Compass. Not a Hobie Thread

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Was out on a friend's boat today. Fog rolled in and wind picked up unexpectedly. Also, his sonar/GPS was a bit on the fritz, and would periodically power down. I did four years of orienteering in high school, so shooting an azimoth across an area with no obstructions was not intimidating to me, while he was having an episode, because he couldn't resolve the slow refresh rate of the GPS with the near instant response of the dash compass. I talked him into letting me drive back.


That said, with no visual reference, as the sun was mostly obscured, the sluggish response of the wheel due to wave and wind required continuous monitoring of the compass, or one would be 180 degrees off course in a few seconds. I had originally gotten a largish dome compass for the bow of my Prowler, but quickly returned it one I saw how my layout was shaping up, and got a wrist-mounted one. Based on today, I would judge the wrist mounted one essentially useless, and I'll seek out a deck mounted version. I'd advise everyone else to at least consider the same.

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I have always had a compass on my boat and also one in my life jacket pocket. Paddling the coast of Maine and Eastern Canada, they are a must and have help me get to where I was going many a time. Paddling in fog without a compass and horn is like playing Russian roulette. Can't always count on GPS. One should practice compass skills on a regular bases. I can personally attest to the need for these skills if you paddle Boston Harbor, between boats and currents it can be a bear in the fog  a chart,GPS, and compass are a must to travel safely.

Edited by Fishinjohny
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