# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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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
assume there were some captains who tried their own ideas.  Thus, it's
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
Rick
S/V One With The Wind, Baba 35
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