Best Marine Compasses Reviewed

Venturing onto the water can be a dangerous undertaking. Regardless of other hazards out there – one of the most common mishaps for many is getting lost. On the open ocean, it’s very easy to lose one’s bearings, but sea-going fishermen aren’t the only ones that have trouble travelling the right path. Inshore waters and lakes are just as prone to thick fog and unfamiliar stretches of shoreline where the boater can’t tell which way is the right way to go.

Marine electronics have made a huge difference to how we get around on the water; and GPS navigation is almost standard these days. But for anyone serious about fishing and boating offshore and in unpredictable environments; the GPS commonly works in tandem with a quality compass.

Without the requirement for power or satellite access to find its bearings; a compass works regardless of the conditions. There is no lag between location input and display; making it much easier to plot a course via compass than watch a GPS screen. Switched-on anglers and boaters incorporate a quality compass into their boat’s navigational system.

Our Top 3 Picks

B-51 Ritchie Navigation
  • B-51 Ritchie Navigation
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • High Performance
  • Price: See Here
Seattle Sports SeaRover
  • Seattle Sports SeaRover
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Affordable
  • Price: See Here
Brunton Dash Mount
  • Brunton Dash Mount
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Low Profile
  • Price: See Here

Best Brands

There are several high quality compass manufacturers out there, but simple proof comes from the most popular public choices – and that choice is Ritchie. This company has been manufacturing compasses since 1850 and is highly regarded for its choice of quality products available for a variety of specific marine uses.

Ritchie is heavily featured in this list, as it should be. Providing options from economical to high-end expensive; there’s a compass to suit every budget; and every one is fully repairable and backed by a 5 year warranty. It’s hard to argue with that!

Several other compass brands also feature in the list for their provision of task-specific models, suited to particular uses or notable in their economy and performance.

Things to Consider when Buying a Compass

Choosing a compass for the fishing boat has to take a few things into consideration. Where will the compass be fitted, and where will the operator be viewing it from? Is the craft a large or small boat, or a kayak or canoe? Will the compass need extra features to perform in the conditions?

Where will it be mounted?

There are several compass designs, suited to specific mounting situations. This will vary depending on the craft they’re to be fitted to; and the specific uses required of the compass.

Bracket mount compasses fit into an adjustable bracket that is fastened to the craft. Brackets are commonly reversible and highly adjustable; making them well suited to all kinds of mounting situations.

Flush/surface mount compasses fit flush to the dash, bulkhead or deck (depending on the craft).

Basically, they fit to horizontal surfaces. This design is good for an unobtrusive compass that doesn’t get in the way; and that can be easily viewed using ambient light. Some designs are made to be low profile without requiring a hole to fit in. These can sometimes be removed from the connection surface via a quick-release bracket – for storage when not in use.

 

Dash mount compasses fit into sockets cut into the dash of boat consoles, so that they fit flush and match with other dials such as fuel gauges. These compasses are unobtrusive and well protected from knocks and scratches. Visibility is often aided by internal powered lighting; though they can easily be seen in ambient light.

Bulkhead mount compasses are usually quite large and are designed to fit into the bulkhead of boats – particularly sailing vessels. They can be adjusted through a range of degrees between vertical and halfway to horizontal, to accommodate the sloping surfaces of bulkheads.

Where will you be reading it from?

Another consideration, related to where the compass is to be mounted, is where you will be viewing it from. Several compass dial types are available which are suited to reading from particular angles.

Direct-read dials are common in bracket mount compasses and feature a domed dial with the bearings scribed on it. These dials are easiest to read when looking at the compass from a horizontal plane as the bearings are most prominent and magnified.

Flat-card dials are found in flush mounted compasses designed to be looked at from above. The flat dial is barely visible from a horizontal angle.

Combi-dial dials are a mix of both o the other two. A sloped area shows bearings from a horizontal plane, then the sloped dial changes angle to a flat top which also shows the bearings, being visible from above.

Does it need any extra features?

There are only so many features that can be tucked into a small compass – and it’s a god rule that less-is-more. After all, you want to spend your money on reliable navigation – not bells and whistles!

Many marine compasses are manufactured with inbuilt lighting, commonly powered by the 12V battery in the boat. This makes them easily useable in low-light and at night; but it does require that the wiring be hooked up – and that the boat have power. Don’t worry – the rest of the compass will work regardless!

