What’s Knot to Like? Sailing Speeds in the 18th Century.

Ever wonder how fast ships sailed in the age of sail? The nautical speed measurement is called a “knot”.

One knot=1.15078 mph. The speed of a ship in the 1700s varied by type, decade in which it was made, the weather, etc, but most in the early 1700s averaged 4-5 knots, although some could get as high as 20 knots.

Therefore, if you had a journey of about six hundred miles, like Penny and Will would have undertaken from the Outer Banks of NC to St. Augustine, Florida (around 650 miles), it would have taken them at the very slowest:

130 hours or about five days.

 

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