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Thread: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

  1. #1
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    Default Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Ive got the opportunity to purchase a Sestral Moore compass.

    I had one on each of the previous yachts and found them to be more than ideal and suitable to my needs. In short, I like them!

    Whilst I initially planned not to use the same again, Ive changed my mind and will keep with the relatively short tradition over the past two boats and install the same on the new build.

    The compass I had a look at today is in reasonable condition but it needs a new light (incl plug) which Im certain I can source over time on-line.
    It needs a really good clean up and the hood doesn't bed down passively on the central retaining pin as it appears to be "warped". Maybe the cover has suffered damage or the metal has changed shape or 'grown' much the same way aluminium does. ....????

    I know I can clean up the compass and get it repainted so Im not worried about refurbishing it in that regard.

    Of greater concern though is the rather large bubble the compass has. This measures about 40 mm x 15 mm. I think it must have a leak someplace but cant be sure. The card itself is in perfect condition.
    Im sure I could get the fluid topped up or replaced but I have less confidence in knowing what to do if it has a leak.
    Swing motion is likewise unaffected.

    Can anyone offer advice on my options regarding the bubble please? Any thoughts on the hood issue as well??
    Last edited by Bernadette; 09-13-2022 at 01:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    The liquid as you probably know is Bayol .

    Here’s a supplier:

    https://www.lasaero.com/products/article/B01SJ42A7

    However I would worry about the leak; something has failed for the leak to be present; it could just be the filler plug seal or it could be something really serious like a crack in the diaphragm.

    If you have a good repairer nearby she/he can fix it but my advice is to keep looking as these compasses do come up regularly on ebay.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 09-13-2022 at 03:36 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Drill a hole in the bottom and let the rest of that pesky liquid the heck out of there .
    that’s how I cured my bubble problem

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Drill a hole in the bottom and let the rest of that pesky liquid the heck out of there .
    that’s how I cured my bubble problem
    Should your advice here be cross referenced to your advice here:

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I have not looked at a compass in 20 years.
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Drill a hole in the bottom and let the rest of that pesky liquid the heck out of there .
    that’s how I cured my bubble problem
    yeah but no thanks. not helpful ...

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    The liquid as you probably know is Bayol .

    Here’s a supplier:

    https://www.lasaero.com/products/article/B01SJ42A7

    However I would worry about the leak; something has failed for the leak to be present; it could just be the filler plug seal or it could be something really serious like a crack in the diaphragm.

    If you have a good repairer nearby she/he can fix it but my advice is to keep looking as these compasses do come up regularly on ebay.

    Andrew, as I don't know about the component parts of a compass, is the diaphragm likely to be expensive to replace (if this is even possible)?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
    Andrew, as I don't know about the component parts of a compass, is the diaphragm likely to be expensive to replace (if this is even possible)?
    Bernadette,

    I will have to take a look at my Moore, tomorrow all going well, if not, at the weekend. Most Sestrel compasses have a facility to allow the liquid to expand and contract and this is often in the form of a thin brass bellows piece. But although I have a Moore and like it I can’t remember how it is constructed!

    Do you gave a professional compass repairer in Queensland?

    Here’s an old thread from the ybw forum with some discussion:

    https://forums.ybw.com/index.php?thr...o-seal.541561/

    I’ll get back to you.

    Andrew
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 09-13-2022 at 06:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Andrew,

    thank you so much for your help so far.

    Im not certain there is anyone in Queensland who can repair a Sestral Moore. I would have to do an internet search. I seem to recall someplace in Australia at least that might be up to effect repairs. Obtaining parts may be an issue.

    I know this might sound dumb: are old style compasses built too differently from newer styles?

    I would think at this stage of having to send the compass to the UK to get any work done on it. Ive had mariners' clocks "repaired" by clock repairers before and they have caused more damage than effect any repairs.

    I tried looking up the schematics for a Moore but could only find fairly rudimentary drawings. Nothing that explains the inner workings. Do yo know what material the diaphragm is made of?

    Is the thin brass bellows piece you talk off at the top of the compass? I ask because the cover does not sit passively onto the central retaining pin. So Im wondering if the pin is central to the brass bellows you describe. It may have been let off to allow expansion and some fluid has leaked out????

    On the compass Im looking at I can't tell whether the central pin is at its correct height. Its approximately 3 mm below the height of the cover when the cover is positioned above the compass.

