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Using the Small Boat Stadimeter
The landing craft stadimeter is an instrument which helps boat crew members to develop a seaman's ability to judge distance and maintain proper position in formation. After sufficient practice the seaman will find himself able to judge distance and keep position without the use of the stadimeter. The judging of distances is very important, for when landing troops, boats must be run aground at specific intervals so that the beach will be covered and the troops landing will be able to deploy on the proper frontage.
This boat stadimeter consists of a piece of wood, usually five and a half inches long and one inch wide. Attached to it is a small piece of light line with three colored knots which are used as follows:
- Black knot, nearest the wooden block, used when sighting an LCM(3).
- Red knot, middle knot, is used when sighting on LCV or LCVP.
- Green knot, the one closest to the eye, is used when sighting an LCM(3).
Although a boat stadimeter can be calibrated for various distances, the standard landing craft stadimeter in use is calibrated for distances of twenty-five yards to one hundred yards.
In order to use the boat stadimeter properly it is necessary to take the following steps:
- Identify type of boat sighted.
- Select proper knot.
- Place knot on cheekbone.
- Parallel stadimeter with course of boat.
- Line up zero with end of boat.
- Sight on and observe where line of sight between boat and eye cuts across graduated scale on stadimeter.
- Note the reading, interpolating between the numbers on the scale, if necessary.