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Old 10-01-2008
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Looking for a new compass

my compass is old, has no light which would have really been nice the other night...and nothing to tell me the degree of heeling I am at. I am looking for a new one that has a light, tells me how far I am heeling and is AWESOME. give me some sugggestions....It needs to be bulkhead mounted for my oday 23
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I'd recommend the Plastimo 101 Compass. It looks like:



Available here at sailnet...click on photo to go to it.

The other advantage the Plastimo has is that it can be read from inside the cabin as well as outside in the cockpit... if it is installed next to the nav station, that can be handy.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-02-2008 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 10-02-2008
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Yes, that Plastimo is great. Just don't lose the grey plastic faceplate cover, as sunlight will yellow the oil. Also, unless you know what you are doing, having it professionally swung is a good idea, even with a little compass (I assume it can be swung, I don't know, as it was right when I bought the boat!)

The only other comparable compass at the low end is Suunto, I think.

Suunto - Home - SUUNTO B-95 SAIL - Marine Compasses

Last edited by Valiente; 10-02-2008 at 12:23 AM.
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Danforth makes one as well, but I think the Plastimo is far easier to read.



The other advantage the Plastimo has is that it can be read from inside the cabin as well as outside in the cockpit... if it is installed next to the nav station, that can be handy.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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how does that work? do you have to cut a huge hole in the bulkhead?
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With all of the bulkhead mounted compasses, you have to cut a pretty big hole in the bulkhead. Huge is a relative term though... most of them require a hole about 3.5-4" in diameter. I like the Plastimo because it at least makes the most of the hole IMHO, since you can see the compass card from both sides.

They do make a smaller version of the Plastimo, which is located here. However, I wouldn't recommend it, since it doesn't allow you to swing the compass, since it doesn't have adjusters for the deviation IIRC.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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I really like the Suunto B-116 bulkhead compass

one possible source: http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d321000/e318618.asp
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We went with the Ritchie Navigation SR-2 Venture:



for the following reasons: 1. We liked the white lettering on a blue card. It seemed very readable. 2. Ritchie was most-highly-recommended by the compass repair guy I talked to down in Florida. 3. It was in-stock at a local marine supply store (and I like to buy local).

How readable is it? Well, ours is mast-mounted and we've a 30' boat. So that compass is about, oh... 10' from where The Admiral sits at the tiller and I at the winches, and we can both read it pretty well--at least during the daytime. (There's no power up there yet and we haven't sailed at night, yet, in any event, so I couldn't say about nighttime.)

Jim
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An excellent low-cost choice is Rule's Saturn, available in flat or front-read. Only $82, really large, seems well-built. Integral clinometer. My only complaint is on the front-read, with our slightly angled bulkhead, a gimbal can obscure the gradations slightly. Depends where you are sitting.
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This option doesn't require cutting any holes and is readable from below. All you need to do is detach it from the included adhesive mounting strip. It is also removable when you are away from the boat so theft is no longer a worry. The product is shown with the optional inclinometer.
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