This manual is meant to help the operator through the measurement of watercraft using the Sokkia total station. The vessels to be measured can vary in size from small boats to full sized ships. The key to the total station is that it is collecting full three-dimensional coordinate data. The Sokkia total station is a surveyor’s tool. Its native language is that of a land surveyor. In adapting it for use in the maritime field, it is only necessary to change the language used to understand the workings of the machine. A historic vessel can be described as an unusual piece of topography; the measurer is creating a topographic map of a peculiar area. The advantages of the Sokkia total station in the field are both its speed and accuracy in three-dimensional coordinate measurement. The total station also allows the operator a certain amount of freedom in the measurement process, not commonly found in traditional methods used to document boats.

This section of the manual is intended to take the operator through the actual physical use of the machine itself. Later chapters deal with the way in which a vessel can be measured with the total station to produce a set of lines for the boat. The Sokkia total station comes with a set of manuals that describe how the machine operates when used for surveying. As this is a foreign language to the maritime field, this manual will provide the translation needed for non-surveyors. This manual will not deal with surveying as done on land in this text, but will cover a few of the features that may be of interest outside the field of vessel documentation. Interest in the surveying field will have to be accommodated through the use of the Sokkia manuals themselves. This manual will present a systematic process that the operator can follow to successfully measure a historic boat using the Sokkia total station. It will always be beneficial for the new operator to get a day of training at Mystic Seaport Museum in the use of the machine, and then use this manual as a way of refreshing what was learned there. This may not always be possible, however, and thus the creation of this manual.

This manual was made possible through Grant MT-2210-7-NC-17 from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119