By June 29, 2015 Comments Off

How to check a compass pivot for wear?

During its life, your compass card will pivot on its jewel thousands of times. Sooner or later, the pivot will become worn, and the compass card may fail to respond properly due to increased friction. You can check for a worn or defective pivot by bringing a magnetic object such as a small magnet or a screwdriver close enough to the compass to deflect it about five or ten degrees. When the magnetic object is removed the compass should return quickly to the original bearing. Repeat this procedure several times, deflecting the card in opposite directions by changing the location of the magnetic object relative to the compass. If the compass doesn’t return to exactly the same bearing, the pivot is either worn or defective, and the compass is due for overhaul or replacement. An overhaul can return a compass to new condition, so don’t discard an expensive piece of equipment without first getting a professional evaluation. Just because you rarely use your boat doesn’t mean that the pivot can’t wear. A boat kept on a mooring is constantly changing direction 24 hours a day, wearing away at the pivot jewel.