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Author Topic:   Compass error
Swellmonster posted 11-07-2003 08:29 AM ET (US)   Profile for Swellmonster   Send Email to Swellmonster  
According to my GPS, my compass is off 15 degrees heading North, South appears workable. West is also tolerable, but heading East, its a bit off by over 10 degrees. What about yours?
Anybody ever adjust one?
BW23 posted 11-07-2003 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
The term is called deviation and no I never made a deviation chart for my boat.

This Ritchie will give you some good insight.


jimp posted 11-07-2003 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
swellmonster -

Best to have deviation table. Easy to make. You may want to calibrate your compass, but a professional compass adjuster may cost $150-$200. A deviation table can be made by comparing your compass to your GPS - as you have done. Now write the info down for the 32 points of the compass (if that awes you, do 16). Keep it handy in case your GPS goes out.

FYI, I installed a Ritchie MagOne electric compass, got it on sale a few years ago from Skipper Marine Electronics for about $175. Install it in the same binnacle stand, hook it up to power, make two slow 360 degree turns... and the compass removes/compensates for all deviation. My compass, GPS, and LORAN all agree to within 1-2 degress ALL THE TIME. Of course if the battery goes dead... well nothing is perfect.


knothead posted 11-07-2003 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     


I've thought about installing an electric compass like yours, but have been detered by the no battery, no compass senario.. In thinking about this, I suppose no battery equals no motor, no radio and my Montauk doesn't sail too well so why would not having a compass matter?

Just thinking out loud.


jimp posted 11-07-2003 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
knothead -

Dead battery in a Montauk - possibly no problem if you can hand start with the emergency pull cord. FYI. I do carry my old magnetic compass stowed under the console. But if you lose the engine & the battery, a compass is "kind of a nice extra" if you're paddling with your paddle!


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