"The magnetic compass is what gets you home in your boat or plane when everything else quits," said Cartier, a senior deck instructor at Maritime Professional Training in Fort Lauderdale. "It's a very, very valuable piece of equipment."
Cartier said large ships and planes have sophisticated electronic navigation systems, but the vast majority of small boats and planes have magnetic compasses and rely on them heavily.
"They don't have the money to spend for a sophisticated system," he said.
He added that boaters should always bring updated maps, showing the latest corrections for the magnetic north shift, even if they have GPS.
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