Nories v Burtons

Binnacle
3rd September 2007, 21:38
My first trip as third mate I was fortunate to sail with an experienced master. He did not approve of any watchkeeping mates staying longer than necessary in the chartroom. The vessel was not fitted with radar at this time. He hinted several times when I was working out an azimuth, using Nories Nautical Tables, to determine compass error, that I would do better using Burtons Air Navigation Tables (less time in chartroom). However I was just out the foc'sle and I had only been taught to use Nories tables at the nautical college as used in the exam room, my previous chartroom experiences were limited to paintbrush and soojie buckets. One night having just taken an azimuth, he appeared at my side and said he was just "keeping his hand in", and promptly took an azimuth. Knowing how his mind was ticking, I hurriedly descended to the chartroom and both of us, him with Burtons, me with Nories, worked out how the gyro was behaving. I got out to the bridge wing in record time, lit a self congratulatory cigarette and awaited the master. He shortly came out and when questioned, I informed him that I had found the gyro a "half low". He agreed, the subject of the use Burtons was never raised again although we sailed around the world a couple of times. Perhaps I was thrawn but ever after I never attempted to use Burtons, partly also because as far as I was aware it was persona non grata in the exam room. I wonder what other SN members practice when working out azimuths was ?.

David Davies
4th September 2007, 08:29
Binnacle
Like you I started with Nories but soon discovered Burtons and then Burton's 4 figure tables using Versines and not Haversines. In later days by pre-working and using the 4 figure tables I could get 4 good stars on the chart in 20 minutes. After leaving the MN I sailed off shore in varios sailing vessels and found Burton's 4 figure tables invaluable in Northern latitudes with 3 stars on chart in 15 minutes. At slow sailing speeds 4 to 7 knots I would take a Pole star Latitude and with it work 2 suitable stars Long by Chrom with the longitudes coming out within a minute or two with no need for plotting.

Chris Isaac
4th September 2007, 20:22
What's the hurry, 4 hours on the bridge and bugger all else to do..... spin the little amusements out as much as possible. Just imagine how much time they have today to do bugger all with sat nav available.

paul0510
5th September 2007, 00:14
Chris,

hear, hear!

Celestial navigation WAS 40+ years ago a 'fine art' in today's jargon. Something to mull over and not just a 'get this crap done' exercise. I certainly spent more than 15/20 minutes in the chartroom every watch doing what I was paid to do...navigate, on the 0000-0400 (yes, moonlight sights were also an option for me) and 0400-0800 watches I always had a lookout. No Master ever castigated me for doing otherwise. You wanna know where we are, Matey, then let me show you, in my time! In the Nautical Almanac, as I remember, were listed about 60 stars deigned for use as position finders. Who today is on first-name terms with Zubenelgenubi, Rasalhague or Nunki? I used most of them simply out of professional enthusiasm and whether a Norie's or Burton's Tables could save me minutes in my calculations was indisputable...main thing I was having fun getting that cocked-hat down on the chart :) BTW, I still have my Norie's at hand, the pages have become a little yellowed over the years but can still conjure up hours of leafing through haversine tables.

KIWI
5th September 2007, 00:31
A friend of mine,non mariner,recently went up to Japan & back as passenger on a cargoe ship.He was amazed at the amount of paper work watch keeping officers were continually doing.He was not looking at it from a safe practise view point but that they never stopped. Kiwi

tell
5th September 2007, 01:24
A friend of mine,non mariner,recently went up to Japan & back as passenger on a cargoe ship.He was amazed at the amount of paper work watch keeping officers were continually doing.He was not looking at it from a safe practise view point but that they never stopped. Kiwi

A friend of mine wants to book a passage to NZ from the uk, how would he do it and what would the approximate cost be?

GRHH
5th September 2007, 01:32
What's the hurry, 4 hours on the bridge and bugger all else to do..... spin the little amusements out as much as possible. Just imagine how much time they have today to do bugger all with sat nav available.

My sentiments entirely.

cboots
5th September 2007, 06:03
With reference to filling in the time, I used to try to get a little game going amongst my fellow bridge watchkeepers of trying to find the most obscure stars to take azimuths from and entering them in the compass book. Harmless fun. As to Nories or Burton's I was always indifferent and happy to use whatever was at hand. The Air Ministry's Rapid Reduction Tables were also very useful for quick calculation of stars etc once one got the knack of them.
CBoots

Chris Isaac
5th September 2007, 08:02
I was all for the Air Ministry Tables for star sight reduction as at that time of the evening Dinner was waiting, particularly tempting as most of the time it was the first class dinning saloon of a UC mail ship that was the source of dinner.
Navigation was always a little easier on the mail boats with such a very regular run as when in doubt the ship was probably in exactly the same position as the same time the last trip..... in fact there was always a small hole in the chart where trip after trip the same position had been marked and later erased.

tom e kelso
5th September 2007, 08:29
I understand that the Meridional Parts tables in Nories were calculated on the basis that the earth was a sphere, where Burton was reputed to have taken the fact that the true shape was an "oblate spheroid"....hence the slight differences in results in higher latitudes when calculating distances.

