What is the speed of a node and what does it mean?



Just as your airline pilot offers snippets of useful information such as altitude and cruise speed, cruise ship captains love to feast passengers with similar information.

In the exciting world of maritime navigation, it is fair to say that most of us are not in control on all terminology. For the most part, it doesn’t really matter – until we step onto the deck of a cruise ship.

Suddenly we want to understand how fast is a knot, and what is a nautical mile anyway? If these nautical terms have always intrigued you, read on. We’ve explored them in detail below.

Nautical Navigation Unpacked

You may rightly ask yourself why distance and speed are measured differently at sea in relation to the earth. That’s an excellent question and forms the basis of all boating reasoning.

Basically, land and sea travel differ in one key area: the sea has no landmarks. At no point can we turn left onto 51st Street and continue until we come to the T-junction.

Cruise navigation (Photo credit: Solomakha / Shutterstock)

This means that tracking our position on the water relies on a different map, namely the latitude and longitude coordinates of the land. These measurements are ideal for long distance travel and take the curvature of the earth into account when establishing an accurate position.

So, to fully understand the speed of a node, we need a little more information on how ocean travel is measured. The basics are as follows:

  • One statute mile is another name for a land mile
  • One nautical mile is a distance measure equivalent to 1.1506 statute miles
  • One nautical mile is equivalent to one minute of latitude

What is the speed of a node?

Now that we understand how seafarers measure distance, we can better understand the answer to the question “How fast is a node going?” “

A knot is a measure of speed and equals one nautical mile per hour. (Approximately 1.15 statute miles.) Therefore, the knots / mph ratio is 1: 1.15.

Why, however, would sailors use the term “knot” to refer to speed? The answer lies in history, around the 17th century to be exact. Less modern technology than we appreciate today, sailors have used a “common journal. “This beautifully simple solution consisted of a rope with knots tied at regular intervals and tied to a piece of wood.

Dry red floats with a rope for measuring speed
Dry red floats with a rope for measuring speed (Photo credit: Tatyana Blinova / Shutterstock)

The rope was thrown overboard behind the ship, and the able seamen would then turn an hourglass to measure a specific amount of time. When the time was up, they pulled up the rope and counted the knots between the wood and the boat. This gave them a measure of speed hence the term knots or knot speed.

It might not be the most accurate measurement, but it was enough to allow ancient sailors to navigate with sufficient precision to get to where they were going.


We answer the FAQ on this fascinating topic below.

What is a knot?

A knot is a measure of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour.

What is the speed of a nautical mph?

One nautical mile per hour is equivalent to 1.15 statute miles per hour.

How to convert knots to mph?

Converting knots to mph is a simple multiplication of mph by 1.15

What is the speed of 20 knots?

Using our work above, you can determine that 20 knots equals 23 mph, which is the average speed of a cruise ship.

See you on board!

In this article, we hope we’ve provided you with the details you need to better understand what your ship captain is telling you on your next cruise.

Also read: How fast are cruise ships going?

So when he tells you that you are traveling at 21 knots and your fellow travelers look at you and ask you, “How fast is a knot going?” You can speak with conviction. And then, maybe you dive deep into the “How fast is 21 knots?” Unboxing. “

How fast is a knot


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