    I have the seller waiting on my decision to purchase. I guess I could offer less than asking price given all this uncertainty. However I suspect the seller will just hang onto it and sell to someone who just wants the compass as a desk top ornament which in my opinion is a real shame.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Andrew,
    did you know there is a rather 'industrial' type compass (Sigma) very similar to the Sestral Moore made by Cassens and Plath. I haven't got a price on one yet.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    The older brass compasses used a brass (or bronze) diaphragm under the card support pin that allows the fluid to expand and contract with temperature change. They fail (crack) eventually, leak fluid and let air in. And then your compass is pretty much shot...
    I have fiddled with a few and even had one I was emotionally attached to professionally repaired. Repairing the crack using solder worked, but I'm afraid that it made the diagram stiffer and when the fluid contracted it drew in air, probably around the face mounting ring.
    (The diaphragm is pleated like a bellows)
    Newer compasses may use different materials?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Should your advice here be cross referenced to your advice here:





    yes,
    the air compass with no bubble in the fluid was for the 20th century.
    in this century it has been ignored

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    If you turn a Moore over you will see a cover plate (brass, painted grey or black) held in place by four round head screws, and a fifth larger cheese head screw. The larger screw is the filler and sits on a sealing washer. To refill the compass first put it in the freezer along with a syringe filled from the Bayol bottle, then undo the filler and top up using the syringe. The reason for getting it cold is that it reduces the risk of having a residual bubble.

    The four small screws holding the cover plate on are brass, will be dezincified, and must be treated gently. Undo these and you will find the brass diaphragm.

    I do emphasise - those tiny brass screws are the worst part of any Sestrel compass.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 09-16-2022 at 08:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Yesterday I finally managed to purchase a compass from an eBay seller in England. It appears to be in good condition overall. It should arrive here within the next two weeks so I'll be able to check its condition against the photographs! It does have a small bubble but Im not really worried by this.

    It is however missing a few parts which Im having trouble sourcing (not surprisingly).

    Mr Barry Phillips from BPSC is helping me with one particular part (Bearing Housing Locking Handle) but I still need the Lead Light Assembly (12v) and magnets. Fortunately the 'base plate' for the light assembly is intact and Barry tells me a compass adjuster should be able to supply the magnets.

    If I get stuck for magnets, Im wondering if it's possible to turn down magnet material on a lathe to the required dimensions?

    ...and if anyone has a light assembly lying around they wish to sell...please let me know!
    Last edited by Bernadette; 02-21-2023 at 07:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    a small bubble
    heh heh

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    ...thanks for the bastardised wishes...
    Last edited by Bernadette; 02-21-2023 at 09:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Good news.
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Can't remember the details , Bernadette, but I did make a light from an electronic shop led . Dick Smith or j car....

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
    ...thanks for the bastardised wishes...
    My bastardized point was, you started out with a bubble, I suggested a foolproof way to lose the bubble, that you blew off.
    Now you have a …. wait for it …. bubble .
    We joke about ol’timey sailors drinking the liquid in a compas , but when they did that they got no bubble .
    Over the decades, at least three people have commented on my compas,”hey I have or had the same compass but could never get rid of the bubble, how’d you do dat?”

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    I bought an old White Compass and had it restored, way cheaper and nicer than buying new.
    But I'm on a different continent. Good luck with yours, I'm sure you'll solve it in time.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Can't remember the details , Bernadette, but I did make a light from an electronic shop led . Dick Smith or j car....
    Ditto. Leds are fine. The only critical part is the need to twist the + & - wires round each other. And it means you can modernise the plug fittings.
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Ditto. Leds are fine. The only critical part is the need to twist the + & - wires round each other. And it means you can modernise the plug fittings.
    thanks Andrew and John.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    I bought an old White Compass and had it restored, way cheaper and nicer than buying new.
    But I'm on a different continent. Good luck with yours, I'm sure you'll solve it in time.
    are you talking about a Sestral Moore? Im curios as I would like to get the one I just purchased; repainted in the trad gunmetal grey colour. Im just not sure how to go about stripping the existing paint off and what types of paint to use?

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Bernadette, I'm glad that you found a compass that you want. Apart from liking the Sestrel, is there any other reason for not wanting a
    modern compass?
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    Bernadette, I'm glad that you found a compass that you want. Apart from liking the Sestrel, is there any other reason for not wanting a
    modern compass?
    its a good question and one ive asked myself many times.

    I guess it comes down to the fact that the first time I did a lot of helming was on Pequot. There was one voyage to PNG when I was quite young, but Dad did most of the hard overnight work on that crossing. Since then, most costal passages have been undertaken using a variety of other compasses.

    I dont know why we installed a Sestral Moore on Pequot: maybe to keep things traditional. I found the Sestral Moore incredibly easy to use. Holding a heading and keeping to the course was just a cinch.

    it's just been a 'habit' from that point on to gravitate to the Sestral Moore, again on Decatur and now on this new boat.

    ive looked through the catalogues etc for new compasses, but try as I might, none really take my fancy although there are obviously some good looking ones and ones that would clearly do a good job at a fraction of the cost too!

