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Thread: recommendation for surface mount compass?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default recommendation for surface mount compass?

    I finished the first season of sailing my Caledonia Yawl, and as the winter/cabin blues set in, I am pondering new things to add to the boat.

    A surface mount compass is high on my list, and I appreciate any advice or recommendations.

    thanks...
    Last edited by timber_cruiser; 01-29-2018 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    I had the same question for my Lightning build. A pretty good majority of the wooden Lightning crowd recommended a digital compass, Tac-Tick and the like. But I hesitate to spend that kind of money.

    The recommendation for old-style compasses was the Ritchie Tactician. Today's price on Amazon is $ 66 and change. I have one but haven't tried it out because the boat still needs months of work before launch. They tell me it is good for racing, so there is some hope I won't be last in every Malletts Bay race this year . . .

  3. #3
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Any ideas on where or how you want to mount your compass?

    I’ve got a Ritchie compass mounted on the center board trunk, which has worked out well. But truthfully I end up ignoring it most of the time.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    I strap a kayak compass to a forward sidebench on the starboard side of the boat. I also carry a piece of chalk that I'll use to write out a course mark next to the compass. (I write it right on the bench. If you lick the chalk first it'll really stick and show up clearly.) It's close enough so I can read it. One of the other sail and oar guys I used to cruise with (his name escapes me, he's got a goatee) put one on the forward bulkhead. It seemed like a long ways away.

    Intuition always led me to put the compass centerline, too, and I wasn't sure if I'd like the compass off to one side. I guess I found that our boats are still pretty small overall and it doesn't really matter where you put the thing as long as you can see it when necessary.


    (I think we're anchored for lunch in a little cove on Lasquiti Island, btw.)
    Last edited by Yeadon; 01-29-2018 at 04:58 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?



    I was thinking of mounting the compass on the flat surface of the center thwart.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    We used the old Tacticians when I was racing Thistles. I think most of the boats in the fleet had the same thing, mounted the same way and I don't recall any failures. I don't think I'd mount one on the rowing thwart as they do stick up quite a bit and it could be pretty... uncomfortable. A small block located just below the thwart would be better, maybe?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Yeah, put it where other people have to sit. Not where you sit. The skipper must always be comfortable.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    I also have a bulkhead mounted compass, a Ritchie Venture I think it is:


    Its about 8 feet away from where I usually sit while sailing but it's big enough, with a dial just under 4" in dia, that I can read it easily.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  9. #9
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    I also have a bulkhead mounted compass, a Ritchie Venture I think it is:


    Its about 8 feet away from where I usually sit while sailing but it's big enough, with a dial just under 4" in dia, that I can read it easily.
    I have one that's very similar, except that the dial is red. Easier to see in daylight & also works well at night. Wow - just checked online - they've gone up hugely (well over $200) - so that may well be spendy for you.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #10
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Garmin (Silva originally) 70UN
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-SO/ssa/p/509971
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    Garmin (Silva originally) 70UN
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-SO/ssa/p/509971
    R
    This one can also be mounted vertically. I have a block of wood with a hole in it that fits my DB trunk. A closely fitted hole in a thwart would work.

    For flat if you can find it the Brunton/ Silva/ ? 80 is good and can be had wired for a light.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    I use a box compass on my open boats. These can be mounted on slides under the thwart or just left in the box with a place to chock them in use. I like this type of compass because it has a traditional card that is viewed from above rather from the side. Some will read both ways and can be bulkhead mounted. Plastimo (France) makes an accurate one that is not too expensive, a good compass is good money.
    (I have even cut a hole in the thwart and mounted the gimble right there, but wouldn't do that again. The box can stow and when it is shut the compass is "caged")
    There is one on ebay right now for $90...

  13. #13
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    Apr 2015
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    Garmin (Silva originally) 70UN
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-SO/ssa/p/509971
    R
    That's pretty cool. I wonder if the bracket can be turned over so it's mounted on the bottom of the thwart with the compass in the normal position? That'd solve that "comfort when rowing" issue

  14. #14
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Almost.
    it will mount upside down,but still be readable.
    The mount has a click stop which will hold vertical down.
    The damn thing even floats.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2002
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    St. Petersburg FL
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    _MG_4427 by M Jones J Powers, on Flickr

    I like a compass big enough to be seen and read from the helm. This is a Ritchie Helmsman with a 3-3/4" card, in "Malu" (17'4" loa). Easily read from 6' and always in the line of sight.

    I have Ritchie SuperSport in the "Aunt Louise" (Wm Garden Eel) same size card but with the Blue face mounted in the aft of the CB trunk. Sorry can't find a photo of it in the boat.
    https://www.ritchienavigation.com/Im...g&NoCache=true

  16. #16
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    Default Re: recommendation for surface mount compass?

    Those of us lucky enough to live in foggy areas know that it is hard to have a compass that is too big. For my Romily I went bought one of those nice big Ritchies as a bulkhead compass. On another boat I have rigged a slide out compass mount which you could use for a box compass. I have a removable reverse reader also I think by Ritchie for rowing. When you are looking at them see how far away you can be and still read it. With some of the paddling compasses you can illuminate them at night from underneath. On a small boat if you can steer 5 plus or minus of the compass reading you are doing well. Get the boat on course, see how the sails trim and the tell tales read and use them as this will be more accurate. Your eyes will be on a track, compass to tell tales to look out back to compass with your neck, sheet and steering hand doing the most sensitive work.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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