Some compasses are fitted with sunshields. These are a great idea to cut back on glare that can obscure the reading of the dial. Adjustable visors mean that the sun can be blocked no matter what angle it’s coming from.

Various attachment systems are available for compasses. For flush, dash and bulkhead mounts, a hole is usually required to be cut to fit the underside of the compass. Bracket mounts may come with adhesive pads for attachment. Other designs have quick-release options. It’s a good idea to choose a solid base attachment (screws are the most reliable where possible). A compass relies on having a solid attachment and correct alignment so that the user can most easily see the direction that they wish to travel in, and point the boat that way.

10 Best Marine Compasses

 

1. B-51 Ritchie

1. B-51 Ritchie
This compass is best designed for larger sailboats and features a bulkhead design that can be mounted from 90-40⁰. It comes with a 45⁰ clinometer.

High Performance

As another of Ritchie’s top end collection of compasses, the B-51 is known for the steadiness and quick lock-on of the compass itself, for certainty when navigating.
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Features and Specifications

Bulkhead mount
45⁰ clinometer
3 ¾” Combi-Dial
12V green lighting
5 year warranty

Price/Value

The B-51 is an expensive piece of equipment, and is specialised for larger sailboats.

Verdict

For specific uses this compass is a great performer and looks the part as well. It is less suited to general boating use.
Pros

Bulkhead that can be mounted between 40-90

High performance Combi-Dial

Cons

High price

2. Seattle Sports SeaRover

2. Seattle Sports SeaRover
This compass is designed to fit a kayak (or other flat-mount craft) without the need for screws or adhesive. This makes it great for the adventure paddler.

Quick Release Compass

The SeaRover deck compass is fitted with a broad base that gives it stability on the deck of a kayak, and the quick release buckles make it easily fitted to the kayak straps.
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Features and Specifications

Quick release attachment
Wide base for balanced fit on kayak deck

Price/Value

This compass is very affordable. It’s a handy compass for paddlers.

Verdict

This is a good choice for adventure paddlers who need to transport their kayaks and don’t want to damage permanently fixed compasses; and it can be easily fitted to different crafts.
Pros

Affordable

Direct read dial in large dome

Cons

Have to attach/detach

3. Brunton Dash

3. Brunton Dash
The Brunton Dash Mount fits flush onto the boat’s bulkhead or even the deck of a kayak to give a simple, low profile look.

Simple Compass

There’s very little to go wrong with this compass – there are no lights included (so it doesn’t require a power source) and no moving or swivelling parts of the frame or attachment to fail.
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Features and Specifications

Flush mount
Flat dial
3” dial

Price/Value

The Brunton compass fits into the low/mid-price range along with several of the Ritchie compasses, and is great value for a simple, reliable product.

Verdict

This is a good buy for those wanting a reliable, simple, easy to use compass without the hassle of hooking up to power for light.
Pros

Low profile, unobtrusive mount

Easily visible from all angles

Suitable for boats and kayaks

Cons

No light source included for use at night

4. Ritchie Explorer S-53

4. Ritchie Explorer S-53
The S-53 is a low profile surface mount compass, keeping it out of the way without having to cut a hole in the dash to fit it.

Low Profile, Direct Read

This compass is designed to be mounted on a flat surface, and is fantastic for modern, compact helms because of its unobtrusive, low profile. The big, direct read dial is easy to read at eye level.
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Features and Specifications

Low profile surface mount
Push button removal system
Moveable sunshield
Built in compensators
12V green lighting
2 ¾” direct read dial
5 year warranty

Price/Value

The S-53 is a low/mid-range price compass, making it ideal for a variety of applications. It’s great value for money.

Verdict

The Ritchie Explores S-53 is a great compass for simple helm/dash mounting where it can be positioned on a flat surface and is viewable at eye level. It’s packed with reliable features and backed by a 5 year warranty.
Pros

5 year warranty

Fully repairable compass

Detachable mount system for storage/security

Cons

Direct read dial suited to eye-level viewing only

5. Ritchie V-57.2

5. Ritchie V-57.2
The V-57.2 Explorer is a dash mount compass that fits standard 3” instrument holes.

Adjustable through 30⁰

The viewing plane of this compass is adjustable through 30⁰ meaning that it’ll work on most dash angles, making it an easy choice to fill a spare instrument hole.
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Features and Specifications

Dash mount
12V green lighting
2 ¾” dial
Built in compensators
5 year warranty

Price/Value

As compass is mid-range in price and is good value for a stylish compass to fit-out the dash of a boat with.

