The compass has been an important part of navigation for ships at sea. The compass allows ships to steer in the direction they choose to follow. Columbus used a compass on his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in the 1400’s. Ships today still have a compass on board. Tracy Edwards, captain of the yacht "Maiden" in the 1990 Whitebread Round-the-World Yacht race, used satellites to navigate her way, but found that it had so many errors, that she often used a magnetic compass.