peddlers, and people who have never EARNED a U.S.C.G six pack, or 100 ton and dismiss those certification
and the knowledge gained have no clue as to the safety
and nautical knowledge that a person will acquire.
When I first read that they wanted an applicant for insurance to take the Power
Squadron Course, I thought what the heck, I may learn something, and good on
upspirate for getting his family
involved. And then it turns out that those courses were not presented accurately to the students.
We had a guy that worked for our sailing club, supposed to be a ace on sailing, motor
vessels, and nautical knowledge....some one named him the bull -alvard bosun .
He would tell every one that he was not going to take the prep course or get the
U.S.C.G 100 ton, because if he messed up the U.SC.G would not be able to take anything away from him, and he would be blameless. Brilliant deduction !
He also performed maintanence on our vessels sail and motor
up to 55 footers. We had a four day club flotiala ( 10 boats ) cruise
Bay up to the Channel Islands, Santa Cruz
and Anacapa and return. I was skippering one of the instructor boats, a 45 foot sailing vessel. Unknown to me or anyone else, he had worked on the binnacle throttle and gear
the day before we departed. That required , removing the ships binnacle compass
and of course putting it back in place. Sell, he totally screwed up the binnacle compass
. I was not aware.
was several days, and included night sailing, and a huge fog
, very low visibility situation for many hours.
The bloody ships compass varied as to deviation up to 45 or more degrees depending on the heading. It was not a set deviation.
I used my hand bearing compass for the proper heading, and then used the bogus ships compass heading to hold course . Related to and check our proper heading in short intervals.
Lesson Learned : Now when I get on any vessel, I compare the ships compass
with my personal hand bearing compass. I also check the autopilot
my hand bearing compass.
And yes, I had the auto pilot heading indicator on a Moorings bare boat
, off by 20 to 40 degrees. The ships compass was correct. Really did not have to depend on the auto pilot for nav since the boats compass was correct. But, from what we see, not many people hand steer any vessels or use coastal nav in this day of magic boxes.
We actually had a very low vis ( 200 yds down to a few feet , rain and low clouds situation from the Mooring
Base, Tortola to Norman Island. We just left the auto pilot off and dead reckoned . All turned out fine.
Lesson learned to check ships compasses and other nav gear
headings with my hand bearing compass , and followed that for 30 years thanks to the guy to knew it all ,
Well......, none of us , will know it all .
Just FYI to support upspriate's experience, and one little additional safety
when pre checking all of the vessels systems , before departure.