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Old 15-12-2007, 11:36   #1
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ISO Repair for an oldie but goodie compass...

Ahoy, All;

After five and a half years of refit, I'm delighted to report that I can finally start turning my attention to the gear and instruments of sailing. I dug my old binnacle compass out of the container, and found the dome only half-full of alcohol. We sent it to a repair shop in Port of Spain, who said there was a leak in the diaphragm, and that the compass was old enough that spare parts were not to be had. I'm hoping that the repair infrastructure in Trinidad might be a factor here; I brought it home in my carry-on (it was fun watching the faces on the TSA guys as they watched the xray). I've gotta think there's an old nautical instrument cobbler somewhere up here in the States (Annapolis, perhaps?) who has shelves of scavenged compass bits and the know-how to rehab it. Since the compass appears to be British-made, maybe it would involve shipment to the UK, though the shipping costs might make the repair financially unwise. That might be true nonetheless. But the compass does have a nice antiquey aesthetic that goes well with the boat, so if the money doesn't get too stoopid it would be nice to put it back to rights.

Besides the leaky diaphragm issue, it appears that some kind of nightlight would have to be retrofitted (the previous idjit owners scabbed a flashlight bulb to the back of the dome with a blob of epoxy), it needs paint removal of the bronze or brass clamp ring (again, I blame the idjits), and maybe some scratch polishing of the dome; it's otherwise in pretty good shape.

I'd be grateful for any leads. In case it's helpful, here are the identifiers:

Henry Browne & Son Ltd
Barking and London
"Sentrel" Trade Mark
Ser# 14839IV

My internet searches thus far are only turning up some really old (100+ years) Browne & Son "Sentrel" compasses being sold as serious antiques; nothing of a mid-1970's (I'm guessing) vintage.

Thankee!
Geoff
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Old 15-12-2007, 12:02   #2
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This guy is really good and may be able to be of assistance.
Repair & Adjusting - Island Compasses South - Compass Repair, Compass Adjustment, Nautical Restoration, and Adjustor Supplies
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Old 15-12-2007, 16:46   #3
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Thanks for the tip, Camaraderie! I've sent Steve an email and we'll see if he can rehab the ol' girl.
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Old 15-12-2007, 17:04   #4
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.......just as an aside, some of those "old" Henry Brownes are actually very clever "made in India" copys. The aging process they use is superb !!.....
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Old 16-12-2007, 14:08   #5
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Tsk, tsk, Coop, such a cynic! Just heard from Steve Colt, and he has all the parts. Won't be cheap (300 beer bucks), but the new model I had my eye on (Ritchie Globemaster SP-5C) is a cool 500 or so. I'm going to send it down to Steve for a firm estimate and we'll see. Thanks again Camaraderie. Gotta love the collective wisdom of this board!
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