Do you know how many feet are in a fathom? Our fathoms to feet calculator makes the conversion quick and easy.

Convert Fathoms to Feet with Our Calculator

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The calculator is very straightforward. Simply type in the number of fathoms in the first calculator or feet in the second to convert from one to the other.


Given Feet, Compute Fathoms:


Given Fathoms, Compute Feet:



How Many Feet in a Fathom?

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A fathom is equal to 6 ft using standard US measurements. Conversely, one foot equals approximately 1.6667 fathoms.

What is a Fathom?

Man with a pair of fins near an underwater cave

A fathom is a traditional nautical unit of measurement used to measure depth. Unlike many measurements, a fathom is not a standard unit of measure. It does not represent any International Standard units, but, at the same time, it is not an internationally accepted non-SI unit, either. Outside of the United States, most places measure depths in meters.

History of the Fathom as Measurement

The word fathom comes from Old English “fæthm” and is related to the German word “faden,” which means “6 feet.” The original meaning meant something along the lines of “something which embraces the outstretched arms.” That meant it was a measurement that covered the span of a man’s arms when he had them spread apart. Obviously, that’s not a consistent measurement, so they standardized it to six feet.

Why Six Feet?

Boat At Anchor With A Sailor Hauling Rope

So, if a fathom is six feet in length, or the distance from one hand to the other when your arms are outstretched, why does that have anything to do with the oceIt’sIt’s generally believed that this comes from lines used to measure depth. Sailors would drop a weighted rope into the water until it hit the bottom. Then, the depth could be measured when they pulled the line up. Holding the line with one hand and pulling with the other into the arms are fully outstretched could be captured as one fathom. As they keep pulling the rope up and spreading their arms to full length, you can count the number of fathoms until the rope is fully out of the water.

The Bottom Line

One fathom equals six feet. This measurement has been used one way or another since the time of the ancient Greeks. It has often changed in length, though not significantly, throughout history. Today the length is set firmly at six feet. That said, a fathom is only used to measure depth in the United States. All other countries use meters to measure depth.