Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 52

After removing the compass from the
binnacle for the winter, ensure that
the area left bare is securely protected
from the elements.

Where our repaired compass will sit
atop the binnacle.

area. The agonic line now falls in the Gulf
of Mexico.
While a compass is a great tool for
navigation, it doesn't always point exactly
true north. The reason your compass may
not "work" by showing north is that it
might have been subjected to a magnetic
field that has polarized the needle.
A compass needle cannot change its
polarization on its own, it must be forced
to reverse its polarity. To do your own
compass alignment check on the Ritchie
website which gives great directions.
www.ritchienavigation.com: If you're not
so handy, or don't have the patience, there
are many compass dealers who will do it
for you.
When all else fails on your boat - your
compass will remain your best friend and
always guide you home. So, let's look into
how you can give your compass a little
TLC to keep it working for years to come.
There are only about 3 things that can
really go wrong with your compass.
First, it can be hard to read because of
a scratched, cracked dome or contaminated fluid. Always ensure that your compasses are covered when not in use.
Bulkhead mounted ones often come with
a plastic cover and ones on a binnacle or
pedestal should have a soft cover. These
can be purchased at your local marine
store, or easily made out of outdoor
upholstery fabric, using Velcro to fasten it

tightly around the compass.
Second, it can leak, causing a bubble
and, if allowed to grow, will interfere with
damping of the dial. Although a small
bubble will not affect accuracy, it will
usually disappear when it is returned to
sea level and/or room temperature. If it
doesn't, try placing it in a warm spot, like
a sunny window, so the liquid can heat,
expand and return to its normal volume.
You can also try tilting the bowl until the
"filter hole", found on the side of the
bowl, is at the top. Then unscrew the
"filler hole" stud/screw and top up with
ethyl alcohol, odorless mineral spirits or
in a pinch, distilled water. (Compasses
made prior to 1950 usually contained a
mixture of water and alcohol. More modern ones are now filled with refined mineral spirits, often referred to as compass
oil.) To insert the compass oil into the
compass, use a large syringe designed to
inject epoxy. Screw the stud/screw back
into place and then gently rock the compass back and forth to allow all the air to
escape. Then let the bowl return to
upright. To ensure you are using the correct compass oil, visit Google to check
out what type of fluid is in your compass.
Ritchie Navigation experts say that if
this is not your cup of tea, then it is well
worth taking it to your compass dealer
and for about ½ the cost of a new compass getting it serviced. During the winter

52

Canadian Yachting

in Canada is when most compasses
develop a bubble, as the fluid contracts,
pulling in air. In the summer the fluid
expands, creating pressure and forcing
fluid to leak out. So removing your compass from the boat in the winter and having it stare at you on your nightstand is a
good reminder of the wonderful days of
summer that await when the snow thaws.
If the bubble reappears year after year
and the dome becomes crazed, you just
might have to bite the bullet and have
your compass serviced, which is usually
more economical than buying a new one.
Finally, it can become "sticky", when
the card is not able to rotate smoothly on
its pivot, which is made of hardened steel
resting on a jewel bearing. Constant boat
movement and engine vibration can
eventually cause the wear on the pivot.
To check for this problem, tie up to a
dock so that the compass will maintain
the same heading. Use a wrench or some
other large metal object and place it next
to the compass. Now, watch the card
move. Then take the metal object away
and the card should smoothly swing back
to its original heading. Then try the
wrench on the other side and repeat the
test. If it swings erratically or is jerky as it
turns, the card is probably worn and
should be repaired by a professional
compass repair shop.
Most compasses can either be delivered to a repair facility or mailed in for
servicing. Make sure you ask about special shipping instructions when contacting the repair shop.
Your old magnetic compass may feel
neglected, with all of the other electronic
gadgets on your boat these days.
Remember that when the power goes
down, it will become the most reliable
instrument on your vessel. With not a lot
of moving parts, it requires very little
maintenance. So just keep in mind a few
basic rules of thumb to ensure your compass lasts and performs during the lifetime of your boat - keep it covered to
protect it from the sun and take it with
you in the winter, especially if you spend
them in Canada.*

OCTOBER 2019


http://www.ritchienavigation.com

Canadian Yachting October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Yachting October 2019

At the Helm: A Fresh Approach to the Future
Yacht Club: Alexandra Yacht Club
Travel Destination: Kingston, Ontario. Heritage & Hip
Sail Review: J99
Power Review: Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS
The Port Hole: October 2019
Power Review: Pursuit DC 235
DIY/Tech: Your Compass Deserves Care
Crossing the Line: Disciples of the Multimeter
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT: Charter Handbook
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Intro
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover1
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover2
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - At the Helm: A Fresh Approach to the Future
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 4
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Yacht Club: Alexandra Yacht Club
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 6
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 7
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 8
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 9
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Travel Destination: Kingston, Ontario. Heritage & Hip
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 11
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 12
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 13
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 14
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 15
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Sail Review: J99
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 17
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 18
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 19
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 20
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 21
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Power Review: Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 23
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 24
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 25
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 26
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - The Port Hole: October 2019
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 28
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 29
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 30
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 31
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 32
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 33
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 34
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 35
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 36
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 37
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 38
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 39
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 40
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 41
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 42
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Power Review: Pursuit DC 235
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 44
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 45
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 46
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 47
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 48
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 49
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - DIY/Tech: Your Compass Deserves Care
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 51
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 52
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 53
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 54
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 55
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 56
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 57
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 58
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 59
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 60
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 61
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Crossing the Line: Disciples of the Multimeter
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 63
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 64
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT: Charter Handbook
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 66
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 67
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 68
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 69
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 70
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 71
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 72
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 73
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 74
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 75
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 76
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 77
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - 78
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover3
Canadian Yachting October 2019 - Cover4
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