Verdict

This is another quality compass that’s well designed and well made.
Pros

5 year warranty

Stylish design

Cons

Requires power for night light

6. SS-1002 Ritchie

6. SS-1002 Ritchie
The Ritchie SS-1002 is a flush-mounting compass designed to be fitted flush where the operator can view it from above. It is high performance gear and stable no matter the conditions.

Made for Headings

The SS-1002 is designed with racing in mind, where speed is all-important. Ritchie meets this requirement with the extra-large numerals displayed on the dial – making it super easy to read and fix a heading by degrees.
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Features and Specifications

Flush mount
3 ¾” flat-card dial
Extra-large white numerals
45⁰ lubber lines
12V green lighting
Compensators built in
5 year warranty

Price/Value

The SS-1002 is a high-end piece of navigation equipment, and the price reflects this. For the serious navigator looking for top quality equipment it’s worth it.

Verdict

The SS-1002 is a pretty serious piece of kit and costs substantially more than some of the more basic compasses. For anyone spending a lot of time on the water and reliant on their compass this may be the way to go; otherwise there are plenty of other options.
Pros

5 year warranty

Large dial

Highly visible numerical display

Flush mount

Cons

Has to be mounted flat below the operators line of sight

High price

7. F-83 Ritchie

7. F-83 Ritchie
The F-83 is another high performance compass from Ritchie. It incorporates a Combi-Dial for dial visibility from different angles.

Combi-Dial

The Combi-Dial dial of this compass incorporates both flat and direct-read dial features so that the compass can be read from either above or at eye level; or somewhere between.
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Features and Specifications

Flush mount
3” Combi-Dial
12V green lighting
Compensators built in
5 year warranty

Price/Value

The F-83 is another expensive compass for those looking for high quality equipment. Its design is very versatile however.

Verdict

The F-83 Voyager compass is a high quality compass from Ritchie and is a versatile instrument, being flush mounted but able to be viewed from varied angles due to the Combi-Dial.
Pros

Combi-Dial for versatility

5 year warranty

Flush mount

Moveable sunshield

Cons

High price

8. Ritchie RA-93

8. Ritchie RA-93
The RA-93 is another low profile surface mount compass, comparable to the Explorer S-53 with a couple of different features.

Suited to the Sun

The RA-93 is finished in a glare-minimising grey tint and contains a high-visibility blue dial, meeting the needs of anglers fishing from open-decked boats. The moveable sunshield further shades the dial from glare whichever direction the sun may be.
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Features and Specifications

Low profile surface mount
Push button removal system
2 ¾” direct read dial
No glare finish and high visibility dial
12V green lighting
5 year warranty

Price/Value

Costing slightly less than the Ritchie S-53; the RA-93 is another great value, high quality compass for simple mounting situations.

Verdict

The RA-53 is a good choice for a variety of navigation applications and has extra features for open-decked boats.
Pros

5 year warranty

Low glare finish

Detachable mount system for storage/security

Moveable sunshield

Cons

Direct read dial suited to eye level mounting

9. JSHANMEI LED

9. JSHANMEI LED
The JSANMEI is a simple bracket-mounting compass making it an easily adjustable navigation tool for boaters.

Mount on many Surfaces

The bracket mount that comes with this compass makes it suitable for fitting on surfaces that aren’t level. This makes mounting easy no matter where; as the compass can be swivelled to sit level in the mount.
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Features and Specifications

Adjustable bracket mount
Adjustable sun visor
Accuracy compensators
12V red illumination
Dial 2.4”; height 5.5”; width 4.2”

Price/Value

This is one of the least expensive compasses on this list, and considering its quality manufacture – makes it great value for money.

Verdict

The JSANMEI is a great, low-cost alternative to some of the better-known compass manufacturers. It’s a good choice for a variety of mounting applications and won’t break the bank.
Pros

Mount on any angle

Shade out glare with sun visor

Cons

Direct read dial suited to viewing at eye level

10. Ritchie X-10B-M

10. Ritchie X-10B-M
The Ritchie X-10B-M compass is a great all-rounder suitable for a variety of uses, and it’s very affordable.

