Magnetic Compass Maintenance and Deviation

Magnetic Compass Maintenance and Deviation

Magnetic Compass Maintenance and Deviation

Many ships rely on magnetic compasses to determine their direction while at sea. However, magnetic compasses can be subject to deviations, which can cause errors in navigation. That's why it's essential to conduct regular maintenance and deviation checks on magnetic compasses to ensure their accuracy.
 

Magnetic Compass Maintenance

Magnetic compasses are subject to wear and tear, especially when used in harsh marine environments. Routine maintenance can help prevent issues that could affect the accuracy of the compass. Maintenance tasks include cleaning, lubricating, and checking the compass for damage. The frequency of maintenance checks depends on the manufacturer's recommendations and the frequency of use. A properly maintained magnetic compass is critical for the safe operation of the vessel.
 

Magnetic Compass Deviation

Even a well-maintained magnetic compass can be subject to deviations, which can occur due to various factors such as the presence of metallic objects, electrical interference, and the vessel's magnetic field. Deviation checks are essential to determine the compass's accuracy and detect any deviations.

Deviation checks involve comparing the compass's readings with those of a reference standard. The standard may be another magnetic compass that has been calibrated, a gyrocompass, or an electronic compass. Deviation checks should be conducted regularly and whenever the vessel undergoes significant changes such as repairs or modifications. The deviation results are recorded in a deviation card, which is kept onboard and used to make corrections to the compass readings.
 

Magnetic Compass Adjustments

If deviations are detected, adjustments must be made to correct them. Adjustments involve adding or removing magnets to compensate for the deviation. Adjustments should only be made by a qualified compass adjuster who has the necessary skills and equipment to perform the task accurately. Incorrect adjustments can cause more significant errors in navigation, leading to potential safety hazards.
 

Conclusion

Magnetic compasses are essential for safe navigation at sea, and regular maintenance and deviation checks are necessary to ensure their accuracy. If deviations are detected, adjustments must be made by a qualified compass adjuster to ensure the compass's accuracy. Properly maintained and adjusted magnetic compasses can help ensure the safety of the vessel and its crew while at sea.

Bistek Marine