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post #11 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

My binoc's have a compass - too hard to see it and get precise.

I agree with Jackdale, get a good puck style that you can actually keep close at hand (around your neck).

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post #12 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

I've often thought I should buy a decent hand-bearing compass, but I find that when I have used one, I worry about two things: taking the sight properly (and remembering it) and whether I'm going to collide with the other vessel. Without using the handbearing compass, I just worry about colliding with the other vessel and so I steer away from it if it's coming toward me or towards its stern if I'm crossing its path. I do have a pistol-grip compass that can be used for taking sights, and while it may not be that accurate, I don't steer within 1 degree anyway, so there's no point in having a compass more accurate than that. A hand-bearing compass is really only useful for assessing whether you'll collide with a container ship, which I'm going to actively steer away from, anyway; motorboats change course all the time and approach too fast to make a hand-bearing compass useful. Am I missing something?

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post #13 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

Compass in binoculars is great, wonderful, excellent! After one use you will never go back to a hockey puck etc.

Get two pairs of binocs with compass so there's a His and Hers then when you are looking at something you just say to your partner... "There at 245 degrees... bar with cheap beer!"
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post #14 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

I like the pistol grip style hand bearing compass and find it very useful on the boat.
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by willyd View Post
Am I missing something?
Yes - a accurate handbearing compass is needed to do fixes on a chart.

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post #16 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I've found that a hand-bearing compass is unnecessary. It's all relative and if you know your heading, major bearings off your boat are all that's needed. And, given everything that's been discussed so far, that's the best you can hope for anyway. So why spend $200 for something your eyes can do for you just as well?
Typical.
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
I like the pistol grip style hand bearing compass and find it very useful on the boat.
I see a whole whack of broken pistol grip HBCs in boats.

BTW - I know you are parsimonious.

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post #18 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

If mine breaks, I'll buy another used one off eBay for $20...
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post #19 of 28 Old 03-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

OK, so far I have learned that:
• Puck-style HBCs are very useful
• Pistol-grip HBCs are very useful and will break and be thrown in a pile
• Compasses in general are not necessary because gross navigation will suffice
• Binoculars are very useful for spotting cheap beer

I feel certain that my wife will already have all locations with cheap beer programmed into the GPS, so I guess I can cross binoculars off my list.
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post #20 of 28 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

A good hand bearing compass (or binoculars with compass) is a great almost essential tool.
If you can find a good one second hand the Autohelm HB compass is the best IMHO
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