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Your favourite compass.

ltcom

Active member
Joined
27 Mar 2017
Messages
488
Location
mainland uk
Heath bosun is mine. So much so I bought a second one as a spare (didn't come with a bracket though). Set the grid and just keep the arrow parallel. Excellent gimbal too. Domed Plastimo is ok (not sure of model).
Iris 50 is good but binoculars with compass mean Iris is less used. This is even better than Iris
Vintage Weems & Plath Hand Held Maritime Bearing Compass W/ Viewing Box | #1622686610
A beautifully engineered thing.
One like this but with rubber bezel instead is super excellent for hiking.
Silva Expedition S Compass OutdoorGB
Digitals are ok until they fail.
Do you have a favourite?
 

capnsensible

Well-known member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
25,835
Location
Atlantic
Quite content with my old friend, the Plastimo Iris. Trainee proof and very handy for a simple assessment of a risk of collision.

I reckon its nicely damped for position fixing and looking to identify charted objects.

By co incidence, was at my local chandlers on Monday. First time theyve been opened in ages. They had not long before sold the last one. So I gotta wait two weeks.....
 

ltcom

Active member
Joined
27 Mar 2017
Messages
488
Location
mainland uk
When
Quite content with my old friend, the Plastimo Iris. Trainee proof and very handy for a simple assessment of a risk of collision.

I reckon its nicely damped for position fixing and looking to identify charted objects.

By co incidence, was at my local chandlers on Monday. First time theyve been opened in ages. They had not long before sold the last one. So I gotta wait two weeks.....
When I was looking for a hiking compass someone told me that the British artillery preferred the iris handheld as their favourite compass (no idea if true) and it is excellent but as I already had one I bought the Silva Ranger with the mirror.
 

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
25,026
Location
Essex
I liked the Sestrel one that came with my first boat. I could understand the correctors, which consisted of bars that you could add, and managed to correct 14 degrees deviation from the bracket of a fire-extinguisher that I mistakenly put on the other side of the bulkhead.
 

ltcom

Active member
Joined
27 Mar 2017
Messages
488
Location
mainland uk
I liked the Sestrel one that came with my first boat. I could understand the correctors, which consisted of bars that you could add, and managed to correct 14 degrees deviation from the bracket of a fire-extinguisher that I mistakenly put on the other side of the bulkhead.
That takes skill that I don't have. I had a cheap compass with said bars but I failed. Compass at least pointed north once I removed the bars.
 

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
25,026
Location
Essex
That takes skill that I don't have. I had a cheap compass with said bars but I failed. Compass at least pointed north once I removed the bars.
I didn't have skill, but I did have a book, which I now can't find, called 'Notes on compass work'. For a basic yacht (22') it was actually quite simple. There are five possible errors, or coefficients, A to E. A is a fixed error, ie mounted crookedly. B vanities with the cosine of the bearing, ie is maximum at N & S and negative at E & W. C varies with the sine in the same way. D & E vary with the cosine/sine of half the bearing and is less important. Basically, and I'm sure a professional would shout me down, if you correct for N/S and E/W, the rest falls into place.
 

Skylark

Well-known member
Joined
4 Jun 2007
Messages
4,356
Location
Home: North West, Boat: The Clyde
Compasses are a bit like torches and multimeters........it's impossible to have too many :)

I keep an Iris 50 on my boat which I bought from Amsterdam airport duty free shop, many years ago. I also have an Iris 100 which was fitted to the boat I bought from Sweden in the 90s, I removed it when I sold the boat. When I'm sailing on other boats I always take an Oceanic diving compass with me.

I have a nice hiking compass with a VW logo which I bought from the shop at Wolfsberg knowing that it would be my last visit there as I was leaving that job.

My favourite is a very basic one, about 1 1/2 inch diameter, thin brass and glass, bought for me by my parents around 50-55 years ago.

