The strongly increasing interest for historical climate data (HISKLIM, CLIWOC, RECLAIM, ACRES) over the past few years led to several projects with the purpose of taking maritime wind data, originally from old ship logs, digitize them and make them available through e.g. a database. In order to be able to interpret the data correctly, additional information about the carried sails of full rigged ships is essential. The so-called metadata is also of great importance for the knowledge of the quality of the observations in existing international climate databases (e.g. ICOADS).
This publication will go in depth into the origins and developments of wind scales that have been used to make subjective wind force estimates. From the 17th century onward a chronological overview is given of the terminology that the crew used among each other in order to exchange information regarding the wind direction and wind force of the ocean.
H Wallbrink, FB Koek. Historical Maritime Wind Scales until 1947