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  #1  
Old 09-05-2007
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Compass replacement

I have decided that it is time to replace or rebuild my bulkhead mounted compass in my older 27 footer. The compass is many years old and it is very difficult to use due to crazing and discoloration of the "bubble" lens.

What I have now is a Gemini (no longer made nor supported by any active company that I am aware of) and has the 3 to 4 inch card (5 inch hole).

I've investigated having it rebuilt.... parts are still available and estimates have been around $100 and up. After adding the cost of shipping it to a qualified repair / rebuild station, I'm very close to the cost of a new Plastimo Contest 101 (right here at SailNet) or a Richie Sr-2 at Defender.

The Plastimo comes closest to fitting into the existing hole, the Richie would require making the hole a bit smaller (I've done enough West System work and I have the materials that that job wouldn't be too difficult). Both of these compasses will work on my bulkhead that has a 15 degree cant. Most of the others would require manufacturing a special mounting plate.

Anyone with personal experience with either of these compasses have an opinion on their quality, ease of use or instalation care to share?

Or anyone who might have suggestions as to other options I should consider?

I did do a search on this list and found a thread about two years old discussing the Plastimo a bit. If the person who was thinking about buying the Contest 101 did infact purchase and install, what do you think.

And last but not least, the 101 has the ability to be read in the cabin. This would seem to be an advantage... but is it in practical use? (at night on a hook.... maybe knowing which way the wind is blowing or the current is swinging your boat? or are there other practical advantages?)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-05-2007
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I just had my 5 inch 30 year old glass domed compass rebuilt, it looks and works like new. It really looks like it is brand new out of the box. If you care to know who I used send me a pm.
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I have the Plastimo Contest 101 on my boat, and do like it. The fact that it can be read in the cabin as well as outside is a bonus. It was the stock compass on my boat... so it isn't my thread that you were reading.

One thing I have found it useful for is for checking on the heading of the boat when at anchor—to see if it has swung—and to keep an eye on a newbie helmsperson while you're down below.
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I'd go for the Plastimo. Red lights good! (be sure to get a black or white card...white light on the other colors!)
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Jesse Boyce originally had the Plastimo Contest 101. It was a good compass but the globe started to show signs of age and she got a good air bubble so it was time to replace it. My first choice was a Rule Saturn Duel Read compass but when I got it, I found it was meant to be mounted on a bulkhead with a 15 degree angle. Well, it was a friend’s birthday so he got a nice new compass for his boat! I chose again, a Ritchie Navigator BN 202 for a vertical bulkhead mount which is identical to the old Ritchie Navigator 2000 that I mounted on my 22, Olde Blue back in the late 80’s Well lit, red card with large figures, very stable, duel read, good lubber lines, and an inclinometer built in. It’s very easy on the eyes, if not the wallet! You only get what you pay for in compasses.
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Old 09-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
I'd go for the Plastimo. Red lights good! (be sure to get a black or white card...white light on the other colors!)

I've about decided to go with the plastimo.... Camaraderie, would you explain why the black card is better than a red card.

Thanks
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Red card with white numbers is hard to read under red light... black card with white numbers, or white card with black numbers is easy to read under red light. Red light will help preserve your night vision... white light can interfere with it.
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Tree...the red card comes with a GREEN or white night light. Your vision will be better with red illumination.
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Gemini Dream

I have a Gemini on my Helms. I too have crazing which drives me crazy, I do love the light. Mine is a bulkhead mounted unit only visable on the bulkhead side. I would love info on all around view models that I could see from inside and out. I was not aware of the mounting angle issue, so thanks there.
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