Swinging the compass

Even if the compass adjuster has visited you within the last year, you should still swing your own compass at least once every season or when your cruises take you through a change of latitude of more than 10 degrees.

Unlike compass adjusting, swinging is not a black art. It can be successfully achieved by any two people, given a handbearing compass, a calm sea and an identifiable object at least three miles away. You don't have to know what this actually is, because you'll only be using it as a reference point.

The steering compass is swung by comparing it with the handbearing compass on various headings, having first ensured that the handbearing compass is sited so as to be free of deviation. This requirement is achieved by finding a site where magnetic interference is liable to be at a minimum. It is checked by noting the bearing of the distant object with the handbearing compass as you steer the boat in a slow, tight circle. The change in the yacht's position in relation to the object will be unmeasurable in terms of angle, so if the bearing stays the same you have 'proved' your handbearing compass in that location. If the bearing wanders as the heading swings, try again from another part of the deck until you succeed, as you will sooner or later in any but the most difficult of craft.

All that now remains is to steer the yacht on a suitable selection of headings around the whole circle while your mate sights dead ahead with the handbearing compass from the choscn place on deck. He, of course, will be reading the correct magnetic headings. Compare each one with the reading of the steering compass. The difference is the deviation. If the steering compass shows a larger figure than the handbearing compass, the deviation is 'West', and vice versa. When all sixteen headings have been noted, plot them on your deviation card and set course for a better landfall. The job can be readily tackled anywhere that you find yourself with a spare half hour.

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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