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Old 10-12-2009, 15:39   #31
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Its a good thing that you have a feel for both types of units. Some people never get accustomed, especially here in the US where we are still on the imperial system, except for our scientists. If I were king, the entire world would be on the metric system.
Good thing your not King, because all of us simple minded construction workers would never be able to build your house.
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Old 10-12-2009, 15:51   #32
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aloha i suffer with the same affliction having been raised in england on the standard system.. now as i hpe soon to be retired diesel mechanic i have not been able to change to metric.. always looking for that metric whrench size.. unable to find the right size bolt.. only to find two or three types of metric..and who sells them anyway.. my mind automatically tries to convert anything metric to standard.. when someone tells me its 20 degrees celsius i have no idea what that is.. so i'm afraid theres no hope when you have a mind set..thank goodness most marine stuff is at least standard still, like charts hopefully..derrick
I don't have much trouble using either method of tool sizing, as I don't look at the size printed on the tool (in the case of sockets or wrenches), I compair the physical size of the tool I want against physical size of the thing I'm going to use the tool on. All I care about is if it fits.
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Old 10-12-2009, 15:55   #33
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Don't any of you landlubbers use fathoms any more. It is the only true method method to measure depth and oh so easy to remember, a decent boat needs only 1 fathom to float in. I have had to chuck out out all my new charts and just use the older ones that are still marked in fathoms.

And for the engine room engineers, if those imperial AND metric spanners won't fit, perhaps you would like to borrow my Whitworth series of spanners or perhaps I could flog them on ebay

And try working on an english built northsea supply boat in Houston with halfbreed whitworth/metric engines!!! "don't you dare drop that bolt in the bilge, but that one's OK"
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Old 10-12-2009, 15:57   #34
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Feet make more since because one foot equals the length of my foot.
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Old 10-12-2009, 16:03   #35
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And does two feet equal the length of your feet
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Old 10-12-2009, 16:06   #36
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Over here we use a depth scale with two values: "Aground" and "Afloat". Well, that's not entirely true, there is also a third value that you are likely to encounter after having been at a depth of "Aground" and that's "At the bottom". As "At the bottom" is, in fact, an unsigned value, it's easier to comprehend than any other known way of measuring depth since the other ways in this case would give you a negative reading.

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Old 10-12-2009, 16:07   #37
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What I don't understand, and I hope someone can explain it, is when you use different prefixes. I have seen people, for instance, quote a bridge deck clearance as 1500mm. Why not say 1.5M? I would understand if it was a very precise measurement, but I can't see it is exactly 1500mm so why the percision?
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Old 10-12-2009, 16:11   #38
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All measurements in a drawing are, or should be, presented in mm. When speaking in general terms it's usually in metres.

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Old 10-12-2009, 16:12   #39
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I have a small and irratating problem:

I was born in in the UK in 1966
I started school in 1971, three months after decimalisation was introduced
I was taught weights and measures using the decimal system
I have never used feet & inches to measure anything in my entire life.
If I'm anchoring a boat that has the depth reading in metres, the first thing I do is switch it over to feet.

Why do I do this?
Don't be a prig. A sailor needs to be fluent in every possible unit of measurement, without making a fuss about it. There is no EU nanny-state program at sea, to guaranty your human right to logical units of measurements. If you can't even handle feet and meters, go back to land. You also need to understand fathoms and cables, inches of mercury, millibars, psi, bar, quarts, gallons (U.S. and Imperial), liters, grams, kilos, pounds, and so forth, and translate between them fluently. How for bloody sake do you read a chart, if you're already so puzzled? Some of them still show depth in fathoms.
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Old 10-12-2009, 16:45   #40
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What I don't understand, and I hope someone can explain it, is when you use different prefixes. I have seen people, for instance, quote a bridge deck clearance as 1500mm. Why not say 1.5M? I would understand if it was a very precise measurement, but I can't see it is exactly 1500mm so why the percision?
The beauty of SI is there is no need for superfluous zeroes, nor for decimal places. So instead of 1500mm or 1.5m, it should be 15dm. The system is brilliant - unfortunately the users are not.
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Old 10-12-2009, 16:48   #41
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........ The system is brilliant - unfortunately the users are not.
Oh so true (and I am a user )
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Old 10-12-2009, 17:12   #42
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Wotname,

And if there are three feet then one is not mine.
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Old 10-12-2009, 17:46   #43
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Gold is measured in Troy ounces, or avoirdupios!!! What the H*LL is that?
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Old 10-12-2009, 17:51   #44
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Feet make you feel safer because it seems deeper.


-Sven
I think you might have it there.

Anchoring in 10 ft of water sounds fine (not much tide here)

but anchoring in 3m does feel a bit shallow - only '3' to go and I'm on the bottom!!
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Old 10-12-2009, 18:10   #45
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I had a little think about it last night and came to the conclusion that it's because I have charts in fathoms, feet and metres in my cruising area. I can easily convert m/ft and fathoms/ft, but fathoms to metres seems to tax the old grey matter too much. So working in feet seems to be the easiest to work in

oh and small correction - I'm Scottish.

and finally nobody has mentioned BTU's (British Thermal Units) - only used in US.....and possibly Liberia....but not Burma, because they don't need heating there...
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