Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Deck Shoe Break-in

Shorten the break-in time for a new pair of leather deck shoes using liquid lanolin rubbed onto the bare foot before inserting into the shoe naked and worn for a day. This will soften the leather inner sole so that it will mold to the bottom of the foot. A comfortable deck shoe equals a happy sailor :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Elegant Amplitude

The amplitude is perhaps the most elegant way to determine compass deviation and gyro error*. Use Bowditch table #27 (4 pages ) or a pocket calculator and the formula:

INV SIN [ SIN (Declination) / COS (Latitude)]

Apply the result to due East (90) or West (270) in the direction of the elevated pole when Latitude and Declination are of the same name (away if contrary). Take observations when the Sun's lower limb is 2/3 of a diameter above the visible horizon.

Tip- Keep a photo copy of Bowditch table #27 with the current years Nautical Almanac.

*Checking the compass/gyro at sea requires a celestial solution. Until the GPS compass becomes commercially affordable navigators will need to keep their celestial compass checking skills sharp.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Companionway Step Brace

Older companionway steps are prone to splitting and loosening over time. A preemptive plywood stiffener and support bracket will aid in preventing step collapse and possible injury. Be sure to drill the appropriate sized pilot holes to accommodate the stainless wood screws.