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» Online Classroom   » Inland and Coastal Navigation   » Public Discussion of Inland and Coastal Navigation   » Definition of "compass error"

Author Topic: Definition of "compass error"
David Burch

 - posted September 05, 2003 10:46 AM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
Bowditch has a definition of "compass error" which is the sum of deviation and variation, but this is rarely used in small craft navigation or even on ships for that matter. Usually one thinks of compass error as the same as deviation and in our materials we tend to use compass error and deviation as interchangeable.

If anyone knows of a practical usage of this term in the Bowditch sense, it would be interesting to hear about it. Note that candidates for USCG exams must know this Bowditch definition since it is used on the test... ie they ask questions that rely on your thinking of "compass error" as variation plus deviation. Nevertheless, it is difficult for us to think of variation—a known property of nature—as an "error." Who are we to blame for this error?

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

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