AMSA, the National Regulator no longer issues a Licence as a Compass Adjuster and there are currently no courses in Australia which provide a means of studying the often complex topics of this discipline. Seafood Training Tasmania is committed to providing a means by which Masters, Mates and interested persons wishing to study the science and practice of compass compensation to commence studying, at no cost and be provided with guidance on resources, text books and extracts to commence a self-study program.
Assistance with computations and methodology will be provided John Shanahan-Lewis who has been a Commonwealth Compass Adjuster since 1980. Under his guidance the student will be encouraged to do his/her own study and when assistance is needed, he will provide online help. One of the goals of this assistance is to ensure that the scholarship of compass compensation, its theory, computations and practical skills are not lost.
The work of Archibald Smith and Frederick J Evans, authors of the Admiralty Manual for the Deviations of the Compass originally edited in 1862, need to be preserved and understood. Dr Scoresby who undertook a voyage on the “Royal Charter” in 1856 from Liverpool to Melbourne and return wrote his journal with exceptional insight which ultimately proved that the theory, experimentation and mathematics behind the magnetism of iron ships and its effect on the magnetic compass, were correct. Voyaging between the 2 hemispheres of the earth provoked such dramatic changes in the magnetic properties of iron and the disturbing forces on the compass needle that the safety of mariners, cargoes and ships required exceptional fortitude and experimentation to be accomplished in a short period of time.
Seafood Training Tasmania is committed to providing training and competence in maritime subjects and the knowledge of the Magnetic Compass is one such discipline.
With the advent of such navigation aids as GPS, plotters, radar overlays, ECDIS in larger vessels and the Satellite compass, the importance of the magnetic compass and its correction has greatly diminished in the psyche of the modern mariner.
To enable students and practicing compass adjusters to acquaint or re-acquaint themselves with some of the more difficult concepts of the job, we invite them to contact STT and we can direct their queries to John who will provide more detail and information. His time is given on a pro bono basis.
This project is to promote learning, discussion and scholarship in this old and challenging practice of compass compensation, hopefully well into the future of this quickly changing world of navigation instrumentation. We trust that those interested in commencing, updating or just discussing any aspect of the history of the magnetic compass on iron ships will take the opportunity to make contact.
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