How fast is a knot? This may be more of a question as to what is a knot. Don’t imagine the conversation centers on an actual knot, like a Windsor knot for your necktie or those fancy knots sailors make. Though the question how fast a knot is does involve the sailing world, more appropriately the nautical world.

A knot (equal to one nautical mile per hour) is used to describe the water speed of a vessel. So, a knot is considered a unit of speed (not talking amphetamines here either). Knots are measured in nautical miles per hour as opposed to land speed measurements of miles per hour. Therefore, a knot measures how many nautical miles per hour a vessel travels on water.

One knot (abbreviated as kn by the International Hydrographic Organization) is equal to 1.151 miles per hour or 1.688 feet per second. By doing the math, you will see that if you are traveling at ten knots, then you are traveling at 11.51 miles per hour had you been on dry land. It is all really simple and employs basic math skills once you know the conversion.

There you have it, a knot. Perhaps not as exciting or intriguing as you may have thought, it’s not a deep scientific equation that takes a engineering degree to understand. It is truly a simple mathematical equation and it’s a great thing to know if you are about to set sail. Otherwise, it’s a spot of cool trivia to impress your friends with.