Speedmate knotmeter

Apparently Speedtech has discontinued the Speedmate knotmeter.

Anybody know where to get one used? Or, is there an alternative that will work with a kayak?

Thanks. --David.

I don’t see how a paddle wheel sensor can be accurate in a current. GPS also has a lot more info to use.


A Speedo will give you actual boat speed through the water similar to air speed, where a GPS will give you ground covered speed. So depends what you are looking for. I haven’t seen the Speedos mentioned for a few years…

Yep, understand all that

– Last Updated: Sep-03-06 8:53 AM EST –

I'm looking for speed over water, to measure paddling efficiency. A GPS would have no way of adjusting for current.

Also, can you increase the resolution on a GPS so it gives you a reading often enough to tell you what's happening "right now" -- or within, say, a second? I haven't tried it, but my impression is that they average over five or ten seconds or hundreds of feet.

See, for example http://tinyurl.com/qaks7. Fuller is right about current, but a knotmeter/speedlog cannot compensate for wind any more than a gps can. The only variable that a knotmeter overcomes is water movement.

Anyway, I'm sorry to hear that Speedmates are that far out of production. I'd still like to find a used one and/or hear about an alternative.

Thanks. --David.


Speedmate discontinued long time ago

– Last Updated: Sep-03-06 12:14 PM EST –

Nielsen Kellerman has several good options under SpeedCoach check them out at: http://www.nkhome.com/rowing/rowingindex.html

I would love to upgrade to a SpeedCoach XL in order to avoid using my wrist heart rate monitor. However, my financial background/knowledge does not allow me to upgrade an asset without been fully depreciated :D :D :D

As a color note, I used to use a GPS and it was ok. I got my SpeedCoach Gold two years ago, and since then, I have only used the GPS to calibrate the unit. In fact, if I have to use a GPS in moving water, i would rather use nothing. With the current, the speed is tooooo high. Against the current, tooo low. To me, tooo unrealistic.



Garmin Foretrex 201
Have had good success with this as a training tool for quick feedback results.

See you on the water,



1 Like

Same problem as any other GPS
… no speed through the water and no very waterproof.


Second the Garmin Foretrex

I own the 101, which takes AAA pattery (I prefer this in the field to rechargeable). Waterproof. See Amazon reviews. 10/10

Sorry, but you’re wrong!

– Last Updated: Sep-03-06 11:30 AM EST –

There is no handheld GPS waterproof, read the specs. All GPS's hold the same specs.
If you paddle in rough waters/surf enough, you'll discover it by your self.

Take it up with Garmin, iceman

– Last Updated: Sep-03-06 1:15 PM EST –

Garmin literature: "The 101 is the perfect navigational tool for a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts, such as mountain bikers, hikers, and kayakers."

"Because the unit is waterproof, the Foretrex 101 is a natural companion on any water sport adventure, like kayaking, canoeing, boating, and sailing. In fact, this device even incorporates a sailboat-racing timer. "

"The device is waterproof to IEC 60529 IPX7 standards and can be submersed in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes without damaging the components. "

Garmin warrants it and will replace it within the warranty period if it fails from water. Plus, one could opt for the four year extended warranty should they choose to pay for it. So, that is pretty damned waterprrof, now isn't it.

forget GPS, then
Learn dead reckoning, set and drift. You’ll get your ‘speed made good’. All you need is a watch and a compass. They still make those.

Here in Denmark pretty much all flatwater racers have one of the small Garmin GPS in front of them (Forerunner or lately Edge).

Here’s what one racing enthusiasts wrote on his popular webpage: “People have kindly let me know when their Forerunner drowned. I stopped counting at around number 35”.

One popular solution to protect the GPS is to buy a small screen to protect from spray: http://padler.dk/PAD004.htm


IP6 is waterproof, IP7 - not so …
I haven’t seen any consumer grade GPS receivers that are IP6 rated.



Forerunner 101 is not Foretrex

– Last Updated: Sep-03-06 3:14 PM EST –


The Forerunner is for running. The ForeTREX is for boating.

That sounds like the ticket…
… Thanks!

But I can’t quite picture how it all goes together, despite your pictures.

  • What does the speed sensor look like?
  • Where/how does the sensor attach to a kayak hull?
  • Is this supposed to hook to the paddle – to measure rate? I thought it could figure that from speed variations
  • Where on a sit-inside kayak would I put the display – bungeed to the deck? loose (but thethered) on the spray skirt?

    Also, I see it displays in meters/sec, but I guess that’s pretty easy to convert to knots – http://tinyurl.com/l2jwh says 1 m/sec = 1.94 kts.

    And yes, kinda pricey.



– Last Updated: Sep-05-06 7:33 AM EST –


Installing it in a sit-inside, it is way much easier than in a SOT (Surfski). It took me a lot thoughts and preparation before installing it. I didn't want to ruin a new carbon boat.

The unit has a docking station, which I have seen installed inside the deck in a K-1 (it does not use spray skirts) and outside. Mine it is outside, and I have had no problems.

The "speed" sensor is about 1 inch long by 1/3 of an inch wide. It is placed "inside" the hull. The impeller goes "outside", so no drilling is needed. The signal goes through the hull (fiber).

The sensor has a wire connected to the docking station, which it is generally fixed. This is a much better setup than the speedmate because no interference ever occurs.

There is second sensor for stroke rate that goes to paddle. You might or might not use it depends on if you want to know the stroke rate.

Speed can be in: Mph, Kph, Knots, 500meter/minute or 1mile/minute. Anything you want.

Further notes,

After it is calibrated speed is very accurate. However, the SpeedCoach is way more than a speedometer, it is a training aid. It allows you to program your own workout, and this alone is awesome!!!


Great – thanks for the info!
Sounds like this will work. But double-check me.

I’d like the display unit, with or without docking station, mounted non-permanently on the foredeck (like with bungees) or maybe just stiting loose on the spray skirt, if that is possible.

I’m hoping that the impeller attaches to the outside of the hull in some non-destructive way that’s easy to remove later. It might even be nice to be able to remove and remount it frequently, so I just paddle on a trip without it.

Does this make sense?

Thanks. --David.


– Last Updated: Sep-05-06 11:20 PM EST –

You need the docking station; however, it might be installed using Velcro provided by the manufacture, so it does not need to be permanently fixed.

The best way to install the impeller is by using electric tape:


I always remove it during transportation.


GPS response time is very quick
I find that the GPS registers that little surge of speed that occurs with every paddle stroke, though it appears on the display about one second after it actually happens, so it’s not in-synch with your strokes. Still, that’s plenty close enough to knowing your instantaneous speed for your purposes.

I found one on the Beach in San Diego. Don’t know what it is worth but it works.