The log is a device, today, usually a paddle wheel, for measuring the distance travelled through the water. The name comes from a piece of wood (log) attached to a knotted piece of line and thrown over the side of the ship. The number of knots that slipped through the fingers in a given time gave a speed reading in knots. This number was recorded in a book also called a log as it recorded the number of log readings which were then used to determine the estimated position.
By SailingQuiz November 2019 Category: Sailing Terms
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Definition of the nautical phrase "Log".