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Old 06-11-2012, 12:48   #1
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Do you know who this is?


Now we are solidly in the age of electronic navigation, I am wondering if you know the name Nathaniel Bowditch?

If you are unfamiliar with Nathaniel Bowditch (March 26, 1773 March 16, 1838), click here for a good read and a link to his bio in Wikipedia. Bowditch was a self taught mathematical genius who never went to college. At age 16, he taught himself advanced calculus. He found huge errors in, what was at the time, the navigation standard tables for ships. He took the complexity of navigation and rewrote it so even the ships cook could plot a position. His theories are still in use today. He is considered one of the greatest attributes to navigation.
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Old 06-11-2012, 14:37   #2
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Re: Do you know who this is?

Yes, I have the American Practical Navigator in my library.
kind regards,
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:26   #3
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Re: Do you know who this is?

Bowditch - The American Practical Navigator can be downloaded as a single PDF document , or as Individual Sections, Chapters and Tables
Here ➥ Maritime Safety Information
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:40   #4
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Re: Do you know who this is?

Who's never heard of Bowditch? Amongst sailors that is.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:02   #5
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Re: Do you know who this is?

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Who's never heard of Bowditch? Amongst sailors that is.
No longer carry it on board, just keep it at home on the bookshelf
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:54   #6
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Re: Do you know who this is?

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Who's never heard of Bowditch? Amongst sailors that is.
I would say anyone under the age of 35 who has had GPS and electronic charts available for their adult life would not have a clue who he is or his contribution to safe seamanship
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:49   #7
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Re: Do you know who this is?

I assumed that any navigation course would mention him.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:19   #8
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Re: Do you know who this is?

I'm 28 and just starting out with sailing (no boat yet, just belong to a club and use theirs) so no, I haven't heard of him. Now I have and I'll download and read his work. Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:29   #9
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Re: Do you know who this is?

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I'm 28 and just starting out with sailing (no boat yet, just belong to a club and use theirs) so no, I haven't heard of him. Now I have and I'll download and read his work. Thanks!
You are in for a long read
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:57   #10
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Re: Do you know who this is?

it's a long winter.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:02   #11
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Re: Do you know who this is?

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Bowditch - The American Practical Navigator can be downloaded as a single PDF document , or as Individual Sections, Chapters and Tables
Here ➥ Maritime Safety Information
Thanks, Gord. Been meaning to track that down for a while.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:51   #12
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Re: Do you know who this is?

I'll have to look, but I believe that it's the largest book in my library...both in x/y and poundage... Lots of info...It was one of the first reference books that I bought 35 years ago when I first began to learn about sailing..I now read it when I can't sleep...I am always finding something new that I missed the first 1000 times I poked around in it's contents...An amassing book for sure...
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Old 17-11-2012, 09:50   #14
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Re: Do you know who this is?

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Who's never heard of Bowditch? Amongst sailors that is.
Me. Until today.

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I would say anyone under the age of 35 who has had GPS and electronic charts available for their adult life would not have a clue who he is or his contribution to safe seamanship
Ah, so at least you understand!
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Old 17-11-2012, 10:08   #15
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Re: Do you know who this is?

Bowditch is not just navigation. It has oceanography, astronomy, weather and a number of other topics that are relevant to mariners. It does make interesting reading when you want to entertain yourself with all kinds of fascinating nautical trivia...and quite often not so trivial but very relevant information. It is known as the navigators Bible.....the navigation source.
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