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Roger Peterson

compass questions for CS-17

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I am getting close to finishing my CS-17 and have a question regarding compass placement. I was thinking of mounting a compass in the center thwart. Will the aluminium mast effect the compass heading? Where does an experienced sailor mount his compass?

I plan on entering the Texas 200 this year and will need a compass and charts as well. Any ideas on the most bang for the buck on a new compass? Also, Where can I find charts for the Texas 200?

Thanks for any info...

Roger

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No compass problems with Alum, Stainless, Copper, Bronze (assuming you have no ferrous metals as fasteners or c/b pivot pin, etc.)

I'd worry that the center thwart might be too close to you for easy reading when sitting near it. I find that farther away from me works better since it really becomes a general reference tool more than a navigational tool.

It's likely that you'll end up with some kind of a minimalist GPS as well for real navigating/course keeping - the compass will be most useful for sensing wind shifts or for occasional reference as opposed to trying watch it to sail a close compass course (at least for me ;)

Looking at CS17 photos - I'd consider using a  bulkhead mount style compass and hanging it on a bracket under the forward thwart on the keel side far enough away from the centerboard case so you can still read it from the off side seating. That location will also work somewhat whenever you're sitting amidships. Maybe even make it so it can be mounter under either thwart ;-)

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I have a Ritchie Explorer up forward next to the centerboard. Works really well - very little parallax from my usual steering position. PeterP

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Go with Ritchie if you can afford it.  Nearly all of them are 100% repairable, and Ritchie has excellent service.  They totally rebuilt my 30 year old Helmsman on the big boat so it's like new for a low flat rate.  One of their flushmount Voyager RU90 will run around $100.

ru-90-400.jpg

Even with a GPS, I still use my compass more than a lot of boaters.  I may use the GPS to establish a desired course, but then I steer by the compass and only use the GPS to check my progress occasionally.  And your batteries WILL die at some inconvenient time, depend on it.

If you can't afford the Voyager, there's other ones, but check the heel angle they're good for.  Cheap ones don't have a real gimbal and are useless at even small heel angles.  Or, consider a hand bearing compass and keep it on a string around your neck.

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Thanks guys for the suggestions. I think I'll go with the Ritchie Voyager. Thanks Peter for the picture of your set-up. I had not thought about placing the compass where you did but I must say I really like the results. With a little larger compass for me ( I have less than perfect eyesight), I think your location will be perfect.

Any suggestions for a low cost GPS? I really don't know anything about them. I can budget about $150 for one.

Thanks,

Roger

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No expert.  My first was a small Magellan which showed longitude and latitude, speed, direction of travel etc.  This Christmas my family gave me a Garmin model GPSmap76CSx.  It is a hand held model around $300 Canadian.  This one you can load different types of maps onto.  It hooks up to the computer for transferring routes etc. My son who uses these a lot tells me that there is a lot of free stuff on the net to use with Garmins.  Our field staff at the Forest Service use Garmin models and say they are pleased with them. Below minus 15 Cel. they start to chug but that shouldn't be a problem for sailing.

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I just saw a Garmin Oregon a the local Gander Mountain.  Neat gizmo.  Over $400, so I left it on the shelf.  Inside the building it had a pretty high signal strength indication.  It may have been in simulation mode, thinking back, but it was pretty neat - no buttons other than the power button, everything was done through the touch screen.

For $400 I could get a jointer, though, and it's not likely I'll get lost as long as my Core Sound is in pieces in my garage.

But when she floats, I might look for a better GPS.

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The oars are held by homemade C brackets made out of some scraps of plywood. They are stuck on with silicone and through bolted. The bungee cord knot came undone one too many times on me so I got some stainless wire and crimped it instead. PeterP

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on the charts- go to the Texas 200 site- there's a long thread there on charts for the trip.

We used and will use again, a Garmin 72. Non mapping, but that's all you'll need for this trip- cost is around 100 bucks nowadays. There' is no real hard navigation on any of the courses for the 200, other than the leg across San Antonio Bay because there you cannot visually spot the passes - every where else you can really navigate visually.

Another addition you should seriously consider though is a hand held VHF. The VHF's got serious use on the 200. I wouldn't sail it without one.

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Thanks, Charlie. I'll look into the Gamin 72 today. My brother has a hand held VHF radio that he will bring but I need to get my own as well. Chuck Leinweber over at Duckworks suggested I look for "TOP SPOT" fishing maps for an economical source for the Texas 200 charts.

Next Question...Will an outboard motor be required? I would rather use an "Ash Breeze" but I'm gettin older now and don't know if I could row 20+ miles at one time. I have a 1947 Gale 3HP outboard I could use but although it's cool, It smokes and stinks and I would rather not use it if I can get by without it.

Thanks again for your responses,

Roger

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We don't carry an outboard on Traveler. I have a 2.2 Merc we use on our dinghy but see little reason for it on Traveler. Many many boats were without OB power also.

The TOPSPOT maps are really good, plus they are waterproof. The one for San Antonio Bay and the one that covers Matagorda Bay would cover the two hardest areas. We just printed out the NOAA charts for the other areas, although we did buy waterway charts. Simply didn't really need them. Start in Port Mansfield and sail north. Once into the land cut, you cannot go wrong- no place else to go ;D Besides- you'll almost always have other boats in sight, unless you are either way faster than Southern Skimmer or Dan on his Hobie 18, or way slower than the Puddle Duckers.

And by the way- I turned 68 last Saturday, so don't worry too much about "getting older" There will be sailors doing the 200 that are older than I am.

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"And by the way- I turned 68 last Saturday, so don't worry too much about "getting older" There will be sailors doing the 200 that are older than I am."

Well Then... Happy Birthday, Charlie! :)

I hope to meet you and the rest of the Texas gang this year at the Texas 200.

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Guest KSONeill

We don't carry an outboard on Traveler. I have a 2.2 Merc we use on our dinghy but see little reason for it on Traveler. Many many boats were without OB power also.

The TOPSPOT maps are really good, plus they are waterproof. The one for San Antonio Bay and the one that covers Matagorda Bay would cover the two hardest areas. We just printed out the NOAA charts for the other areas, although we did buy waterway charts. Simply didn't really need them. Start in Port Mansfield and sail north. Once into the land cut, you cannot go wrong- no place else to go ;D Besides- you'll almost always have other boats in sight, unless you are either way faster than Southern Skimmer or Dan on his Hobie 18, or way slower than the Puddle Duckers.

And by the way- I turned 68 last Saturday, so don't worry too much about "getting older" There will be sailors doing the 200 that are older than I am.

Happy Birthday! 

Regarding GPS, if you're looking at a Garmin there's a really nice page here:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145

check the ones you want and compare, you get a rundown of all the features.  On the other hand, Chuck swears by his Lowrance H2OC. 

I'm not sure Dan is bringing the 18 this time, he and Brian are working on two of Gary Dierking's Tamanu hulls.  Maybe a cat?  Or two outriggers?  Only time will tell.

I dropped in looking for a good idea on where to put a compass on my contraption.  Maybe I'll just keep carrying my little orienteering compass, but I'd like a bigger mounted one somewhere.

Kevin

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