Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Originally Posted by Sailormann
Hmmm - actually "knot" is a colloquial contraction of the term nautical mile, phonetically spelt, so the gentleman is actually correct in his employment of the term... (just trying to help
Perhaps some people believe the term "knot" came from a "colloquial contraction". But I've always thought it derived from the "chip log" sailors tossed overboard for measuring boat speed.
The wooden chip was attached to the end of a long rope, with knots spaced every 47'-3". A crewman would turn over a 30 second hourglass and count the number of knots which were played out - then recorded this data into the log (hence "chip log"). The number of knots counted in 30 seconds was the boat's speed in knots.
How did 47'-3" come to be used as a knot spacing? Well, I forgot that part and had to look it up -
The length was based on converting [1 nautical mile per hour] to [feet per second(fps)], and then multiplying [fps] by 30 seconds (which was a practical time to spend counting knots with a sandglass). The result was the calibrated length in feet at which to tie the knots for a 30-second run of the chip log.
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