The genesis of the following is a sea story. Actually, not a sea story, but any member of a familiar class of sea stories, honestly and earnestly told, that report extreme roll angles challenging credibility. The observations reported in such stories are true, but the innocent tellers lack true insight and understanding of what those observations actually signify. It is the aim of this paper to elucidate the kinematics, and certain dynamic aspects, of shipboard inclinometers, which play a prominent role in such sea stories, and more generally are widely misunderstood.

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