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  #21  
Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

For over 20 years, I have used a simple Lensatic land compass. This is one with the fold-out mirror allowing you to see the compass while sighting over the mirror. The cost of one these days is less than $50. It is dampened as well as any "nautical" compass. I consider it to be my primary nav tool. It has a straight edge for drawing short lines of position on charts and is "see through" which helps me in plotting my position.
My typical use for it is the measure on a chart and say, "When that buoy bears XXXX degrees, we can turn and avoid that shoal with lots of room to spare"

Here is how I use it to find my position.

Measure bearing on a known mark (buoy, tower, etc). Do the same for second mark. Place compass down on chart accounting for compass deviation (fortunately for me here in N. Fl it is only about 2 degrees so can be neglected) so that body of compass aligns with N on chart. Align the bearing of the mark with that bearing on the body of compass. A line formed by the mark (buoy) on the chart and the center of compass needle (remember, it is "see thru" is one line of position. Do the same for second line of position. I have done coastal nav for hundreds of miles in this manner and if one is always cautious and errs on the side of giving dangerous things a wide berth, it works well. If you need 1 degree accuracy, you are doing something wrong.
Sometimes when I can only get one LOP, I also have used depth contours as a sort of second one.
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  #22  
Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

I find I have no problem at all using the compass in my bino's to determine suitably accurate bearings to distant objects. I agree the damping is not as effective as a puck style compass but I can put a cross hair directly on the object even if I have to interpolate the bearing a bit due to boat movement. I routinely use my bino compass to check for constant bearing/decreasing range with other vessels and like that with the binos, I can use the exact same reference point of the distant vessel for each check. The handheld compass is likely better damped, but perhaps harder to insure is pointed exactly where you want to take the bearing especially if you need to take multiple bearings on the same thing. I expect in the end the amount of error would be approximately the same though induced by different means.

Since I have to have bino's anyway, I see no need to also have a hand bearing compass.
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post

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.
Crazy.
Go do a test by borrowing a pair of binoculars with compass in them, and a hand held Compass.
Go out sailing for a day and then make your decision.
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

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Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post
I find I have no problem at all using the compass in my bino's to determine suitably accurate bearings to distant objects. I agree the damping is not as effective as a puck style compass but I can put a cross hair directly on the object even if I have to interpolate the bearing a bit due to boat movement. I routinely use my bino compass to check for constant bearing/decreasing range with other vessels and like that with the binos, I can use the exact same reference point of the distant vessel for each check. The handheld compass is likely better damped, but perhaps harder to insure is pointed exactly where you want to take the bearing especially if you need to take multiple bearings on the same thing. I expect in the end the amount of error would be approximately the same though induced by different means.

Since I have to have bino's anyway, I see no need to also have a hand bearing compass.
Obviously, you,ve never used a puck type handheld. They can be read accurately to the degree, with very little effort.
Marc
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
There are no maps on a boat - I hope.
I remember reading years ago about a couple on a 50' Hatteras who were rescued by the CG in the Gulf Stream - they were heading to the Bahamas using only a gas station road map.
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

My favorite in the Vion Axiom II Compass.

http://www.mailspeedmarine.com/axium...ompasses.bhtml

I bought this compass three years ago from mailspeed marine. Since I live in the USA, I did not pay VAT. At the time, it was less costly then purchasing one here in the USA.
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

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Originally Posted by gershel View Post
Obviously, you,ve never used a puck type handheld. They can be read accurately to the degree, with very little effort.
Marc
Again taking an accurate bearing with my bino's is a task I have no problem accomplishing and one I do regularly, achieving results consistant with the gps. Determining my location via intersecting bearings also happens to be a task I have decades of experience in dating to the days before gps. So thanks for your condesending and holier than thou attitude.

I am suitably in awe of your superior seamanship.
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Hand Bearing Compass Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post
Again taking an accurate bearing with my bino's is a task I have no problem accomplishing and one I do regularly, achieving results consistant with the gps. Determining my location via intersecting bearings also happens to be a task I have decades of experience in dating to the days before gps. So thanks for your condesending and holier than thou attitude.

I am suitably in awe of your superior seamanship.
Uhhh, I was just replying to YOUR assesment to the accuracy of a handheld puck. Excoooze me!
Marc
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