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Ditch my compass?

Old 04-03-2019, 04:01 PM
  #41  
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When I'm heading to a known position using GPS I'll use the compass to keep track of the course.

Last edited by Brezinup; 04-04-2019 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:15 PM
  #42  
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My last boat and current boat I run both over 70’ do not have a built in compass. Yes I do carry one.
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:23 PM
  #43  
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how would that compass be any better than a decent handheld kept in a ditch bag?

Ever try steering a course for any distance with a handheld compass? Your call though.
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:31 PM
  #44  
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Default dont get rid of compass

learn how to use it . or just remember sun sets in the west and comes up in the east ! you make me laugh
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:04 PM
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I removed mine and mounted the AP heading sensor in its place. Can't say I miss it.
Heading redundancies at your helm and cell phones and fellow boaters put a wet compass near or at the bottom of the " gotta have it list" for the majority of near shore boaters. Good idea to have a pocket compass stowed though.
Like you would rather wet compass through the fog than trail behind another boat?!

The MD-80 had a wet compass; mounted up and behind the pilot's heads in the cockpit. We were supposed to pre- flight it by turning on the light and making sure we could read it with the rear view mirror mounted on the dash. No, I'm not kidding and couldn't make this up.
I figured if things ever got so bad that I would have to use that compass, I was going to fly straight and level until big city/ long runway/ airport beacon came into view and land asap.
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:25 PM
  #46  
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I just installed $8,000 worth of Garmin's finest but no way am I going without a compass. If I'm 40 miles offshore and all that fancy electronic wizardry fails, that compass is getting me home.
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:44 PM
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When I bought my boat 7 years ago I decided to do what you are doing. I kept a couple mobile compasses on the boat and just used the gps. Within a few months I decided to install a compass. I realized how much I use it when holding a course.

A few weeks later my 6 month old simrad decided to die 20 miles offshore. Iím sure I could have mad it in with the hand held compass or a phone but the picier factor of looking at a blank screen that I was relying on was lessened significantly by having a good compass.

Just take it off use your boat for a few weeks and see if itís worth reinstalling.
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:45 PM
  #48  
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I hope it never ever happens, but on an offshore fishing trip, I noticed my friend writing down compass headings once. When asked about it, he said if all the electronics went out, he'd be able to get back with the last compass heading (we were heading back toward shore). So it got me thinking. If I were offshore and everything crashed except the motor, would I be able to compass heading back home. To get the best heading on the compass, I made this for my dash.....it should head me in the right direction to hit the coast.


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Old 04-03-2019, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishoi View Post
My last boat and current boat I run both over 70í do not have a built in compass. Yes I do carry one.
Guess what is over 321 meters long (1,053 feet), cost hundreds of millions of dollars, manned by multiple licensed deck officers, has redundant fancy navigation equipment and yet still has a magnetic compass in which they do compass swings so if (not when) the gyro compass fails, they can navigate home safely burning the least amount of fuel by not zig zagging across the ocean... a cruise ship!

But I guess we recreational boaters don't need them with our $1,500 Garmin and a hand held compass from West Marine.

To each their own I guess.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewatermafia View Post


how would that compass be any better than a decent handheld kept in a ditch bag?
.

Imagine trying to hold the compass and read it in 4í seas while running the boat.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:15 PM
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I would be be astonished if you could find ANY commercial vessel operating outside the demarcation lines that DIDN'T have a magnetic compass.
​​​​​​
I've operated tugs and research vessels that had a gyro compass that was always checked against the magnetic compass.

I can't even believe we're having this conversation. It's the most basic navigation tool available. Cheap, simple, easy to use, infinitely reliable. You're going to get rid of it 'cause it doesn't look good?
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by On the Half Shell View Post
Guess what is over 321 meters long (1,053 feet), cost hundreds of millions of dollars, manned by multiple licensed deck officers, has redundant fancy navigation equipment and yet still has a magnetic compass in which they do compass swings so if (not when) the gyro compass fails, they can navigate home safely burning the least amount of fuel by not zig zagging across the ocean... a cruise ship!

But I guess we recreational boaters don't need them with our $1,500 Garmin and a hand held compass from West Marine.

To each their own I guess.
I didnít design the boat or suggest we donít need a compass.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:28 PM
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How would you swing a hand held compass. Better yet, did any of you guys ever swing you main compass and make a deviation card. Maybe this question would be better just for the old guys.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:35 PM
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There is no way I’d venture offshore without a compass mounted at my helm. Your GPS cannot keep up fast enough when you’re running in a fog and want to make sure you’re pointed in the correct direction. The gps compass tape deal is fine when running at speed, but even still, it can’t keep up with how quickly a compass can correct. I do let my autopilot handle the directions, but when I’m not on AP, I tend to follow my compass, which keeps me in line much better. Means getting to point B quicker and with burning less fuel.

No no way would I waste time with a handheld.

Maybe hang a compass from your hardtop?
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:46 PM
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Keep the compass. It’s crossed mine mind about getting rid of them before. The one time you leave the hand held or the batteries corrode because you leave it on the boat. You will need it. If it can go wrong it will.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Riverbend View Post
How would you swing a hand held compass. Better yet, did any of you guys ever swing you main compass and make a deviation card. Maybe this question would be better just for the old guys.
You can't swing a handheld compass because it's handheld. The external influences constantly change.

I've swung a compass the old fashioned way with ranges. If you change any electronics, add, remove, you have to do it again.

I've been on a couple old boats where the backup magnetic compass was mounted in a binnacle, on top of the pilothouse. Like the guy in the MD-80, it was visible through a mirror in the overhead of the pilothouse, forward of the helm.

Last edited by RickC137; 04-04-2019 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:59 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Brezinup View Post
When I'm heading to a known position using GPS I'll still keep track of the compass heading.
Me too!! I'm not crazy OCD about it but I'm always glancing at it, gives me comfort.
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:03 PM
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I had a similar issue when I bought my present boat. Prior owner had removed the compass and installed a small MFD. I do have a good handheld but wanted the compass back so I mounted the MFD elsewhere and bought the same model compass as the original. Unfortunately the prior owner had also installed a huge subwoofer under the console and that had to be moved to make the new compass usable. No way to correct it with that huge speaker nearby.
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by On the Half Shell View Post
Only on THT will guys will swear you need to spend an extra $30K for twin motors to run 40 miles out but will ditch a $150 compass because electronics will never fail. Yes I know OP is not suggesting ditching compasses entirely but if you really think you want to navigate bad weather with a hand held compass then you haven't been in this situation.
True dat
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:10 PM
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My main compass is a Silva 70 (70mm card diameter) UNE--which is a large hand bearing compass, also made to use as a steering compass mounted in its bracket. Mine is mounted on the Starboard of the pillars of the pilothouse center window as a steering compass. I also carry a puck type of hand bearing compass in the ditch bag. This type has both a site prism, and an open face where you can look down on the compass, and use it like a box compass to steer by. Since the ditch bag goes with me in the dinghy--there have been a number of times when I have had to navigate back to the main boat, in the dinghy because fog set in. Yes, I take a bearing to my destination when I leave the boat--so I know what bearing to follow back to the boat in cases of low visibility.

Also GPS (unless you have a GPS compass) does not give a proper static bearing. If you have to start and head out to sea---as I have had to do at night on a couple of occasions,--you use that compass bearing to get the boat headed in the correct direction in an emergency.

Yes, there is use for both the compass--and paper charts--both are aboard my boats.
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