Mount Anywhere

With an adjustable, reversible mounting bracket this compass can be mounted through a range of 300⁰, meaning you can put it just about anywhere. Its broad direct-read dial is easy to see.
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Features and Specifications

Bracket mount
2” dial
12V green lighting
Built in compensators
5 year warranty

Price/Value

This is a very affordable compass that’s suitable for a variety of uses.

Verdict

The X-10B-M is a great choice for anyone looking for a non-specific compass that can be mounted almost anywhere within their craft or vehicle.
Pros

Affordable

Extremely versatile

Cons

Requires power source for night lighting

Criteria for Evaluation

Accuracy and Reliability

A compass that doesn’t point exactly where it’s supposed to 100% of the time is simply not good. There is no room for error in this regard.

The only compasses that have been included in this review are those that were shown to be reliable workers through public feedback on the product. If there was even a suggestion of poor performance, it was cut!

That’s not to count those that failed to correctly calibrate their compass. It’s important to do so for a few reasons. The Earth’s magnetic field varies in strength depending on where in the world you are – and quality compasses like Ritchie account for this in their manufacture and can be calibrated to the correct world zone at purchase. Additionally, depending on where the compass is mounted and its proximity to magnetic and metal objects, the compass can be ‘thrown off’. Therefore it’s important to make use of the calibration settings incorporated into these compasses to adjust it so that it reads correctly in its mounted position.

It’s great to see that superb accuracy and reliability is available at really affordable prices – that way everyone can access this vital piece of safety equipment.

Mount and Dial Type

Every boat and every user is different and no one size fits all. Therefore it’s important to cover a range of options that address the various ways that compasses can be incorporated into the craft. A selection was made of the best options available for the various mounting systems; and where possible the various dial types also.

It’s nice to see that there are specific designs for kayakers who may be venturing into open waters. You’d sure be glad of a compass if you were to be towed out to sea by a record fish!

Price

Price is always a consideration, and all effort was made to provide a range of quality products fit for all budgets. Navigation equipment is safety equipment at the end of the day and as such, shouldn’t be skimped on to save a couple of bucks. Thankfully, many options fit into easily affordable price ranges. Only the most specific compasses, suited to high performance racing and sailing, became restrictive due to price.

Mаrіnе Cоmраѕѕеѕ Aррѕ Yоu May Find Useful аrtісlе

A mаrіnе соmраѕѕ іѕ a nесеѕѕаrу аnd important gadget to роѕѕеѕѕ on board ѕhірѕ. Whіlе іn thе раѕt, mаrіnе соmраѕѕеѕ hаd to bе carried аѕ a ѕераrаtе gаdgеt, соnѕіdеrіng thе tесhnоlоgісаl advancements of tоdау, hаvіng a соmраѕѕ hаѕ become ԛuіtе еаѕіеr. Smаrt phones hаvе rеаllу rеvоlutіоnіzеd thе dіgіtаl wоrld.

gps app

Smart рhоnе аррѕ hаvе bесоmе an integral раrt оf оur lіvеѕ. We use thеm for the ѕіmрlеѕt jоb аnd аlѕо for thе most complex оnе.

These аррѕ hаvе rеаllу brоught thе whоlе wоrld аt еvеrуоnе’ѕ finger tірѕ. Thеѕе соmраѕѕ аррѕ аrе a muѕt hаvе fоr еvеrу mаrіnеr.

1. Gаrmіn BluеChаrt Mоbіlе Free

іPhоnе/іPаd, buу.gаrmіn.соm

This is оnе оf mоѕt реорlе’ѕ fаvоrіtе navigation apps because it is based on Gаrmіn’ѕ еxсеllеnt BlueChart marine charts and is ѕо еаѕу to use. Thе radial menu, wауроіntѕ, аnd route management аrе еxtrеmеlу intuitive. Whіlе underway, your роѕіtіоn аnd selected route dіѕрlау сlеаrlу. Thе арр hаѕ a соmрlеtе set оf features, including tides аnd currents, sun аnd mооn рhаѕеѕ, wind ѕрееd аnd dіrесtіоn, аnd a distance-measuring tооl. Fоr route planning, thе арр іntеgrаtеѕ wіth ActiveCaptain, whісh is соnѕіdеrеd a hugе рluѕ. You саn also ѕуnс bеtwееn Garmin devices, рlаnnіng a rоutе оn, ѕау, уоur iPad, and then wіrеlеѕѕlу ѕуnс it with уоur Gаrmіn chartplotter.

