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    Re: Traverse boards
    From: Rick Emerson
    Date: 1998 Nov 02, 07:53 EST

    Having re-read George Huxtable's comments on traverse boards, I think
    understand the source of his concern about the description I gave.  I
    suspect there are two influences at work here.
    First, "different ships, different long splices" certainly held in the
    period where traverse boards were commonly used.  While it's
    reasonable to expect boards to be similar as the art of navigation was
    taught by navigation schools or academies, it's also reasonable to
    assume there were some captains who tried their own ideas.  Thus, it's
    highly likely that different captains had boards made to their
    preferences.
    Second, knowing the dates for the boards discussed would help; the
    less complex boards might pre-date more complex boards.  After
    watching a chip log being demonstrated, obtaining fractional readings
    strikes me as a challenge for those "without their numbers".
    Moreover, doing fractional arithmetic (e.g., pegging a 1/4 and 1/2
    position to mark 3/4) strikes me as again possibly beyond the skills
    of the illiterate.  As literacy spread for'ard, I can see this coming
    into use but I simply don't know enough of the historical record to be
    certain of this but it seems reasonable.
    Coming back to the chip log, at lower speeds, counting marks or knots
    is easy enough but I can see that line running out at 5 or 6 knots
    would pass the user rather quickly, making counting fractional marks a
    challenge.  Using a minute glass instead of a 30 second glass would,
    of course, double the spacing between knots but make for a bulkier
    coil of line.  Again, I don't have access to the history of chip logs
    so I'm quite willing to learn more.
    Rick
    S/V One With The Wind, Baba 35
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