    I doubt I will have anything other than the compass up top (and also maybe a chart plotter on a extendable lead), so being able to take all instrumentation down below when not in use also appeals to me.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Hey Bernadette, there are a bunch of restore vids on YouTube. Here is one to get you started.
    They are quite simple really. If the bubbles keep coming back you may need to re seal the gasket?
    https://youtu.be/_vXIA-65QNo

    cheers
    Steve

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Steve, thanks very much for the info. I was sort of thinking I would take the existing paint off with a chemical stripper of some sort. i wonder if that would be ok?
    the shiny brass looks good if sitting on a desk nice and dry someplace, but I would be inclined to paint again if using the compass at sea.
    Last edited by Bernadette; 02-22-2023 at 09:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Yeah, the shine is just for YouTube clicks ��
    The citrus stripper is pretty good. Just test it on a small section underneath first.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
    are you talking about a Sestral Moore? Im curios as I would like to get the one I just purchased; repainted in the trad gunmetal grey colour. Im just not sure how to go about stripping the existing paint off and what types of paint to use?
    No, mine was made by White, it's a Constellation model.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Bernadette - I’m pretty sure, from looking at mine, that the craquelure grey finish will have been applied in the factory in Barking using an acid spray - I’ve seen it done, but it’s not a process for the amateur.

    However a similar effect can be achieved with Hammerite.
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    IMG_5753.jpgIMG_5754.jpgIMG_5752.jpg
    IMG_5756.jpg
    this little gem arrived in the post yesterday.
    purchased off eBay UK.

    Im pleasantly suprised at its condition...it would appear to be unused (correctly described by the seller). Having said that, the pillar bracket and compass are of two different colours so im assuming it's been put together from a couple of compass units as such.
    Only parts missing are the light lead and plug, magnets and heeling error magnet housing cap.
    and BTW no bubble despite the advertisement posted up by the seller showed a small bubble. so not sure what happened there. there is an extremely minuscule amount of 'dust' particles floating around in the oil.
    Ive got time on my side to either make up a aftermarket light or keep scouring the planet for a genuine part/s.
    I will probably paint the pillar bracket white and leave the compass in its existing colour.
    Last edited by Bernadette; 03-02-2023 at 10:25 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Swap ya...
    20230303_173953.jpg
    But I'm keeping the Vava'u god, the laughing polar bear cap and the copper wire from Minerva reef...

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    nah John, I reckon it would be an uneven swap at your loss...your compass is a treat....it looks 100% perfect to me! its got a lovely patina happening there.

    I should never had sold my last two boats with the sestrals.
    although I did have enough nouse at the time of selling Decatur to swap out the Schatz clock and barometer for a 'cheapie' pair!

    curios to know what's the significance of the copper wire from minerva reef?

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Just the fact it was there, Bernadette, I picked it up from a rock pool. I notice there's a half coconut shell from the Lau group sitting in there too, and a bakelite light switch my grandaughter became attached to this summer...must have a tidy up...

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    nice find! I could never win a bidding war on Catawiki for one of those. Had to settle for a two sided vertical mount Kestrel which allows for seeing the heading inside the cabin.

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    Default Re: Sestral Moore Compass advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Brown View Post
    nice find! I could never win a bidding war on Catawiki for one of those. Had to settle for a two sided vertical mount Kestrel which allows for seeing the heading inside the cabin.
    Hi Bruce, yes I do think Im rather fortunate with this purchase. It's always a bit of a risk buying off eBay and the such like. Having said that though: Ive never ever had troubles over a number of years buying second hand products including recent purchases for hand planes.

    There is currently a sestral for sale on eBay USA. I emailed the buyer awhile back to ask them to take photos of the compass without the hood on it. They replied that it wasn't possible to take the hood off! I figured they either didnt really know what they were selling or more probable that they may have been trying to hide a defective compass????

    I also tried to join Catawiki. I used my SIL's residential address (in Wakefield) to join up but got found out when I logged my Australian phone number which was rather clumsy of me. Catawiki restrict certain countries with Australia being one of the countries on this list. They sent me a rather terse email to say I had been naughty! It's a bit of a shame because a lot of good compasses have been sold on that site.

    The compass I purchased off eBay UK had been up for sale a long while back but the buyer didnt respond to my initial query to send to Australia. He then obviously reposted the ad and for some reason I just happened to be home with my computer on when I got a notification telling me that bidding for the compass was about to end! Long story short: he had no 'local' bidders and I had emailed him in the meantime to say I wanted to buy. So after the bidding closed he opened up the advertisement to International buyers which then permitted me to place a "buy now" bid. Having said that, I paid 100 UK pound for postage. Despite the high freight cost, It has turned out to be a very reasonably priced, in good condition, compass.
    Last edited by Bernadette; 03-05-2023 at 05:11 PM.

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