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Old 18-02-2016, 06:43   #31
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Do you use them for bearings at sea? Much experience with them?
I carried a very similar unit made by KVH - now long discontinued. It was the go-to device if we needed accurate bearings. It also functioned as a sextant scope (with built in timers, and where the bearing function was very useful for finding stars).

I have not used the brand I linked above - it was just the closest thing I found with a quick google. I suspect the most 'expensive' thing about it is the laser ranger - 2000m is on the long side for these things. If you looked for one with a shorter laser ranger it would probably be much cheaper. The bearing function is I presume just a fluxgate compass with headup display on the lens and past bearing memory. That should not be very expensive.

I have to say that near the end, with gps and radar and then with AIS, we did not take all that many visual bearings at sea any more - I did still take anchor bearings (and ranges) if I could not find good leading lines.
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Old 18-02-2016, 07:03   #32
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Time to get out of Florida and sail down here

Leaving as quick as I can, just got to get the youngest in school first.
Summer of 17 is departure date.
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Old 18-02-2016, 07:08   #33
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
I have had Fujinon 7x50 with a compass for years and have liked them. Excellent optics and a good compass. Last year a buddy brought his Steiners on board (His wife asked me what to get him for Christmas so I told her to get the expensive binocs) and we tested them side by side. The verdict was that they were both excellent and both did a great job of taking bearings but that the Fujinons were much heavier. We could hold the Steiners up comfortably for far longer. Their only downside was that they didnt fit in the teak drink/binoc rack on the pedestal. Where I came out was that I would buy Fujinons again but would rather have Steiners if someone else is paying.
Was that a Fujinon Polaris? Or some other model?
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Old 18-02-2016, 07:48   #34
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Leaving as quick as I can, just got to get the youngest in school first.
Summer of 17 is departure date.

Sell the kid on the internet.
Idiots buy anything on EBay.



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Old 18-02-2016, 07:51   #35
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
And actually if all you need is the bearing compass, consider an orienteering compass now and saving for the better glasses later. Suunto even makes a $100 (street price) compass that is designed to function in BOTH the northern and southern hemispheres, something generally considered impossible.
Any chance you have model number or something on the Suunto? I checked their website to look at one but determined they make 4,537, 813 different compasses, more or less and couldn't decide which one seemed appropriate.
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Old 18-02-2016, 07:57   #36
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Sell the kid on the internet.
Idiots buy anything on EBay.




She is working hard, making good grades in a College prep school.
I believe I owe it to her to give her the best chance in life that I can.

Although I know I am spending more than a year of our lives to do it, we have been ready to go for awhile. We can afford to, have the boat, wife and I both are tired of our jobs etc.

But back to binos, don't wanna drift the thread, I'm bad about that.


I understand intersection, resection very well and am competent in it, but with GPS, Radar and AIS, is the compass really that necessary? Nice ot have maybe, but have to have?
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Old 18-02-2016, 08:09   #37
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I carried a very similar unit made by KVH - now long discontinued. It was the go-to device if we needed accurate bearings. It also functioned as a sextant scope (with built in timers, and where the bearing function was very useful for finding stars).

I have not used the brand I linked above - it was just the closest thing I found with a quick google. I suspect the most 'expensive' thing about it is the laser ranger - 2000m is on the long side for these things. If you looked for one with a shorter laser ranger it would probably be much cheaper. The bearing function is I presume just a fluxgate compass with headup display on the lens and past bearing memory. That should not be very expensive.

I have to say that near the end, with gps and radar and then with AIS, we did not take all that many visual bearings at sea any more - I did still take anchor bearings (and ranges) if I could not find good leading lines.
Thanks; interesting.

I guess I don't need such a thing. I use radar for range in anchorages. The 4G radar is superb for this.

I don't take a lot of visual bearings any more for collision avoidance since AIS is so much easier and more precise.

But I do take bearings off vessels not transmitting AIS -- my MARPA doesn't work well and I don't trust radar bearings. I use the "walking down the EBL" method on the radar, but sometimes I just want to judge it visually.

I don't use three-point fixes anymore as a primary means of determining position, but I do them regularly to keep this skill up. And I do plot clearing bearings for difficult pilotage situations, and like having a non-electronic means of checking them. I do take bearings for general orientation and especially, to check some visible feature against a chart, when I don't know what I'm looking at.

So having a good means of taking bearings is important to me. I think a regular HBC for quick and dirty bearings, and compass binocs for precise bearings, is probably the right way to do it, for my usage. Compass binocs double as regular binocs so they're versatile. It's also nice to be able to flip on the compass, if you are looking around with the binocs and see something unexpected, and need to understand what you're looking at. Binocs and compasses are a really synergetic combination, IMHO.
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Old 18-02-2016, 08:18   #38
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
But back to binos, don't wanna drift the thread, I'm bad about that.
Thread drift is perfectly natural in real life conversation; why should it bother people online?


Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I understand intersection, resection very well and am competent in it, but with GPS, Radar and AIS, is the compass really that necessary? Nice ot have maybe, but have to have?
I think at least a simple hand bearing compass is essential. What do you do if you encounter a vessel on a collision course not broadcasting AIS, maybe not showing up on radar?

What do you do if your chart plotter goes out, or you're somewhere beyond the range of your charts, and you need to get into a narrow cut with a current ripping? How do you know you've lined it up right? And even if the chart plotter hasn't gone out, don't you ever check it visually? I sure do.

Even if your plotter is working fine, what if you see a mark or a light or a castle, and you can't relate it to the chart? What would you do without a HBC?

What if GPS goes out; can you find your position?

The lowly Hand Bearing Compass is the solution to all of these situations, and many more. I would never sail without one, myself (and a backup ).
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Old 18-02-2016, 08:24   #39
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
with GPS, Radar and AIS, is the compass really that necessary? Nice ot have maybe, but have to have?

Yes.

All targets show the bearing do its simple to confirm it is the target you expect it to be, not some other target.

And

Easier to tell someone else a bearing '345' than general target indication ' off the starboard beam'
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Old 18-02-2016, 08:35   #40
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Yes.

All targets show the bearing do its simple to confirm it is the target you expect it to be, not some other target.

And

Easier to tell someone else a bearing '345' than general target indication ' off the starboard beam'
That's actually a very good point.

The way I do collision avoidance in really hairy places (Dover Straits; Elbe Approaches), when I have crew, is at the nav table concentrating on radar and AIS, with crew keeping the visual watch on deck. How does he ask you about something he sees, which worries him, if he doesn't have compass binocs or at least a HBC?

"Hey, see that big car carrier over there" "Where?" "Off the port bow" "Which of the 12 ships off our port bow?" "Well, that great big one, between the two bulkers" "What?" etc.

Compared to:

"Car carrier at 008 -- are we ok with that one?" "CPA one mile passing ahead, I'm watching him."

Sometimes it's really important.
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Old 18-02-2016, 08:39   #41
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
and you need to get into a narrow cut with a current ripping? How do you know you've lined it up right? And even if the chart plotter hasn't gone out, don't you ever check it visually?
I personally love leading lines in such situations - much prefer them to trying to follow a compass bearing. If there are not official leading marks/lights you can usually 'construct' some by looking at the chart closely. Leading line tells you immediately when you are drifting off, while a compass does not.
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Old 18-02-2016, 08:52   #42
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I personally love leading lines in such situations - much prefer them to trying to follow a compass bearing. If there are not official leading marks/lights you can usually 'construct' some by looking at the chart closely. Leading line tells you immediately when you are drifting off, while a compass does not.
I agree, of course, and that's the classical method.

But not every cut or harbor entrance has leading marks, or a transit you can invent. HBC will tell you if you're drifting off -- admittedly not as quite as instantaneously as leading lines. But you only need one mark, and you draw a line from it over safe water, and measure that line with your protractor, and you have your bearing, as of course you know yourself. Sometimes it's even marked on the chart.

This is not infrequently a life and death situation in strong weather, with shoals and/or heavy surf on either side. I use the chart plotter and the projected COG line as primary means of orientation, but I often draw the safe bearing line and double check with the HBC. If there's no transit. If the bearing to the mark is correct, you cannot be off your line. And if the plotter craps out in the middle of your approach, you will survive because you know the safe bearing and can find it.

I guess this is Pilotage 101, but I fear the skills are gradually being lost.
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:11   #43
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Easier to tell someone else a bearing '345' than general target indication ' off the starboard beam'

I guess the difference is I essentially single hand, there is no "crew", and I have been doing target hand offs for so many years, I believe I can tell with naked eye within 10 degrees anyway.
Plotter wise, without going too deep, lets just say I have at least three on board.
I'm not against a compass in the binos, just think its a stretch to say it's essential is all, but one mans requirement is anothers luxury, neither is right, or wrong.
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:31   #44
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Re: Compass Binocs

^ Another vote for Fujinon. Actually I have french Bernard optics which is Fujinon Polaris OEM. Found them in a boat show in Barcelona with 1/2 of the retail price
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:35   #45
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Re: Compass Binocs

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I guess this is Pilotage 101, but I fear the skills are gradually being lost.
yea, in the electronic age . . . probably the 'high skill' approach is to draw a route on the plotter and bring up cross track error on one of your biggest cockpit displays. . . . and hope you do not get a set of those relatively rare gps 50m error data sets. Actually this is a selling point of those high precision inertial navigation boxes we talked about elsewhere.
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