The Points System

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Because an estimate is as good as a definite any day

The Points System is widely used to report contacts when standing as a lookout. The system consists of 32 evenly spaced points around the ship, with the bow as the initial reference point. The points describe the position of the contact relative to the bow or beam (pendicular to the bow). Each point is 11.25 apart.
 
Apart from the bow and the beam, there are other points with special names. 4 points from the bow (45), is referred to as "Broad on the (Port or Starboard) Bow." 4 points aft of the beam, or 4 points forward of the stern is called the "Quarter."
 
-A contact 22.5 to starboard would be said to be 2 points to starboard.
-A contact 67.5 to port would be said to be 2 points forward of the port beam.
-A contact 112.5 to starboard would be said to be 2 points aft of the starboard beam.
-A contact 157.5 to port would be said to be 2 points aft of the port quarter.

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