This is actually more of a math problem than a computer problem, but to answer the question I think you are right that you can use continued fractions. What you do is first represent the target number as a continued fraction. For example, if you want to approximate pi (3.14159265) then the CF is:
3: 7, 15, 1, 288, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 7, 4 ...
The next step is create a table of CFs for square roots, then you compare the values in the table to the fractional part of the target value (here: 7, 15, 1, 288, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 7, 4...). For example, let's say your table had square roots for 1-99 only. Then you would find the closest match would be sqrt(51) which has a CF of 7: 7,14 repeating. The 7,14 is the closest to pi's 7,15. Thus your answer would be:
As the closest approximation given a b < 100 which is off by 0.00016. If you allow larger b's then you could get a better approximation.
The advantage of using CFs is that it is faster than working in, say, doubles or using floating point. For example, in the above case you only have to compare two integers (7 and 15), and you can also use indexing to make finding the closest entry in the table very fast.