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Thrillsbe

Red Hot Compass Deal

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A few days ago, I discovered a red hot deal on a nautical compass.  It's a European brand, so it isn't something I'd heard about before.  But at tis price, I had to take a chance.  I really like it.  I wish they had a better photo of the bracket mount version.  But judging from the materials used in the flush mount, it's going to be just fine.  If you need a compass, here's a deal for you:

http://www.thecompassstore.com/a0012.html 

Sorry, my photo won't upload (AGAIN!!!).

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Be careful about European compasses.  I had one for my CLC PocketShip "Tattoo," but it didn't have any way to adjust it.  No little adjusting pins (east-west & north-south) for the offsets (compensation?) to correct magnetic disturbance caused by magnetic material on your boat.  Nothing in the "owners"" manual.  I found a source indicating that in Europe compass adjustments are done inside the compass by persons "officially" qualified by the government.  I bought it from West Marine and had no idea it was from Europe until I tried to reach the manufacturer.

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You're right, Pete, there are no adjusting screws. I can hear a Frenchman saying "eet eez for your own good, monsieur".   I think this'll be OK for my skiff-- no bluewater passages planned.  Besides, does this mean that all European sailirs are way off course?  Or are we, since we can jimmy up our compasses.

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Don,...

Although I couldn't make adjustments to it, I used the European compass on "Tattoo" for several years and noticed no problems. But I was only sailing on local waters and didn't pay much attention to it because I [overly] relied on my GPS.  But I'd never had a magnetic vehicle compass (car or boat) that didn't have compensation adjustments.  I think that's just "nuts."  I love gadgets -- except those that I can't fool with.

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I've got one of those, too, Chick.  And a handbearing compass.  And GPS.  I'm gonna check it out.  Barcelona, nicht aus dem Vaterland.  Say, I'll be in Mallorca this fall. If it needs adjusting...

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   I think my last post was incorrect.  I was talking about the difference in magnetic declination between Germany and North Carolina but that's not what those compensation screws are for.  They are to compensate for compass readings that deviate from magnetic North due to magnetic fields on the boat.  They aren't to compensate for the difference between true North and Magnetic North in a given locality.

   If I've still gotten it wrong, somebody please correct me! :)

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You're correct, Ken.  Last night, it kept rolling it around in my head-- "True Virtue Means Dull Company".  (The mnenomic for correcting from true north to compass north.)  If I were to circumnavigate with my BRS15, the variation would change continuously, but the variation would remain constant.  Once I install the compass, I'll record my deviation for various courses.  If it is significant, I'll simply add or subtract those in my navigational calculations, as I was taught in my navigation class.

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Thrillsbe:

"If I were to circumnavigate with my BRS15, the variation would change continuously, but the variation would remain constant."

Dis you mean the declantion would change continuously?

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No, I mean Variation and Deviation.  At least that's what we called it back in 1983 when I took my Advance Pilot Class from the US Power Squadron.  Also, my American nautical charts show two compass roses, one superimposed on the another.  In the center of one of these (for example) it states "VAR 15•00'W (2014) ANNUAL INCREASE 8'"  I believe the "VAR" stands for variation.  I also see that on the NOAA website they use the term "declination" for waht the USPS taught me was variation.  I believe that they are synonymous terms.   Besides, if I used your terms, I'd have to find a new mnemonic to replace the one I was taught 34 years ago.  It ain't happenin'.

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No, not snarky Don, many people get the terms confused. I teach aeronautical navigation (having served as a navigator in the navy and being a pilot) and students constantly wrestle with the concept. Variation, otherwise known as declination, is of course the difference between True and Magnetic, even in the land "down under", Deviation should remain constant on a vessel due to magnetic interference, although it might be slightly different for each cardinal point of the compass. Hence the need for a correction card and swinging the compass to check the deviation occasionally. I generally find that compasses built in the northern hemisphere need correction to operate in the southern, although I still have not figured out why. I have one that is unusable because it has no adjustments but reads about 30 degrees off.

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Drew,

 Now you make me anxious to test mine!  Unfortunately, it will have to wait until August.  We have travel plans on the horizon.  For nautical vessels, the USPS outlines a process using a Napier Diagram to define a ship's deviation curve.  One is supposed to take deviation data every 15 degrees!  I believe this is more germane for a twin screw 50 footer intending to make a passage to Bermuda, than to a plywood 15 footer with a 2.5 Suzuki heading for the Okracoke Inlet.  I will take data in August, nonetheless.  But I'll start with 90 degree increments, and might even go to 45, if I see numbers greater than 5 degrees deviation.

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I think you are right Don,anyone who can steer a small boat in a seaway at better than 5 degrees is doing very well. All that ultimately matters is track made good - am I going in the right general direction to see my next waypoint? A hand bearing compass, however, needs to be a little more accurate than this if one is going to take sights and fix a position on a chart (or we can just cheat, use a GPS for Lat and Long, and hope the batteries don't go flat).

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Right you are, Drew.  Actually, I'll have iSailor on my phone, plus my ancient B&W Garmin Map76.  The compasses are back-up and/or nostalgic.

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Glad to hear it, Jay.  Hope it works out.  I'm thrilled with the quality/feel of mine.  We'll see how it performs.  Did you get the bracket or bulkhead version? 

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