Even with the advancement of modern technology, some non-digital processes are still critical in the navigation of shipping vessels. In recent times, shipowners, Vessel Operators, Masters, Officers, Coastal Pilots, and industrial organizations have recognized the importance of traditional equipment like magnetic compasses. These compasses help to keep a ship’s deviation within acceptable limits and in accordance with SOLAS V/19.2.1 and IMO Res. A.382(X) requirements.
Adjusting the deviation of a magnetic compass needs to be done from the ship. In the past, one needs to get a qualified professional on board for the adjustment. These days, however, SEAHARMONY with the cooperation of the International Association of Compass Adjusters (IACA), offers a more suitable alternative. They created a team that comprises ex-sea-going Masters that are trained and qualified as professional Compass Adjusters (certified by ABS Class).
The professionals can oversee the adjustment of a vessel’s magnetic compass remotely, giving the Officers on-board clear and easy-to-follow instructions via e-mail. This removes the need to hire expensive boat services just to embark and disembark a Compass Adjuster, cutting costs significantly. It also helps the vessel avoid breaking coastal sailing laws because of a compass swing. Similarly, the deviation adjustment can be made while the ship is on the move to its next port of call, so there is no need to delay or disrupt its journey.
A full 360-degree turn is not required to verify deviation. The compass adjustment may be implemented based on one quadrant of deviation data. The only requirement is that the Officers on-board follow the instructions as provided by the professional during the compass adjustment process.
Firstly, the Officer needs to send deviation data to the remote Compass Adjuster. The coefficients will be analysed, and recommendations on how to correct the setting are sent back. After the adjustments have been made, deviation data is retaken to verify the results. This process is repeated until the deviation meets SOLAS’ and IMO’s requirements. Upon completion, the vessel is given a certificate that is endorsed by a qualified Compass Adjuster.