Vis-a- vis the speed of doing "stars", surely there was some professional pride in finding the correct position as quickly as possible, even if it meant using six stars in the same time that others might take to do four? {It's a poor sailor who doesn't recognise that the prime purpose of a watchkeeper is to keep a proper look-out and reduce time in the chartroom to the minimum consistent with accurate navigation......sounds pompous, I know, but many of us will have had to take drastic action with a ship on the port bow on a collision course with her watchkeeper "navigating" or doing whatever in the chartroom!

R798780
5th September 2007, 08:31
With reference to filling in the time, I used to try to get a little game going amongst my fellow bridge watchkeepers of trying to find the most obscure stars to take azimuths from and entering them in the compass book. Harmless fun. As to Nories or Burton's I was always indifferent and happy to use whatever was at hand. The Air Ministry's Rapid Reduction Tables were also very useful for quick calculation of stars etc once one got the knack of them.
CBoots

On my first job as C/O the 2/O Dan Scroggie observed that I only ever seemed to use Polaris, or an amplitude of the sun; from there on it was a different and/or obscure star and preferably not from the 57 selected stars as often as possible. Cor Caroli was one of the early ones. Most of the time I used a slide rule for the A B C tables, beat interpolating and was probably a tad quicker. Other than that it was always Norries. Air reduction tables for star sights. Seem to remember adding Norries if there was a moon or planet thrown into the mix.

John Briggs
5th September 2007, 08:31
I was a Norries man and never used Burtons. The air reduction tables were a different kettle of fish - loved them and used them at all times for stars.

David Davies
5th September 2007, 08:44
The object of fast working up star sights was to spend as little time as possible in the chart room especially for PM stars. If speed of working up starsights was irrelevant why advocate the use of sight reduction tables such as HO12 and HO212

Interalia
5th September 2007, 09:50
Chris,

hear, hear!

Celestial navigation WAS 40+ years ago a 'fine art' in today's jargon. Something to mull over and not just a 'get this crap done' exercise. I certainly spent more than 15/20 minutes in the chartroom every watch doing what I was paid to do...navigate, on the 0000-0400 (yes, moonlight sights were also an option for me) and 0400-0800 watches I always had a lookout. No Master ever castigated me for doing otherwise. You wanna know where we are, Matey, then let me show you, in my time! In the Nautical Almanac, as I remember, were listed about 60 stars deigned for use as position finders. Who today is on first-name terms with Zubenelgenubi, Rasalhague or Nunki? I used most of them simply out of professional enthusiasm and whether a Norie's or Burton's Tables could save me minutes in my calculations was indisputable...main thing I was having fun getting that cocked-hat down on the chart :) BTW, I still have my Norie's at hand, the pages have become a little yellowed over the years but can still conjure up hours of leafing through haversine tables.

Always tried to 'get an angle' on Zubenelgenubi whenever I could if only for the name!

Binnacle
5th September 2007, 10:40
[QUOTE=tom e kelso;149436]I understand that the Meridional Parts tables in Nories were calculated on the basis that the earth was a sphere, where Burton was reputed to have taken the fact that the true shape was an "oblate spheroid"....hence the slight differences in results in higher latitudes when calculating distances.

Tom
I questioned a lecturer who, while marking my homework, had placed a red cross against my meridional parts course and distance calculation. I had previously compared answers with my classmates and my figure was nearly the same. He informed me the earth was an oblate spheroid . I had used the wrong set of tables. My copy of Nories had two meridional parts tables apparently.

jazz606
9th September 2007, 15:56
We were taught to use Nories at the Worcester. However when I did 2nd mates at Leith 65/66 they recommended Burtons which I used ever after. Air tables were really good, though some masters got a bit alarmed at the v large intercepts arrived at through flogging the longitude to obtain an LHA to the nearest degree.

Bill Davies
9th September 2007, 17:03
Didn't have much choice in Alfred Holts as Burton was an ex employee.

Pat McCardle
9th September 2007, 18:03
As I have only ever seen Norries Tables that is what I use today to check against what the calculator comes up with!!

jaydeeare
4th March 2008, 23:43
At College we had to buy our own copy of "Nories Nautical Tables". The look of horror when we first opened the pages to see 5 figure logs!

It didn't take us too long to use them with confidence. Dead easy once you got the hang of it.

Binnacle
5th March 2008, 09:50
As I wished to do some belated cramming I left my Nories at home and borrowed an exam room copy. I was rather disconcerted to find that there were six digits in the log tables. Probably an ancient version. Threw me out of gear a bit that extra digit. Managed to scrape through though.

slick
5th March 2008, 10:15
All,
Myerscough and Hamilton Rapid Navigation Tables, I still have them to hand after 46 years.
Yours aye,
Slick

vasco
5th March 2008, 10:34
We were told to use both in the exams. Nories had the figure on the rational horizon and other bits. Burtons had all the formulae.

