# How did old sailing ships measure speed?

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## How do ships know how fast they are going?

Today, maritime speed is determined by ultrasonic sensors or Doppler measurement, and the 30-second divisor in the rate equation has been replaced by 28. But the instrument for measuring a vessel’s speed is still called a log, and marine and aeronautical distances are still measured in nautical miles.

## How fast did old sailing ships go?

With an average distance of approximately 3,000 miles, this equates to a range of about 100 to 140 miles per day, or an average speed over the ground of about 4 to 6 knots.

## Why are knots used instead of mph?

Therefore, in the aviation and nautical worlds, knots are oftentimes used in place of MPH and KPH since they are easier to navigate with. Unlike statute – or land based – miles, nautical miles are based directly on the Earth’s degree of latitudes. One nautical mile equates exactly to one minute of latitude.

## How much is 20 knots in mph?

Knots to Miles per hour table

Knots Miles per hour
20 knots 23.02
21 knots 24.17
22 knots 25.32
23 knots 26.47

## How fast do cruise ships go at night?

The average cruise ship cruising speed is about 20 knots per hour. A knot is a form of measurement that equals one nautical mile. A nautical mile is a bit longer than a statute, or land-measured mile.

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## How fast did ships go in the 1600s?

In capacity they ranged from 600-1500 tons but the speed remained around 4-5 knots for an average of 120 miles/day.