fishery, through his camera, a bit like a big halyard lead, and to count the nodes by the integrated laser. An electronic board controls the voltage of the line to pass through the machine to automatically compensate for the training factor clipboard and provides a perfect measure, 1/100th of a node. We can therefore keep the exact spacing of nodes 7710 mm. Display a full-day presents the data, and NMEA interface 0183 allows differential connection with a multiplexer, or to a repeater dial.


Fully self-sufficient in energy, as reliable as electronic log, called this set ZenLoch by its designer (comes complete with loch and boat mounted laser housing) should please fans, more and more, energy self-sufficiency and zero CO ². Especially since the price should not exceed the 35 up to 40 € in direct Internet sales. Formidable, no ?

I am always impressed by the inventiveness of my young fellows, and I look forward to seeing this little gem finalized.

(¹) G-Stell sextant future
(²) New Course Navigation Glénans – 1972



  1. Basile this:

    can it be set to get a hand-held probe, whose nodes are all meters ?

    When wet by 3 or 4 meters, I still have a doubt having missed a node, obliged to repeat the measurement. Then, new doubt : currently he rather 3.40 m ou 3.60 ?

  2. Brugeron this:

    Loch fishing boat, of April Fools ?

  3. Oleg From Folkenblüqueschmollding this:

    Thank you very much, M. FUSTIER, for this amazing information. But I suspect you receive royalty on the sale of this fantastic invention.
    BUT, this fabulous device will he also count heads nodes piling in departments ?

  4. Dominique this:

    Fabulous !
    Is it provided a system of catapulting the clipboard with reel automatic withdrawal, all this run on iPad ? By putting one on each side, and with good synchronization, this would allow a continuous measurement of the speed. Si possible en NMEA2000 😉

  5. Vincent this:

    Remember me date ?

  6. Vincent this:

    Remember me date ?

    Bravo for your items in general…

    1. Francis this:

      Thank you all for your comments relevant to this wonderful invention !
      &gt;< (((*>

  7. Bailly-Comte Francois this:

    sympa le fish..
    and especially a big hello to you Francis.. whose advice helped me out well in Pornic there is already time.. a good memory.; a beautiful journey.. wait for the next..