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Do I need a Magnetic Compass?
46 CFR 167.40-45 - MAGNETIC COMPASS AND GYROCOMPASS.
§ 167.40–45 Magnetic compass and gyrocompass. (a) All mechanically propelled vessels in ocean or coastwise service must be fitted with a magnetic compass. (b) All mechanically propelled vessels of 1,600 gross tons and over in ocean or coastwise service must be fitted with a gyrocompass in addition to the magnetic compass.
Adjustment of Compasses
6.) Each magnetic compass required to be carried by the Regulations shall be properly adjusted and its table or curve of residual deviations available at all times. Magnetic compasses should be adjusted when:
a.) they are first installed;
b.) they become unreliable;
c.) the ship undergoes structural repairs or alterations that could affect its permanent and induced magnetism;
d.) electrical or magnetic equipment close to the compass is added, removed or altered; or,
e.) a period of two years has elapsed since the last adjustment and a record of compass deviations has not been maintained, or the recorded deviations are excessive or when the compass shows physical defects.
Solas Chapter V - Annex 13 - Magnetic Compasses
Requriments and Guidance for Magnetic Compasses according to Chapter V, Regulation 19 of the Safety Of Lives At Sea (SOLAS)
1.) Regulation 19, All ships (excluding fishing vessels and pleasure craft under 150 gt) to be fitted with a magnetic compass or other means to determine and display the vessel’s heading independent of any power supply. They must also be fitted with a pelorus, or other means, to take bearings over an arc of 360° of the horizon and a means for
correcting heading and bearings to true at all times.
2.) Smaller fishing vessels should make every effort to meet the requirements of