Can I get some clarification? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 29 Old 12-21-2008 Thread Starter
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Can I get some clarification?

I just finished reading Adam Mayers' Sea Of Dreams - about the 2002 Around Alone race.

I found it to be a good read, and it got quite gripping once he started describing going around the Horn.

One thing that put me off a bit was Mayers' constant use of the phrase, 'knots per hour' in reference to boat speed.

I noticed the same phrase in a recently posted newspaper article about the Vendée Globe race.

Doesn't the term 'knot' mean 'nautical miles per hour'? If so, why would one say, 'knots per hour'? It seems redundant.

Am I wrong in this?

Unfortunately that little technicality made me question any other technical information that Mayers wrote in his book.

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post #2 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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Originally Posted by flyingwelshman View Post
I just finished reading Adam Mayers' Sea Of Dreams - about the 2002 Around Alone race.

I found it to be a good read, and it got quite gripping once he started describing going around the Horn.

One thing that put me off a bit was Mayers' constant use of the phrase, 'knots per hour' in reference to boat speed.

I noticed the same phrase in a recently posted newspaper article about the Vendée Globe race.

Doesn't the term 'knot' mean 'nautical miles per hour'? If so, why would one say, 'knots per hour'? It seems redundant.

Am I wrong in this?

Unfortunately that little technicality made me question any other technical information that Mayers wrote in his book.
Good point. But I wouldn't write a person off for a little mistake like that. I'd probably be more upset with the proof readers and editors.
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post #3 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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Good point. But I wouldn't write a person off for a little mistake like that. I'd probably be more upset with the proof readers and editors.
In fact, the editors may have added that terminology, ignorantly thinking they were clarifying/improving the text. He may not have seen those final proofs and he may be pretty ticked about it. Poke around a bit -- who knows, he might have a blog where he discusses the book and this error.


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post #4 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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That's a pretty serious error in a good sea story... and indeed is likely an editor's call (don't authors get to proof any of that? I'd be some ticked)

I remember years ago I was running a regatta and, of course, the local paper got a lot of things screwed up - boat names, boat types, ratings etc. The following year I offered to proof the story for technical terms etc and the editor was quite offended - no one was going to mess with her work...

This knot-per-hour is a very common mistake....

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post #5 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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Knots is indeed "knots per hour" implicitly, so I would agree that over-zealous, if unqualified, editing is at work. It wouldn't be the first time I had seen glaringly obvious "improvements" in a sailing narrative.
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post #6 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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Most landlubbers don't realize that the term Knots is explicitly defined as Nautical Miles Per Hour, and does not require a per hour addition to be understood.

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I've seen anemometer displays with two scales of wind speed; miles per hour and knots per hour. Most trouble in life begins by stretching just past one's level of competence.

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post #8 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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Most trouble in life begins by stretching just past one's level of competence.
How then does one ever become competent?
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post #9 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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How fast was he going? Knots per hour is acceleration.

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post #10 of 29 Old 12-21-2008
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Edited by the Department of Redundancy Department

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