The Importance of a Compass on a Boat
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Every boat needs a compass! Especially a boat they may venture offshore. Today we are very reliant on electronics but what happens when they go out? Sometimes the only way back is with a compass. It’s vital to have a compass on board and to routinely check it while underway. It’s important to know the direction you are heading with out the use of electronics and because you never know when that compass may be all you have to get back.
To properly use a compass on a boat, the compass needle should be positioned in front of the helm position. The lubber line should be parallel to the centerline of the boat. The compass needle should point in the direction of the arrows on the chart. The compass is adjusted by turning the N-S screw. Then, the compass should follow the same path as the arrows on the chart.
It is important to know the differences between true and magnetic north. The compass rose should point towards true north. The difference between true and magnetic north is known as variation. This must be taken into account when plotting a position. This error is the reason why a compass is so important. Using a sextant to calculate your course is not the best solution. It’s best to always use the sextant.
If you use a sextant, keep it away from the compass. The compass is affected by magnetic fields, so make sure you are in a well-insulated area. Also, make sure you don’t mount the sextant or another magnetic device near the sextant. These devices can interfere with the sextant’s operation. To avoid a problem, you should set the compass at least one foot away from the sextant.
You can also check your compass’s accuracy by attaching a tape marker to the center pin. This will tell you whether the compass is aligned correctly. If not, try to position it at the same distance. If the sextant is still pointing in the same direction as the compass, you should move it to the opposite side of the boat. This way, your sextant can find the exact direction.
To use a compass, you must first understand the way it works. Again the compass should be mounted in front of the helmsman, and it should be placed far away from magnetic objects and electrical wiring. If you have a magnetic course recorder, you must adjust the settings for the variation in the compass’s reading. If it is not, your compass’s accuracy will be hampered.
Besides the compass needle, you should also learn about the compass’s accuracy. Depending on the model of the boat, it may be difficult to distinguish the direction of the boat by the compass needle. However, if you know your heading accurately, it will make your navigation much easier. But before you start sailing, you should make sure that your sextant has an accurate sextant, a chart that has a scale that shows distances to land, and other important information.
A boat compass is a must-have tool to navigate. It is necessary for boaters to have a clear vision when at sea. To properly use a sextant compass, you should also be aware of the lubber line, as it is a vital indicator of the heading of a boat. A sextant compass will indicate the direction of a sailboat as you sail.
Rick is the head writer at MaydayMarine.com Rick creates product review and ranking content in the maritime industry. His focus is mainly on safety offshore at MayDayMarine.com