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Old 01 April 2006, 13:51   #21
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Quote:
I cant see the point in a compass at all on a RIB other than if you have gps failure in fog or out of sight of land (ie as an emergency safety device). How many peoiple have ever had GPS failure ???
Us -last autumn and the good old Navman chart plotter went off on a mission of its own navigating around every available chart as far as I could see. None of the buttons had any useful effect on it! Navman say its water damage behind the switch panel - depsite us taking the thing off every time it rained cos of comments on here (the garmin 126 on the other rib stays out in everything that is thrown at it in the way of weather). Replaced by navman but ....! Would never put out without a compass onboard and yes we have navigated by compass for miles thru fog before we had the so unreliable Decca leisure sets and then gps.
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Old 09 April 2006, 12:43   #22
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Country: UK - England
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The point of (any) compass on a boat (IMHO!)

Until GPS arrived, I had no choice on my last boat but to use a compass, as my DECCA (I am sure that some of you will remember it!) was fine, so long as I didn't run the engine!!!

In the end, having spent several hundred pounds trying to suppress the electrics/HT leads etc., I had to admit defeat and sell the DECCA set.

I have always had a magnetic compass for back up (and the occasional cross-check) but I have found electronic compasses much more convenient. My favourite was an Azimuth compass designed, I believe, for military use, so a pretty tough and reliable piece of kit. Unfortunately, I can't accommodate one on my Scorpion, so I can only have the magnetic compass.

My last boat did not have a chart plotter but I did get a Furuno GPS after a while. So why have a compass as well? In addition to the obvious need for a back-up navigation tool, I found that I could approach a turning point/waypoint at 30kts (OK, so it was a slow boat relative to a RIB, but quite quick in cruising terms) using the GPS and then turn the boat on the compass, before the GPS would catch up.

After all, a GPS can only tell you where you have been and will assume that you are going in a straight line, whereas a compass will tell you are going!

This method of navigation was especially useful around shallow areas, such as the Shingles, where if I waited for the GPS to catch up, I would either have gone aground or had to slow down. I never saw the latter as much fun!

Back to the original question - an electronic handheld. I had one of these as well as the two fixed compasses - so not too much chance of getting lost!!! I guess they would be of limited value on a RIB, unless you were stationery and needed to triangulate your position. Of course, you will need to have paper charts for this to really be much help, but then we all carry these, don't we?!

Happy RIBbing!

Chris.
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Old 09 April 2006, 12:53   #23
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Two examples of navigation by compass alone

First example, my original boat - a 13' 9" Zodiac + 15hp Yamaha outboard:

Trip from Ventnor I.o.W. to Chichester Bar Beacon in thick heat haze.

I emerged out of the "fog" with Chi Bar Beacon directly ahead, using an orienteering compass taped to the boat. See - I loved inflatables even then!

Second example, my last boat - Falcon 23 sports cruiser, with 275HP V8 Volvo:

Chichester to Brighton Marina (inshore channel - I've forgotton what it was called). Anyone who has done this trip will know how shallow an angle you close Brighton Marina, so a couple of degrees out and I would have missed it by a mile! The marina doesn't exactly stand out, either!

The return trip to Chichester was done using the same compass - in 15 foot waves - That was fun!

So, YES, I would have a compass or two aboard, regardless of other gizmos!

Chris.
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Old 12 June 2006, 17:25   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swifty
I often put a cover over it and practice non gps navigation. Its actually good entertainment if you have the time.
Have spent the last couple of hours sat watching football and plotting some passages for the summer around falmouth etc - found it good fun and I probably now know more than I did before about the area after looking the charts - often when I use Tsunami 99 I just plot the course and dont pay too much attention to the surrounding area etc.

It also worries the wife when I get out the portland plotter and dividers!!!

Was out in the Severn last night on a mates fishing boat all plotted by hand - postion checked using the old hat method - even though we had 4 different types of GPS systems on board!!! - been using the boat as a bit of platform for testing out some notebook PC's we have bought and wanted a comprasion to check against. (fishing wasn't bad either!)
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Old 12 June 2006, 18:03   #25
ADS
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Agree with Tim M and others, an electronic compass is something else to go wrong. I have a conventional Plastimo Iris 50, never navigated using it although it comes in useful setting start lines etc for dinghy races. I prefer looking at a fixed compass rather than a gps set mainly due to the delay of the gps.
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