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post #8 of Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Course to steer at a given speed.

Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
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."
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