Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Re: Course to steer at a given speed.
Sailing isn't straight line, or constant speed. Your course will vary based on wind direction, speed through the water, etc so while your question is a good mental exercise it's not a practical application for sailing. In other words, line up the bearing line on your chartplotter with your destination and do your best to get there as soon as possible:-))
Humm...Funny. It's worked for me for 40+ years, beginning long before there was such a thing as GPS. And, of course, long before I started, otherwise Nat would likely not have included it in his handbook (Bowditch), eh? Following a "Course to Steer" to a way point between Miami and Bimini will have one sailing a long semi-circular arc roughly 1-1/2 times as far and taking twice or more as long as sailing a computed course to steer which enscribes a shallow S-curve below and then above the rhumb line with nary a heading change save as the wind varies. But... What the heck. Different Ships, Different Long Splices, eh?
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."