Navicator (sic)

Hand-held radio direction finder with an earpiece. The earpiece plugs into a socket on the bottom of the handle. On the back of the main body are the other controls, including a frequency selector, volume control and switch for the lamp.

This set was used on the trimaran 'Teignmouth Electron' by Donald Crowhurst (1932–1969) in his attempt to win the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed, round-the-world yacht race that was won by Robin Knox-Johnston (the only person to complete it). Crowhurst was an English businessman and amateur sailor, who set up Electron Utilisation Ltd after moving to Bridgwater. The Navicator was one of the devices the firm produced.

Crowhurst entered the race hoping to win the and aid his failing business. Having encountered difficultes in the first part of his voyage, he began reporting false positions, in an attempt to appear to complete a circumnavigation without actually circling the world. The yacht was subsequently found afloat in the Atlantic, with evidence found after his disappearance indicating that he had committed suicide.

Object Details

ID: ZBA2292
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Radio direction finder
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Electron Utilisation Ltd
Date made: circa 1965
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: 205 x 200 x 97 mm

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