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    Re: Compass Rose
    From: Martin Ridsdale
    Date: 2001 Mar 24, 4:08 AM

    My father sailed for pleasure until the 1970s and in the logs that I have from 
    the 1950s he generally uses points (NW by W, SSE, etc.) for directions but in 
    the late 50s changed to degrees.  A commercial fisherman with whom I 
    sometimes take a trip and who probably learnt his trade in the 1970s still 
    uses points to express directions.
    I believe points have the advantage in that they are more discriptive than 
    degrees - there isn't the need to do the mental arithmatic "is it more or 
    less than 180 and by how much" to work out the relationship to North.  
    However it isn't so easy to do arithmatic with them.  When stearing by 
    compass I tend to use the points on the card as they are easlier to see than 
    the numbers and divisions of degrees.
    Then there is the system that one no longer sees which had the form "N 45 E", 
    "S 20 W" etc. for which I can't see any advantages but presumably they some 
    at sometime.
    As an afterthought I referred to a book - From Harbord's Glossary of 
    Navigation (fourth edition, enlarged) 1938:-
    ............ In one system the readings are given in quarter points, and in 
    degrees from 0 to 90 from North and South to East and West: this is the 
    quadrantal system.  The second, and more modern system, is by degrees from 0 
    (North) right round the card to 359.

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