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Old 01-04-2009, 08:47   #1
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Compass Bubble

I own a 30 year old glass sail boat. Over the last few years a air bubble has formed in the compass. Does any one know any thing about this . I live in Maine Midcoast. I would take it some place or fix it myself. If there is a leek how do I fix it . is there an expantion diofram in it Any thing else I should know. Thanks Steve

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:41   #2
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I had that issue with a bulkhead mounted compass. It had a rubber diaphragm with a leaky seal on one edge. I refilled the compass with mineral oil and resealed it. The seal leaks finally reappeared a few months later in a nice oily mess and I replaced the compass.

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:46   #3
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If it is a good compass and worth repairing, send it off to Island Compass. He does great work and is very reasonable. Otherwise, just get a new one.
Island Compass South for compass repair adjusting and sales, magnets and adjustor supplies

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:00   #4
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once they get the bubble it won't be long before they start leaking. i sent mine back to the manufacturer to be fixed. or buy a new one.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:24   #5
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If it happens to be a Ritchie compass, contact the factory about sending it in for refurbishment. I did that with a compass on a Grady White I used to own. It had developed a bubble. Ritchie did a first class job and didn't charge much at all.
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Old 01-04-2009, 17:49   #6
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I have an expensive (came with the boat) Weems & Plath which developed a bubble and the yard sent it off to be refilled and resealed several years ago.Now it's fine. It's not something you can do yourself and you need to freeze it, I am told when you do it. I've seen a tiny bubble appear at times when it is very cold in winter and it disappears when the compass warms up.
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:30   #7
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If the compass is 30 years old. it may be best to replace it. At that age the acrylic lens may start crazing and leak there also. Depending on the model, they're not that expensive.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 03-04-2009, 13:20   #8
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Mine is 23 yrs old anbd had glass and costs over $900. It's perfectly fine, good as new and has been refilled and sealed.
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Old 03-04-2009, 15:21   #9
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I developed a bubble about ten years ago. Bought some compass fluid and refilled it myself. Only this year have I developed a new bubble and will refill it again. The bottle I bought cost $12 and will be good for several more refills.
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Old 03-04-2009, 17:21   #10
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You don't toss this puppy out if you have a bubble:

C. Plath Venus Yacht Compass, 5 card

Top quality C. Plath Venus compasses with glass dome guaranteed for life available in black or white. Specify flush surface mounting or bracket mounting. For more information, follow the individual product line links below. For a detailed guide, download this section of our catalog by following the link below.

C. Plath Venus Compass Specifications:
Full spherical construction with internal gimbal system.
Balanced for use in northern and southern hemispheres.
Accuracy of indication: less than or equal to 1. Lag error: less than or equal to 2. Oscillation period: less than or equal to 4.7 sec. These values exceed the ISO norm (International Organization of Standards).
Temperature range: -22F to 158F. Corresponds with the ISO norm for commercial shipping.
Vibration resistance exceeds the requirements of the BSH (German Hydrographic Institute).
Seawater resistant light alloy housing with superstrong glass dome that is insensitive to ultraviolet radiation.
Dished card with 1 graduation.
Red dazzle-free illumination for 12 volt (24V by special request.)
Oscillation-free double bottom compensates volume changes in compass fluid.
Accuracy at all angles of heel insured by the full internal gimbal system.
Apparent card diameter: 5-3/4" (150mm).
Cutout diameter: 6" (152mm).
Weight of compass: 6 lbs. 12 oz.
Weight of cylinder: 4 lbs. 1 oz.
Three year warranty on body.
Lifetime warranty on glass dome.

5 card
5-3/4" Apparent Card Size

Suggested List Price USD: $1,099.99 Online Price USD: $929.99
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Old 10-04-2009, 16:36   #11
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compass bubble

Thanks to all for your advice What I ended up doing is I sent it out to viking instrament in Mass they replaced the glass painted the base replaced all the seals and sent it back with a 2 year garante for $ 250. It looke like a new compass .

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