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Old 27-09-2015, 21:40   #1
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Removing Binacle Compass

Folks,

I want to remove my large binnacle compass to make room to mount my chartplotter. Before you shoot me, I do understand the safety value in having just a normal compass.

Although we probably have 6 independent compasses and gps on the boat [between our binoculars, our i-devices, and our hand bearing compass] I would like a LCD battery powered compass I can mount to my binacle railing so that a helmsman can easily steer by it day or night when we lose all power.

Just a simple 3" weatherproof LCD display (that has a night light ) to show our heading.

Any idea where to get something like that?
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Old 27-09-2015, 22:06   #2
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

I too would like to find such an item. Our binnacle has been replace by a tiller. The only free standing backlight digital compass I can find is the Velocitek Shift. At over $700 bucks it would be a big splurge. Would not mind if there was something available that only needed power... I could use a repeater from our Raymarine autopilot, but would be close to $700 for a tridata, housing, etc. I also like the redundancy idea.

Using a low end deck mount plastimo for now, maybe someone has seen something better.


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Old 27-09-2015, 23:11   #3
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

Talked to someone today who did an entire Mexican race (5 days) with nothing but a hand bearing compass taped to the binnacle for a steering compass. They lost all power and electronics on the first day of the race.
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Old 27-09-2015, 23:34   #4
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Removing Binacle Compass

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Talked to someone today who did an entire Mexican race (5 days) with nothing but a hand bearing compass taped to the binnacle for a steering compass. They lost all power and electronics on the first day of the race.

Not to get too far off topic, but...

That sounds pretty irresponsible, instead of turning back they decided to continue with battery operated running lights (if they even had enough batteries to last five days) which can be seen from a distance of about 1000 feet. Why not tape a flash light above the binnacle compass? Instead of worrying about a hand bearing compass?

I have been in a couple of similar situations, for example a Newport Bermuda race, but we were way past half way, with little choice but to continue on. If it had happened on the first day, there is no doubt we would have turned back.

It does not discount the value if a hand bearing compass however.


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Old 28-09-2015, 00:14   #5
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

It would be a big mistake to remove your best compass.
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Old 28-09-2015, 04:25   #6
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-814-67.../dp/B0009PUR4K
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Old 28-09-2015, 08:29   #7
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

GordMay,

Thanks but there are a number of issues with these super cheap compasses. 1) They are too hard to read from any distance farther away than you would read a book.
2) They are all five degree increment compasses. While course keeping is generally within five degree, you need to know which side of the 5 degree mark you are to be able to adjust in time. Or you are trying to average between two numbers. Either way these are of no help in that regard.

Just wish there was something in the $150-300 range that had similar to the Velocitec Shift (although the actually shift functionality and countdown timer are not needed). Large numbers, backlight, battery operated, solar charged.
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Old 28-09-2015, 08:41   #8
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

The binnacle compass takes up too much room and provides dubious value 99.9% of the time we use our boat. I'd much rather move my chartplotter there and provide a place to put a small mountable LED/LCD compass.

A small mountable LED/LCD compass that has built in compensation will provide us with almost all the value that a large compass does, especially given our good hand bearing compass.
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Old 28-09-2015, 08:48   #9
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

I would hate to have to steer to an electronic compass due to the lag. If you primarily steer with your AP, it wouldn't be much of an issue.
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Old 28-09-2015, 09:06   #10
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I would hate to have to steer to an electronic compass due to the lag. If you primarily steer with your AP, it wouldn't be much of an issue.
Yes, we have a great Garmin AP (and adding a backup CPT) and she easily steers just by the sheets and locking the wheel in. I would like to add wind vane steering but not sure how realistic it is on our boat.

The only reason I could see having to resort to a compass is if all these went out simultaneously or both the GPS and the GLONASS networks failed:

1) Two chartplotters GPS
2) External GPS Antenna
3) Two iphones (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
4) Two ipads (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
5) A normal handheld GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
6) two camera GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
7) ELF GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
8) 3 handheld VHF with GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
9) watch GPS and compass (battery powered)

and I would add we are buying a Delorme InReach.

Even then we have:

1) A hand bearing compass
2) Two binoculars with compass
3) and just for giggles we will keep the original compass on the boat
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Old 28-09-2015, 09:28   #11
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
...
1) Two chartplotters GPS
2) External GPS Antenna
3) Two iphones (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
4) Two ipads (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
5) A normal handheld GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
6) two camera GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
7) ELF GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
8) 3 handheld VHF with GPS (battery powered with backup volt+ solar panel)
9) watch GPS and compass (battery powered)...
A lightning strike could take care of these. And not one of them is as reliable and intuitive as your binnacle compass.

I'd like to see someone try to manually steer a specified course with only a hand bearing compass or binoculars or watch or camera or handheld VHF or handheld GPS. Maybe an iphone or ipad can do it--I don't know; I don't have one.

Be careful not to overly rely on computers to do everything for you.
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:27   #12
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

"And not one of them is as reliable and intuitive as your binnacle compass."

True, but in my case I don't have a binnacle on which to mount a compass, and I don't want to put a giant hole in my bulkhead accommodate a bulkhead mounted one.

As to autombreeze it is very easy to steer to digital compass, I have logged thousands of hours driving on racing boats where the maxi display on the mast shows heading in your line of site with waves and telltales.

A binnacle compass requires you to look down constantly, generally having to stand behind it, or at least with a site looking down at luber lines. Intuitive, yes, the best solution as a steering compass, absolutely not.


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Old 28-09-2015, 10:34   #13
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

Also not sure how this turned into a GPS discussion and their ways of malfunctioning,etc.

GPSs are not compasses, they can display COG which would be impossible steer to.


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Old 28-09-2015, 10:52   #14
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
A lightning strike could take care of these. And not one of them is as reliable and intuitive as your binnacle compass.

I'd like to see someone try to manually steer a specified course with only a hand bearing compass or binoculars or watch or camera or handheld VHF or handheld GPS. Maybe an iphone or ipad can do it--I don't know; I don't have one.

Be careful not to overly rely on computers to do everything for you.
Having just been struck by lightning (still waiting on check) and also being surrounded by at least a dozen boats that either got a direct hit or gotten static discharge... not a single one lost their hand held devices. In fact, I was using my phone at the time of the strike.

We lost our NMEA2000 devices but all our handhelds are fine.

I think the chances of a lightning strike taking out ALL of our navigation devices is so minimal that its less than the chances of striking a container at sea.

The whole point of getting a battery powered device that can be mounted on the binnacle is to make it easy to navigate by. I looked at he TackTick but that is $400... I'm just looking for a basic digital display $10 device that I can strap to the frame in front of my eyes.

We can mount the iphone there and that may just be the best option. It has a built-in compass that is calibrated by rotating the devices through 360 degrees. Its so accurate that it can pick up the deviation caused by the magnets in the head phones! So, you calibrate it and you are OK. The best thing is that it has some way of detecting when it needs calibration and tells you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jman View Post
GPSs are not compasses, they can display COG which would be impossible steer to.
All my handhelds besides the VHF's have a normal compass that shows north.
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:00   #15
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Re: Removing Binacle Compass

After a lightning near miss, my binnacle compass was off by 15 degrees.
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