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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    2,817

    Default All a question of degree

    Listening to the news this morning, they played a reputed extract of a radio conversation with the oil tanker off Iran. The Iranian instructions were something like "steer a course of 360 degrees".
    It has been too long since my VHF course. Is it more correct to say 360 degrees or 000 degrees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    A Member State of the European Union
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    5,393

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    Good question. I don't know which is correct so I would have copped out and said "Steer North"!
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    372

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    Quote Originally Posted by Resolution View Post
    Listening to the news this morning, they played a reputed extract of a radio conversation with the oil tanker off Iran. The Iranian instructions were something like "steer a course of 360 degrees".
    It has been too long since my VHF course. Is it more correct to say 360 degrees or 000 degrees?
    Theoretically, there isn't a 360 degrees. Anything between north and 1 degree is 0.xx degrees, so the base number must be 0. Which would mean while you can get to 359.9999n, you will never get to 360.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    From South Devon, living SE coast Spain, boat in S.Spain
    Posts
    923

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    On Merchant ships we always said "steer North", or "oh, oh, oh," or (I think for better clarity) "zero, zero, zero". What does your auto pilot display show?
    M.
    Bavaria 44
    Retro navigation - the way forward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,415

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    Quote Originally Posted by newtothis View Post
    Theoretically, there isn't a 360 degrees. Anything between north and 1 degree is 0.xx degrees, so the base number must be 0. Which would mean while you can get to 359.9999n, you will never get to 360.
    You are overthinking this, to avoid avoiding a cliche. When a clock hand is pointing upwards we say that it is twelve o'clock, not nought o'clock. The compass and clock are not the same of course, but since we naturally tend to think in terms of a clock face, it makes sense to use 360 degrees in order to make the meaning clear.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Algarve
    Posts
    9,226

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    Quote Originally Posted by Resolution View Post
    Listening to the news this morning, they played a reputed extract of a radio conversation with the oil tanker off Iran. The Iranian instructions were something like "steer a course of 360 degrees".
    It has been too long since my VHF course. Is it more correct to say 360 degrees or 000 degrees?
    Was there any mention of "steer true or ​magnetic"?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,153

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    Quote Originally Posted by stingo View Post
    Was there any mention of "steer true or ​magnetic"?
    That was my thought as well
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Durham, England
    Posts
    16,366

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    "maintain current heading"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    19,403

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    The compass and clock are not the same of course ....
    That's very true ...... a compass has a 0 at the top and a clock has a 12 at the top. That might have some impact on what we say when the pointer is pointing at those numerals.

    Richard

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    37,263

    Default Re: All a question of degree

    It might depend.
    If your current course is 345, coming up to 360 makes complete sense.
    If you are trying to average your course then you need to add or subtract 360 sometimes to make any sense. The average of steering 355 and 005 is not 180!
    In yacht racing of course, 360 is a penalty turn for touching a mark, which might saved a lot of diplomatic fallout?

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