Deck mounted gear issues....

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Deck mounted gear issues.... Empty Deck mounted gear issues....

Post  aram624 on Mon May 31, 2010 3:14 am

A compass doesn't tell you which way you're going. Nor how far you've gone. For that matter, unless you're off the west coast of Florida, it doesn't even point north. So why even bother with one?

If you paddle on a little pond within constant sight of your house you might not need one. However, if you want to venture onto new waters, locate your own position, or pick out a specific landmark against a crowded horizon, a good compass is essential, and surprisingly fun to use.

Compasses come in two flavors: marine or hiking. Hiking, compasses feature a moving needle that points to magnetic north, within a case marked with the 360 degrees of a full circle. The case has to be rotated to align the needle with north, and directions are read from the outer face of the case. Many can be adjusted for local variance or declination, so that they indicate true rather than magnetic north. That's how most topographic maps are oriented.

Marine compasses have a disk within their case, magnetized and marked with 360 degrees. The outer, unmarked case can rotate around the disk-or compass card-which points to magnetic north. Deck-mounted compasses have their cases fastened to your kayak's deck, so that the case is permanently aligned to your keel line. Few marine compasses can be adjusted to correct for local variances. That's no big deal, however, since marine charts all include a magnetic north rose and virtually every saltwater navigator determines course on the basis of magnetic north.
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aram624

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Join date : 2010-05-28

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