Beaufort Scale

I had a surprising amount of fun with the PFK Nighthawk yesterday and I realised I was playing with more wind than was proper for KAP so I have been looking at ideas for a Bft 5 kite and found a confusing mix of wind speed units used by kite designers and manufacturers. Having been been a car driver in the UK for well over 30 years I think in mph out of force of habit so I sat down and drew up a table.

So here is Francis Beaufort’s scale with a translation of the commonly used values including the weather chart symbols and colours.

I have added my own kite experiences in the ‘effect on kite’ column: I expect other fliers will have their own so I should point out this is a KAP fliers table.

Hope it’s useful!


About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
Gallery | This entry was posted in KAP and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Beaufort Scale

  1. Yaniv Eliash says:

    Nicely done,
    thanks !

  2. Ramon says:

    I’ve seen many online Bft scale tables, but this one will replace the ones I have copied from the net. Good job, Bill. Will print it for field use.



    • It’s a funny thing but I just couldn’t find all 5 units for wind speed in the same place anywhere. I think it’s a case of where you are and what you do that determines the units you use. Sailors do knots, drivers mph and kmh and wing designers m/s. Kite fliers use all 5!

      Can you let me know if it prints out ok from the png, as I set the thing up to be screen readable over print?

      I love Beaufort’s descriptions, they have stood the test of time since 1806. It might be fun to add your personal wind descriptions too: I have heard some choice terms like ‘squirrely’ ‘dirty’ ‘buttock clenching’ ‘stinging’ ‘floaty’ ‘arm ripping’ etc.


      • Ramon says:

        The PNG was converted to JPG in Photoshop. From that JPG I made a print on paper. Looks fine, Bill.

        The only term for windspeed I use is Bft. Knots doesn’t say much to me, nor do m/s, miles/hr, etc. I have an idea how many km/hr 3 Bft is, but that’s about it.

        I look at trees, the waves in canals and smoke from chimneys to determine whether it’s KAPtime or not, wind-wise. 2 Bft and 3 Bft are my favourites, 4 is OK most of the times and from 5 Bft and up it depends on many factors if I fancy a session. 5 Bft and up are dirty winds most of the times, 2 and 3 are mild and clean and 4… something inbetween.

        So Beaufort is still going strong for over 200 years. Great chap.

  3. Doug davlin says:

    Great work on the scale, but the light green does not print or read well for me. Could you alter it to black? Maybe save and/or send it as a pdf?

    • Doug,

      Thanks for the comment. I have swapped in a black text version for you next time you re-load the page, let me know if it works ok. The idea of the green was to show a ‘Go’ for KAP zone, I could try some fancy cell shading but I expect that’d make things worse!


  4. Wicherd says:

    Great work!
    Could I invite you to create a little page on the KAPwiki where you can insert this table for all to find.

  5. Wicherd says:


    Looks perfect to me! Adding a pdf is a good idea. You’re absolutely right about the section lacking content. I haven’t got much time on hand as it is now. Do feel free to add some content yourself. For me a nice setup would be to have the main weather page as an introduction page, leading to different subjects, each on there on page.

    • Wicherd,

      I’m stuck indoors with a sore hand waiting for a break in the weather ! Have look at this :

      It’s a bit specific to my set up but it’s all tried and tested stuff!

      I’m not too clear as how to add the weather content as text hence my comment. If you are happy with what I have said I’ll figure out how to add it.



      • Wicherd says:

        Looks good Bill,

        love the idea of rotating the table as you did, although it might be a bit more pleasant to read if all texts were aligned horizontally. I’m wondering if it might be possible to create an empty table in the wiki. Then adding images and text separately should be pretty easy.
        It’s hard to look away from the current snooker matches, but I’ll give it a little try right away.

  6. Pingback: Strong Breeze Ciara | NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.