How Fast Is a Knot in Mph?


Quick Answer

One knot is equal to approximately 1.15 miles per hour. The knot is a unit of speed typically used for describing the velocity of a boat or an airplane. It is equal to one nautical mile, or 1.85 kilometers, per hour.

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Full Answer

The term comes from the practice of measuring speed while at sea using a chip log. A chip log is a wooden board attached to a line that has knots tied in it at uniform distances. In order to determine the speed at which the ship was travelling, a sailor would drop the board in the water and pay out line. The board would tend to stay in place while the ship moved away. The sailor would measure the speed by counting out the number of knots that ran through his fingers over a fixed period of time.

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