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2. ## The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Altair For This Useful Post:

durrelltn (Aug 8, 2022), mwmkravchenko (Aug 5, 2022), nova_robotics (Aug 4, 2022)

3. Recent aircraft carriers are fitted with 12 shots (180 fathoms, 1080'), at about 10,000 pounds per shot these are very close, if not same size links. Critical to retrieve a 30 ton anchor.

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mwmkravchenko (Aug 5, 2022)

5. Originally Posted by Toolmaker51
Recent aircraft carriers are fitted with 12 shots (180 fathoms, 1080'), at about 10,000 pounds per shot these are very close, if not same size links. Critical to retrieve a 30 ton anchor.
Leagues, fathoms, and now shots. The seafaring community has to accept the blame for some of the more contorted measures of the inferial system.

Am I correct in assuming that the shackles are used to connect 90 foot lengths of chain ? So, each time a shackle shoots by, you count one shot ?

How did the term 'shot' arise ?

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7. One nautical shot equals 90 feet of chain.

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9. Originally Posted by owen moore
One nautical shot equals 90 feet of chain.
Thanks for the arithmetic correction.

10. Originally Posted by mklotz
The seafaring community has to accept the blame for some of the more contorted measures of the inferial system.
Is there anything wrong with a nautical mile?
It seems more sensible than - let's say - meter.

11. Originally Posted by 12L14
Is there anything wrong with a nautical mile?
It seems more sensible than - let's say - meter.
The nautical mile is useful because it very closely matches the length of one arc minute on a great circle of the earth. That makes it useful for anyone who must navigate on earth. Like most inferial units, it makes some sense where it's used but it should not be allowed to become part of an intelligent measurement system. Fortunately, it hasn't; one seldom encounters it outside the navigation arena.

My distaste is not based on the unit per se, but on the inconsistent relations between units in inferial systems. The lack of any order to the system means that every unit-to-unit relation must be learned separately and remembered. In an intelligently organized system, e.g. metric, the name of the unit tells you how it's related to all the other units of that class.

Three nautical miles to a league, six feet to a fathom, ninety feet to a shot... It's easy to convince oneself that inferial systems were designed to make learning and using difficult so the old-timers could lord their knowledge over newcomers.

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Toolmaker51 (Aug 7, 2022)

13. "Shot" relates loosely as a verb and or adjective, not so much only a noun, as a few other terms in mooring.
When a vessel positions over desired anchorage point, the depth is either known by markings on the nautical chart (map) or a sounding. That depth converts to 'shots' needed to lay anchor and the amount of chain (or anchor line) needed to absorb current and tidal changes to not disturb anchor.
Chain runs fast, scary fast. The 'shots' are counted as they zip by to ascertain the correct length is out, because they are painted a different color. Some even use color coding in alternates, mostly depending on how energetic the crew manning the foc'sle are.

Chain is great anchor line, enough laying in a pile below holds position very well, but current/ wind/ tide cause it to drag, hence the anchor aka hook. Many lighter vessels use line, and roughly one foot of chain per length of boat between it to the anchor, the assembly known as the "rode". A ratio of 3:1 is minimal depth to rode length, up to 7:1 or so. Longer it is, makes the 'rode' a shock absorber, while the chain lays on the bottom. Line is usually marked in 20' 'shots' with a band of paint or electrical tape, etc. 'Tackle' is often used to describe the whole assembly.

Speaking of terms, when the connection of 'tackle' to a vessels hull tears free, the tail end you see go over the side is known as the 'bitter end'.
I kid you not.

All in all Mr. K's "It's easy to convince oneself that inferial systems were designed to make learning and using difficult so the old-timers could lord their knowledge over newcomers." is both true and untrue. Every trade has it's own vocabulary, I'd think doctors and lawyers are champions of garbled terms. At the same time, nautical language isn't rich (maybe) to exclude, a lot might be purely it's developed since the first guy went down a river clutching a log. Some nations never ventured beyond sight of their own coastline, others went for broke.

Too, a lot of terms originate out of need for brevity or easy correlation to signals, such as crane operators. So, where leagues (hasn't been used probably since advent of chronometers) described distance, knots referred to speed, fathoms to depth. Separating those may have lent clarity, all potentially being relayed in rapid commands therefore distinct.

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Philip Davies (Aug 7, 2022)

15. “One second of arc of the meridian degree is 100 Greek feet.”
This quotation is from “All done with mirrors” by John Neal

16. Originally Posted by Philip Davies
“One second of arc of the meridian degree is 100 Greek feet.”
This quotation is from “All done with mirrors” by John Neal
Yes, but the Greek mathematicians had small feet, LOL

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