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Old 12 February 2002, 10:43   #1
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Compass: digital or conventional ?

Any thoughts on compass choice. I've used a digital on my sailboat for a few years but don't know how they'd perform on a galloping rib. Any reports? Which compass?

Nick
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Old 12 February 2002, 10:55   #2
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They work, and they have good write ups. The two that spring to mind are KVH and Ritchie.

I personally prefer a good old fashioned magnetic compass. I've got a Ritchie electronic compass on Phoenix -- Alan Priddy used it a lot when he owned the boat but I've never really got on with it.

Of course, even if you have an electronic compass you will still ned a magnetic as backup . . .

My choice is a nice big Plastimo offshore compass. Easy to read, and about as steady as you could reasonably expect.

John
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Old 12 February 2002, 12:46   #3
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One of my Admiralty charts, West Coast of Scotland near to Gruinard Island (remember the Anthrax), shows an area of 'local magnetic anomaly'. I understand that these rather odd anomolies are caused by local iron deposits in the rock (I could of course be wrong, I often am). Do these anomolies affect electronic compasses in the same way as magnetic ones?

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Old 12 February 2002, 18:26   #4
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Some do and some dont. On Spirit we use compasses that get their information from the DGPS signal and they are very accurate.
I have a huge one which I keep my base ball cap on just in case!
Over to you Allen C
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Old 14 February 2002, 17:01   #5
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How can I resist -

Judging by the smile on the helmsman's face (and the look of concentration on yours), I guess you're letting him have a turn of binnacle ..
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Old 14 February 2002, 18:44   #6
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after the piccie I hardly dare ask - but whereabouts have people found the best place to stick the sensor(for the fluxgate compass thingy of course!)
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Old 15 February 2002, 10:06   #7
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Hi Nick

Thought I would add my recent experiences , hope it helps.

On my 6.2 metre RIB I have a GPS system and a conventional compass. I tend to use the GPS for Navigation, and the compass for general headings. When in any rough sea the conventional does jump around a bit, and isnt really practical for exacting navigation - wouldnt want to rely on it to get me to within 10 degrees or so over any distance However, forgeneral bearings - o in power failure situations - I wouldnt be without it.

On my small 4 metre RIB I only have a digital cmpass, which nicely gives out readings, but doesnt tell you general drections.

I guess given the choice of one or the other depend what you want to do - how far and in what sort of conditions.

Guess thats not really a lot of help but perhaps something to think about.
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Old 19 February 2002, 21:47   #8
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Thanks to all for good info. I'm inclined at this point to put in a flush mount Ritchie conventional compass. So much of my navigation in the past few years has been chasing down GPS waypoints that the compass in some ways has become secondary, that is until there is a power or other kind of failure when the good old hand bearing compass, steering compass, chart, and deviders prove their value once again.
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Old 20 February 2002, 13:08   #9
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Nick,

Right decision. You can always rely on a GOOD STEADY compass.
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Old 12 March 2002, 02:36   #10
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Again i plan to use GPS for navigation however in a chop its hard to see the screen so clearly, so i'm looking at getting a flush mount compass, but..... I have a chrome bar running over my console (see pic). Will this affect the compass? Also GPS & VHF are 12" away....

Anyones thoughts / advice...
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