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Old 25-10-2010, 06:57   #1
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Hand-Held Compass

Need to get one, haven't got a bloody clue. Experts and old salts, please feel free to chime in.

cheers, lockie
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:05   #2
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I like the Weems & Plath "hockey puck" hand bearing compass. Pricey, but very good to use. If you put your flashlight (torch) right down on it's face, it will glow for a while so you can use it at night, without messing up your night vision.
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:19   #3
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That's the same one I have; it's great.

Amazon.com: Weems & Plath Marine Navigation Hand Bearing Compass: Sports & Outdoors

It's hard to see via the picture, but basically you jam it right under your eye and you can dual focus on whatever you're looking at, and the bearing is in focus as well. Hard to explain, but once you get it going it's pretty slick. Makes taking bearings very easy.
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:22   #4
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Scratch that.. this is the one I've got:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B002Y1J9BE
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:23   #5
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Gotta agree wth the hocky puck as well. They're alot more rugged and can take more abuse than the other hand held models as well.
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:31   #6
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I got a pair of binoculars with the compass inside. At night a very, very small man turns a red light on whenever I yell "Bugger, I can't see a thing!"
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:31   #7
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My admiral bought me a wicked set of binoculars with a built in compass/rangefinder and also has a night light that lights up the compass. I've used them in near dark conditions.
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Old 25-10-2010, 07:31   #8
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The best hand bearing compass is the Autohelm personal compass now known as the Raytheon something or other. I've had one for over twenty years and it still works. Only replaced the battery once too. You can take five or six bearings and recall them when you go below to plot. Amazing little thing, has a fluxgate compass in it. Unfortunately they've discontinued them but if you can find one on Ebay get it.
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Old 25-10-2010, 08:05   #9
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I like my Silva Ranger 15T, which is an all round compass that has a mirror and built in adjustment for magnetic deviation. It is not a dedicated marine compass, but has it’s bonuses. While they are not the most easy to use I feel the mirror is a plus. If you are using this as a spare compass that might go into your ditch bag it also doubles as a signal mirror. The mirror also helps to protect the base plate. Silva are an extremely reputable brand of compass.

http://www.silva.se/en/Products/Compasses/Ranger-Series/

Good thing also about this style of compass is you can use the transparent base plate directly over a map to get a bearing (they come with instructions and it is easy). This way it also doubles as a navigation/chart tool. The price really depends on the exact model. However, they are not overly expensive and other reputable brands like Suunto are worth a look.

Only problem is if you are thinking of going to the opposite pole from where you live I am not sure if these compasses are suitable in both hemispheres? You might need a multi-zone balanced compass as per the Silva Voyager Series? (Sorry to confuse you, but this is the kind of thing most people – especially salesmen - neglect to tell you).

Of course I also have my dedicated boats compass in the cockpit, also coincidentally a Silva (it was on the boat when I bought it) !

I have a feeling my 15t might have been replaced by the Ranger 16 as pictured?
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Old 25-10-2010, 08:46   #10
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I have the Weems & Plath puck too - haven't touched it since last Winter probably. I have to admit - and don't be shocked - that I use my iPhone as a compass now. The iPhone 3 was touch and go but the iPhone 4 does a pretty nice job. I especially like being able to have it rotate the chart as I point to something to have it all displayed in heading up mode. Various products give a numerical heading display along with the chart rotation.

Of course, the puck is a half step away from my helm at all times.
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Old 25-10-2010, 09:09   #11
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While I do have a nicer hand bearing compass on board, I also find a basic orienteering compass useful. At $7 each, I can leave one out in the cockpit and not worry about loosing it. It can be used to take bearings, calculate bearings and triangulate. For the money, it's a very useful tool.
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Old 25-10-2010, 09:37   #12
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Apropo post of mine above.... I threw our Plastimo hand bearing compass overboard during a slight abnormality of mind.

The price of one of them was about a third of the cost of a pair of binos with compas inside............................ I' glad I tossed the HBC OB! The binos are wonderful

I would recommend those folkus who needem should look at them
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Old 25-10-2010, 09:49   #13
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+5 on the hockey puck. I find it to be such an important piece of gear that it's the first item that goes into my gear bag when I'm going to crew on other boats.
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Old 25-10-2010, 10:05   #14
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Got the puck; two sets of binos with compass plus an old Autohelm fluxgate jobbie.
The last one is the most accurate and by far simplest to use, which is why it gets the job 99% of the time.
What I can't understand is why they discontinued making them.
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Old 25-10-2010, 14:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Got the puck; two sets of binos with compass plus an old Autohelm fluxgate jobbie.
The last one is the most accurate and by far simplest to use, which is why it gets the job 99% of the time.
What I can't understand is why they discontinued making them.
JOHN
Simple, John,

They didn't break down, and so didn't fit in with the rest of their product line!

Jim
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