Time is one of the most important measurements in navigation. Knowing the correct time, using a compass and sextant are all anyone really needs to travel around the world and never get lost. Longitude cannot be determined without knowing the proper time. Sailors have known this for hundreds of years, and in the 1700’s England offered large rewards to anyone who could invent an accurate watch for Naval use.

When we find our location on a chart, it is important to note the time, because this will allow us to determine things like speed, travel time, distance, etc.

The most important equation in navigation is:Velocity X Time = Distance (V x T = D)

If we know any two parts of this equation, then others can be calculated. Time is the easiest of these to figure, because all we have to do is look at our watch.

Questions: Click on the question to see the answer

If you are on a vessel that is going 12 knots per hour and you travel across the ocean for 3 hours at that speed, what is the distance that you would have traveled?

How many miles would you have to travel to go all the way around the world?

If you could travel at a constant speed of 10 miles per hour how long would it take you to travel around the world and come back to where you started?

Marine Biology
Marine Ecology
Marine Navigation

Short for nautical miles per hour.

One minute of latitude; approximately 6,076 feet – about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5,280 feet.

The art and science of conducting a vessel safely from one point to another.

A navigational tool used to determine position by measuring the angle of celestial bodies above the horizon.

Rate of motion or speed. Measured in distance per unit of time (ex: miles per hour).