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A graduated line attached to a CURRENT POLE, used in measuring the velocity of the current. The line is marked so that the speed of the current, expressed in knots and tenths, is indicated directly by the length of line carried out by the current pole in a specified interval of time. When marked for a 60 second run, the principal divisions for the whole knots are spaced 101.33 feet and the subdivisions for tenths of knots are spaced at 10.13 feet. Also called LOG LINE.

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A pole used in observing the velocity of the current. In use, the pole, which is weighted at one end so as to float upright, is attached to the current line but separated from the graduated portion by an ungraduated section of approximately 100 feet, known as the stray line. As the pole is carried out from an observing vessel by the current, the amount of line passing from the vessel during a specific time interval indicates the speed of the current. The set is obtained from a bearing from the vessel to the pole.


Ungraduated portion of line connected with a current pole used in taking current observations The stray line is usually about 100 feet long and permits the pole to acquire the velocity of the current at some distance from the disturbed waters in the immediate vicinity of the observing vessel before the current velocity is read from the graduated portion of the current line.


A nontidal current in the Mediterranean Sea that flows eastward along the African coast from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Strait of Sicily. It is the most permanent current in the Mediterranean Sea. The stability of the current is indicated by the proportion of no current observations, which averages less than 1 percent. The current is most constant just after it passes through the Strait of Gibraltar; in this region, west of longitude 3°W, 65 percent of all observations show an eastward set, with a mean speed of 1.1 knots and a mean maximum speed of 3.5 knots. Although the current is weaker between longitudes 3°W and 11°E, it remains constant, the speed averaging 0.7 knot through its length and its maximum speed being about 2.5 knots.


Rate of motion. The terms SPEED and VELOCITY are often used interchangeably but SPEED is a scalar, having magnitude only while VELOCITY is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction. Rate of motion in a straight line is called linear speed, while change of direction per unit time is called angular velocity. Subsonic, sonic, and supersonic refer to speeds respectively less than, equal to, greater than the speed of sound in standard air at sea level. Transonic speeds are those in the range in which flow patterns change from subsonic to supersonic, or vice versa.


The ocean current flowing southwestward along the Brazilian coast. Its origin is in the westward flowing Atlantic South Equatorial Current, part of which turns south-and flows along the South American coast as the Brazil Current. The mean speed of the current along its entire length is about 0.6 knot. Of


  1. The difference between the theoretical distance traveled per revolution of a vessel's propeller and the actual advance of the vessel.
  2. The motion of the center of resistance of the float of a paddle wheel or the blade of an oar through the water horizontally.
  3. The difference between a vessel's actual speed and the speed it would have if the propelling instrument acted upon a solid.
  4. The velocity relative to still water of the backward current of water produced by the propeller.
  5. A memorandum of the particulars of a risk for which a policy is to be executed, usually bearing the broker's name and initiated by the underwriters.


  1. A graduated line used to measure the speed of a vessel through the water or to measure the speed of a current, the line may be called a CURRENT LINE. 2. The line secured to a log. long flashing light. A navigation light with a duration of flash of not less than 2 seconds.


A graphic representation of a rotary current in which the velocity of the current at different hours of the tidal cycle is represented by radius vectors and vectorial angles. A line joining the extremities of the radius vectors will form a curve roughly approximating an ellipse. The cycle is completed in one half tidal day or in a whole tidal day according to whether the tidal current is of the semidiurnal or the diurnal type. A current of the mixed type will give a curve of two unequal loops each tidal day.


  1. Any saw for cutting cold metal, as opposed to a hot saw. 2. A disk made of soft steel or iron which rotates at a speed such that a point on its edge has a tangential velocity of about 15,000 feet per minute (75 meters per second), and which grinds metal by friction.


The time interval between new or full moon and the maximum effect of these phases upon the range of tide or the speed of the tidal current. Also called AGE OF TIDE.

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