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CarbonSink62 05-16-2013 12:02 PM

Compass Location for a Catalina 25
My new compass is smaller than my old one; at a minimum, I'll need to put a StarBoard blank-off over the opening and recut for fit.

That seems like the least work and the location has no metal anywhere close by. I don't like it because it takes up the cockpit fwd bulkhead that my guests like to use as a backrest. Nice to have the old compass gone from there.

I would prefer it be mounted under the companionway. This is a bit more work (in that I still have to seal up the old opening) but the compass light would provide great illumination of the cockpit foot well when night sailing and it would be low enough not to distract the helmsman. I was all set to do it that way until I realized that the galley sink is 13" from that spot and the power panel is just aft of the sink. Is that too close for a compass? The sink is pretty small (as is the whole boat :rolleyes:).

On the cockpit bulkhead opposite the original location (26" above the sink) is a depth sounder that doesn't work and the new chartplotter has a fish/depth 'ducer so it needs to go (I'm sick of hitting my head on it in the cabin). The opening is smaller than needed so it would be an easier job to put the compass there. That spot puts the compass about a foot from the halyard winch on the coachroof. Did I mention that the boat is small? This still takes up a cockpit bulkhead, but there are no perfect solutions.

It seems like Catalina picked/created a pretty good mounting location and I should put it back there.

So that is all the detail. To recap the questions:

Is 13" from a small sink too close for a small compass? (Plastimo Mini Contest)

If that is 'Yes' then the next question is, Is 26" from a small sink too close for a small compass? A foot from a small winch?

Any issues with mounting it under the companionway? I don't think it will get kicked (much); maybe it won't be a visible as I like (because I like my girls with thick ankles! ;))


Alex W 05-16-2013 12:25 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
I'm not sure that your compass will work on the right bulkhead anyway. That is sloped and doesn't work with most compasses that want to be mounted vertically. Right makes one that fits and it fit perfectly into the hole from the previous compass on our Catalina 25:
Venture Bulkhead Mount

I don't think these boats came with a factory compass (it was listed as an option on the original paperwork for my 1984 Catalina 25), so things could be different on your boat.

You can test for issues with nearby metal by holding the compass there and swinging it while comparing it to a known good compass.

A no-holes option would be to make a board that hangs down off of the companionway door handle and which holds the compass. You would put it away when done sailing. It wouldn't be kicked whenever someone goes below either. Two similar examples using hatch boards:

I can't find my favorite example, which is hanging from the handle on the companionway slider.

Skipper Jer 05-16-2013 12:44 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
My hunter 25 had the compass mounted on the companion way board. Similar to
the pic above, sunris6.jpg. I've pretty much decided to mount the compass in my new boat, Nor'sea 27, the same way. I'd eat Vegemite before i would drill a hole in my boat.

Yea you have to step over the board on the way down below but you have the entire cockpit bulkhead as a back rest. Besides really, just how often do you need the compass ? So the compass & board would be stowed down below on most day sails.

Sailormon6 05-16-2013 12:58 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
Stainless steel might, or might not, be magnetic, depending on it's composition. I found a fairly clear explanation at the following website: Is Stainless Steel Magnetic? (with pictures) I believe most ss sinks contain nickel, and are not magnetic at all.

CarbonSink62 05-16-2013 03:03 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
I'm thinking that a companionway drop board might be the best solution. Certainly the best for now, since it should be pretty quick to fabricate.

The specs for the compass say vertical to 5deg; the bulkhead might be more than that; using a drop board would allow me to tweak the angle.

I'm thinking the new board should be an exact fit for the existing lower board in case I want to close up the companionway and still sail.

The pics posted by Alex show GPS units very close to the compass; isn't that a no-no?



Alex W 05-16-2013 03:14 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
GPS units that use magnetic latches for the SD card close to a compass are a no-no. There aren't that many of them on the market.

The bulkhead on a Catalina 25 is closer to 25 or 30 degrees slope. I think that Ritchie and maybe one other model can handle it.

Skipper Jer 05-16-2013 03:24 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
One could always fabricate a wedge that would compensate for the drop board being off of vertical. If done with some forethought the wedge could facilitate the mounting of a
compass cover made from ? sunbrella ?

jimgo 05-16-2013 08:09 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
Install wheel steering and mount the compass to the pedestal. Problem solved!

CarbonSink62 05-17-2013 02:46 PM

Re: Compass Location for a Catalina 25
Thanks, Jim; very helpful.

How about the 44" Edson 'Destroyer' wheel?

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