Latitude Hooks and Azimuth Rings: How to Build and Use 18 Traditional Navigational Tools

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Date

December 22, 1994

Format

Paperback, 176 pages

ISBN

0070211205 / 9780070211209

$

Your Price

19.95



Overview


Main description

Latitude Hooks and Azimuth Rings is for people who like to work with their hands and who appreciate traditional nautical craftsmanship. You don't have to be the master of any craft to undertake any of these projects--from a simple kamal or latitude hook to the more complex pelorus or octant--just a careful and enthusiastic worker.

These 18 projects fall roughly into three categories: decorative, useful, and somewhere in between. Some, such as the astrolabe, are mainly for display. On the other hand, the sounding line is an important and practical tool for small-craft navigation, particularly in the absence of an electronic sounder. The cross-staff falls somewhere in between, equally at home in the den or the ditch kit.

Each of the devices discussed here--with simple, proven building instructions complemented by clear illustrations--has at one time or another been used for the practical business of navigation, and each is worth reviving for its beauty, historic value, or sheer usefulness.

Dennis Fisher has designed these projects with an emphasis on simplicity and reasonable cost. Everything can be scratch-built using easily obtainable materials and tools, and each is true to the spirit and function of the original instrument.


Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Tools and Materials2. The Latitude Hook3. The Kamal4. The Astrolabe5. The Quadrant6. The Astronomical Ring7. The Sundial8. The Nocturnal9. The Cross-Staff10. The Backstaff11. The Dry-Card Compass12. The Traverse Board13. The Hand Lead14. The Heaving Line15. The Chip Log16. The Weatherglass17. The Pelorus18. The Sun Compass19. The OctantAppendix A: Tools and MaterialsAppendix B: Navigation EquipmentAppendix C: Marine CatalogsBibliographyIndex


Author comments

New Hampshire native Dennis Fisher has built and used all the instruments in this book, some during a recent cruise from New England to Bermuda and the Virgin Islands. A graduate of Maine's Colby College who has written about navigation for New England Coastal News, he runs a printing business when not at his workbench building traditional navigational instruments.


Back cover copy

Navigation is the story of the evolution of tools, of practical people making the best use of the materials and means at hand. As each generation of mariners sought to answer the question, "Where am I?", the instruments in this book were invented, rediscovered, and redesigned in a diversity that defies the imagination.

Latitude Hooks and Azimuth Rings is for people who like to work with their hands and who appreciate traditional nautical craftsmanship. You don't have to be the master of any craft to undertake any of these projects--from a simple kamal or latitude hook to the more-complex pelorus or octant--just a careful and enthusiastic worker.

The 18 projects fall roughly into three categories: decorative, useful, and somewhere in between. Some, such as the astrolabe, are mainly for display. On the other hand, the sounding line is an important and practical tool for small-craft navigation, particularly in the absence of an electronic sounder. The cross-staff falls somewhere in between, equally at home in the den or the ditch kit.

Each of the devices discussed here--with simple, proven building instructions complemented by clear illustrations--has at one time or another been used for the practical business of navigation, and each is worth reviving for its beauty, historic value, or sheer usefulness.

Dennis Fisher has designed these objects with an emphasis on simplicity and reasonable cost. Everything can be scratch-built using easily obtainable materials and tools, and each is true to the spirit and function of the original instrument.

Navigate a boat using the same tools as the Polynesian islanders, the Arab monsoon traders, or Christopher Columbus.

  • Latitude Hook
  • Kamal
  • Astrolabe
  • Quadrant
  • Astronomical Ring
  • Sundial
  • Nocturnal
  • Cross-Staff
  • Backstaff
  • Dry-Card Compass
  • Traverse Board
  • Hand Lead
  • Heaving Line
  • Chip Log
  • Weatherglass
  • Pelorus
  • Sun Compass
  • Octant





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