The other hint was if you were weak on tide calcs when going into chartwork pick a table without tide tables. It usually meant a tougher chart question but suited me.

doug rowland
7th March 2008, 22:18
I preferred Burtons though used Nories later having been brought up on the former!.The main consideration out of all the preferences was the competence of the user as a navigator. Long ocean passages with no electronics meant that you earned the money as a navigator and even better,gained great satisfaction from the job particularly when making a good landfall after three weeks on an ocean crossing!
Doug

lakercapt
8th March 2008, 15:39
Great thing about "Nories" was that you could find out where some obscure port was that was your next trip!!!!

sparkie2182
8th March 2008, 22:13
i found "Nories" to be more substantial than "Burtons" .......and far more efficient in the killing of "jaspers".

the A.L.R.S. Volumes had them both beat..............:)

K urgess
8th March 2008, 22:30
The ALRS Volumes were a lot more flexible so you could get a better strike than with a harder backed Norries or Burton's.[=P]
For true efficiency the ITU publications took a bit of beating.

sparkie2182
8th March 2008, 23:18
they took a bit of lifting too.................hee hee

JimC
9th March 2008, 17:03
When I went to James Watt College in 1952, I was given the option of using either Burton's or Norie's. I chose Burton's 5th. Edition -( S.M. Burton and G.F. Cunningham )which did have 5 figure logs. They were cheaper and did the same job! Belive it or not - I have the very self-same tables in front of me now. I never found Burtons to be anything other than satisfactory. They were less cumbersome and had fewer pieces of extraneous and mostly unused bits and pieces.
There were two other books in the Burton's stable at that time: 'Burton's Four Figure Navigation Tables'(priced at 16/6) and 'The Art of Astronomical Navigation'.
I have used my Burton's tables up until quite recently but they are a bit dog-eared now.
As an aside; when I was studying for my 2M, I had awful toothache. I had a tiny bottle of oil of cloves which I kept handy to appply to the offending tooth. One day I was rendering tooth first-aid when I dropped the wee bottle. The contents spilled over my Burton's. Do you know?- to this day - if you sniff hard enough and use your immagination (lots of!)...you can just catchthe faint aroma of oil of cloves.
If anyone wants some info on these old tables as to content ...let me know.

Jim C

Geoff_E
9th March 2008, 18:15
I always used Nories, can't ever remember seeing anyone in BP use anything else, or at college come to think of it.

I was on quite a few ships where there was a quiet, unofficial, competition to put the most obscure stars into the compass error book - it just added a little to the interest and possibly the knowledge, but I think I've forgotten most of them now. BTW how many of you used a Rude Star Identifier?

Sadly when I'm inspecting vessel's for our clients the request to see the Compass Error Book is all too often met with looks of blank incomprehension!

norman.r
9th March 2008, 20:18
I used and still have both Nories and Burtons tables. I preferred Burtons for normal sight work. As regards the Rude Star Identifier I still have the one I bought for a few shillings in the 50's.
Norman

Tmac1720
9th March 2008, 21:41
Excuse my ignorance but I though "Burtons" only made wagon wheels (Smoke) (LOL)

Bill Davies
9th March 2008, 21:51
I used Burtons. A legacy of Alfred Holts probably.

slick
10th March 2008, 10:15
All,
Re my earlier post on my use of Myerscough and Hamilton was there no one out there using them.
In the early 70's I acquired an HP -35 Calculator and that seemed to end my quandary.
Yours aye,
Slick

vasco
10th March 2008, 11:09
All,
Re my earlier post on my use of Myerscough and Hamilton was there no one out there using them.
In the early 70's I acquired an HP -35 Calculator and that seemed to end my quandary.
Yours aye,
Slick

Same for me, my HP41 was a godsend. Still have it and use it ocassionally. Its 32kb memory is now a little on the small side, though.

Dave Wilson
10th March 2008, 12:16
Bakers Position Line Chart

Hardly worth starting a new thread but is this chart still in production??
Used it myself in conjunction with Air Tables for Star Sights.

vasco
10th March 2008, 15:08
Bakers Position Line Chart

Hardly worth starting a new thread but is this chart still in production??
Used it myself in conjunction with Air Tables for Star Sights.

Not found in Admiralty Publications, the Weir and others are click here
http://www.admiraltyshop.co.uk:50000/ukho_b2c/b2c/display/(isQuery=yes&xcm=pr4_400&query=baker+position+lines&layout=6_1_60_49_5_2&uiarea=2&ctype=areaDetails&carea=638F082C07329C40B9A9F0E431C2FBBE)/.do

Taffy

Geoff_E
10th March 2008, 16:41
Just trying to think of the plotting chart commonly found on BP tankers; was it Sumner's Chart?

James_C
10th March 2008, 17:27
Geoff,
It was indeed Sumners, and was still the standard plotting sheet supplied to BP ships up until 2006 (when I left).
It's still in the Admiralty chart catalogue, number 5015.