When teaching Shorebased courses, it's always amusing to watch reaction to putting a phone in proximity to a compass.
 

capnsensible

Well-known member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
25,835
Location
Atlantic
Compasses are a bit like torches and multimeters........it's impossible to have too many :)

When teaching Shorebased courses, it's always amusing to watch reaction to putting a phone in proximity to a compass.
A while ago I was teaching a Finnish guy. They do have a reputation for lacking any outward display of emotion. However, after watching him get increasingly frustrated trying to nail a quite simple 3 point fix, we 'discussed' his pair of glasses, that he was very proud of. They pulled apart for easy storage. Held together by a magnet between the two lenses........
 

Stemar

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Joined
12 Sep 2001
Messages
12,973
Location
Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
I don't know what the one on my boat is, but it's perfect. no more than a degree or two of deviation and nicely damped. It just gets on with telling which way I'm pointing, as it has, presumably, for the last 50 years. I'm also a fan of my Fujinon binoculars with their compass. Nothing spectacular, but I didn't have a spectacular budget.
 

BlowingOldBoots

Well-known member
Joined
5 Aug 2009
Messages
15,593
Location
Scotland.
Sestrel Major Compass. I have sailed on two boats with them fitted as standard and my own boat has one. Nice and large, easy to use, well damped. Last year I had it professionally adjusted and it was not that far out. They are not made any more but can still be rebuilt if that is required. The needle can wear on the pivot and stick when healed over, but I have not seen this.

My hand bearing compass is fantastic to use close up, well damped but the light has faded from it; unfortunately I can not remove the name of it.
 

awol

Well-known member
Joined
4 Jan 2005
Messages
5,452
Location
Me Edinburgh, boat afloat again waiting for Nicola
I have a variety but the Autohelm digital yin is coveted by one of my crew to the extent I have to check it is still there when he leaves. It generates 3 bearings in seconds, doesn't need a soggy piece of paper and pencil but for collision risk the Iris 50 is better.
 

Praxinoscope

Well-known member
Joined
12 Mar 2018
Messages
2,473
Location
Aberaeron
My main compass is a bulkhead mounted Plastimo Contest 101, there is also a Richie X-10 Sport mounted beside the 'chart table', a Plastimo Iris 50 in easy reach, my binoculars have a compas built -in. and there is also an unused new Richie Trek still in its box in a locker which I bought as a back-up years ago and still keep on board.
 

ltcom

Active member
Joined
27 Mar 2017
Messages
488
Location
mainland uk
Sestrel Major Compass. The needle can wear on the pivot and stick when healed over, but I have not seen this.
One of my Bosuns is stored in its box. Someone has written 'this way up' on the box so the card is not bearing on the pivot when not in use.
I bagged a bargain vintage Brunton once. Took glass off and gently polished needle with leather and blew compressed air on jewel. It measures to half a degree. No good for anything but geological measurements as no dampening but a thing of beauty. I also 'strengthened' the needle using a strong magnet. One below is an example of real vintage Brunton.
DW Brunton Pocket Transit Compass w/ Leather Case - Surveying - Working | eBay
 

JumbleDuck

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Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
21,137
Location
SW Scotland
My hand bearing compass is fantastic to use close up, well damped but the light has faded from it; unfortunately I can not remove the name of it.
It's not one of these is it, by any chance?

Because I have one and it's the nicest hand bearing compass I have ever used, with fantastic damping. The beta lights run out of tritium after about ten years, but you can replace it with two 1.5 x 9 x 3mm ones from www.betalight.nl (£15 delivered) and a drop of superglue.
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
21,137
Location
SW Scotland
I have a variety but the Autohelm digital yin is coveted by one of my crew to the extent I have to check it is still there when he leaves.
I bought a mint one of these second hand at a good price, but it's so sensitive to tilt that I have never even taken it to the boat. Do you find that in practice it's not an issue or is there a lot of learning needed?
 
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