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    Re: Silicon Sea: Beaufort Wind Scale
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2002 Oct 15, 20:06 -0300

    Robert Eno asked:
    > What is the practical value of the beaufort scale of wind force?  Why is it
    > not sufficient to simply reckon the wind speed in knots and leave it at
    > that?
    Because, without Beaufort, we would have to make complex calibrations.
    Seeing smacks fishing with two reefs tucked into their mainsails or a
    frigate with royals furled and a reef in her topsails would be a clear
    and straightforward sign that the wind is Beaufort 6, as every seaman
    should know. But how is one to remember that that means 25 knots of wind?
    If we don't take care, somebody might start asking what the point is in 
    marking a lead line with blue serge at 13 fathoms in an era when most charts 
    are metric. And that sort of confused logic could have us all reading depths 
    from digital sounders.
    To put it another way, the practical value of the Beaufort scale is 2002
    is just about the same as the practical value of using lunars to find
    the time.
    Trevor Kenchington
    Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus@iStar.ca
    Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
                         Science Serving the Fisheries

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