traverse table

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A table, included in all standard books of navigational tables, which gives the measurement of the two sides of any right-angled triangle subtended by the hypotenuse. In navigational terms, it provides the navigator with the difference of latitude and departure (from which he could find the change in his longitude) for any distance along a rhumb line course, the course and distance forming the hypotenuse. In conventional dead reckoning navigation this is the information the navigator needs to calculate his position. Conversely, the navigator can find from the traverse table the distance and the rhumb line course to steer between two points of known latitude and longitude. The table gives difference of latitude and departure for each degree between 0° and 90°, and for a hypotenuse length from 0 usually to 600.

A state-of-the-art trawler with bulbous bow and bow thruster

Subjects: Maritime History.

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