hand bearing compass

mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
859
287
Santa Cruz
Do people still use and do you have a favorite hand bearing compass? In the past I have found them useful for quickly ascertaining whether you are on a collision course with another vessel (or just a strange light seen at night). Nowadays with AIS and radar maybe not as essential.

As a talking point, West Marine has the Ritchie SportAbout and the Plastimo Iris 100.
 

Fleetwood

Member
238
70
Sydney, Oz
I have one, never use it.
For collision courses, just use a couple of (fixed) points on your boat, does the other boat move fwd or aft wrt them? Or not...
Steering compass is good enough to check for strange lights against your chart (plotter).
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,097
1,467
worldwide
Do people still use and do you have a favorite hand bearing compass? In the past I have found them useful for quickly ascertaining whether you are on a collision course with another vessel (or just a strange light seen at night). Nowadays with AIS and radar maybe not as essential.

As a talking point, West Marine has the Ritchie SportAbout and the Plastimo Iris 100.
The hockey puck is the best

The best ones have strong , durable luminescent illumination

I dont care how many electronic gizmos you have …stop watch and a hand bearing compass are critical

The compass in binoculars is handy , but the hockey puck is better and doesn’t make you cry when is falls over the side
 

yoyo

Anarchist
761
318
Hockey puck styles are great and fit in a pocket or easily hang on neck. I'd avoid the ritchie sport. A buddy had one, it worked but nowhere near as nice when compared to the plastimo or weems and plath hockey pucks.
That plastimo iris 100 looks like it would be nice if you wanted a simple compass inside by the nav station and then grab when you need it. They apparently make a lighted version.
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,069
2,697
I use mine all the time. Mostly for race committee work, but also to see if you’re gaining bearing on boats off in the distance. I use the Weems & Plath hockey puck and love it.
 

bloodshot

Super Anarchist
1,612
153
United States
Plastimo Iris 50 or GTFO
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DDW

Super Anarchist
6,708
1,240
Personally I like the ones in binoculars. You can get an accurate bearing. If all you need is an approximate bearing, just sighting across the binnacle compass works well enough and you don't have to wear a necklace. But with AIS doing most of the collision tracking and calculation, I don't use either much. GPS eliminated the need for them for navigation.
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,188
6,379
Canada
I liked the Autohelm ones. Could store up to 9 bearings. So for a 3 point fix I'd click button 3 times on first point, 3 more for second time, 3 again for last point.

Then when reading them out you can look at the first 3 and take a mental average. But it has a fluxgate compass that must be kept very flat or it gets inaccurate.

Nowadays I use a hand bearing compass for collision detection and sometime clearing bearings on an obstacle (like clearing a reef)
 

CapDave

Member
492
467
Antigua


Davis. I have one on my boat that I bought in the 70's. I find it easier to use than the hockey puck. It can however be fragile, you can't just toss it down. I've glued mine together a few times.....
 

Pinching

Anarchist
609
18
+1 on the Vion -- ours is old (1979) and had radiation lighting that eventually went away. Now it's daytime use only. Have a Plastimo Iris for night use.
 




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