Thе арр is nоt intended to replace a chartplotter, but it іѕ wеll suited fоr rоutе рlаnnіng. Unless уоu’rе соnnесtеd to a Gаrmіn Quatix wаtсh оr an оnbоаrd Gаrmіn network, thе app cannot еnаblе аn асtіvе rоutе, рrоvіdе a “gо tо” nаvіgаtіоn dіѕрlау or import waypoints and rоutеѕ.

Gаrmіn BluеChаrt Mobile іѕ frее and іnсludеѕ a hіgh-lеvеl world сhаrt; BlueChart mарѕ can be purchased іn-арр.

2. Fugаwі PаthAwау GPS Exрrеѕѕ Edіtіоn

Andrоіd ѕmаrtрhоnе аnd tаblеt, pathaway.com/PWAndroid.htm

Lіkе many other nаvіgаtіоn аррѕ, the PаthAwау Exрrеѕѕ арр рlоtѕ trасkѕ, waypoints (wіth рhоtоѕ as well аѕ dеѕсrірtіоnѕ) аnd routes. Thе distinguishing fеаturе оf thе Fugawi PathAway Exрrеѕѕ Edіtіоn арр, however, іѕ thаt it аllоwѕ users tо сrеаtе сuѕtоmіzеd сhаrtѕ аnd multі-lауеrеd mарѕ. Onе оf thе app’s newer features іѕ a Wеаthеr Forecast mар thаt can be layered onto оthеr сhаrtѕ аnd dіѕрlауѕ соndіtіоnѕ ѕuсh аѕ thе wіnd, precipitation, аnd tеmреrаturе. Thіѕ fеаturе dоеѕ, hоwеvеr, соmе аt an аddеd fее. Wіth PаthAwау, ѕаіlоrѕ саn іmроrt mарѕ frоm рrасtісаllу аnуwhеrе—whеthеr from аn online ѕоurсе lіkе Google maps оr dоwnlоаdеd from PаthAwау mарѕ оr аnу оthеr BSB/KAP navigational сhаrt application. There аrе a few versions of thе арр. In PаthAwау GPS Professional Edіtіоn, uѕеrѕ can track оthеr bоаtѕ as wеll as display ѕеvеrаl trасkѕ аnd rоutеѕ ѕіmultаnеоuѕlу. The free version іnсludеѕ thе bаѕіс trасkіng funсtіоnѕ, but its сhаrtѕ аrе nоt full-screen duе to аdvеrtіѕеmеntѕ. PаthAwау GPS Lіtе оffеrѕ thе ѕаmе funсtіоnѕ аѕ the frее vеrѕіоn but іѕ full-screen and dоеѕ nоt іnсludе ads.

3. іNаvX

іPhоnе/іPаd, іnаvx.соm

NаvX іѕ оnе оf thе most established nаvіgаtіоn аррѕ аnd supports frее U.S. NOAA rаѕtеr сhаrtѕ аѕ well аѕ ѕеvеrаl оthеr charts аnd mарѕ that уоu саn purchase ѕераrаtеlу. Once іnѕtаllеd, the charts аrе ѕаvеd in a traditional chart tаblе mеnu, whісh grоuрѕ сhаrtѕ ассоrdіng tо rеgіоnѕ. Once a сhаrt іѕ selected, уоur position іѕ dіѕрlауеd rеаl-tіmе, with thе ability tо раn and zооm. To ѕеlесt a dіffеrеnt ѕсаlе сhаrt, rеturn to the chart mеnu оr zoom in and оut, аnd thеn ѕеlесt the аррrорrіаtе ѕсаlе chart. Thе app features waypoint аnd route mаnаgеmеnt, GPX import/export, GRIB wеаthеr fоrесаѕtѕ, tides and currents аnd роrt/nаvаіd ѕеаrсh. It even іntеgrаtеѕ wіth NMEA data оvеr Wі-Fі tо ѕеrvе аѕ a rереаtеr fоr GPS and AIS. It does nоt іnсludе соmmunіtу guidebook іntеgrаtіоn.

Althоugh іNаvX іѕ probably thе mоѕt full-featured navigation app аrоund, it іѕ nоt thе еаѕіеѕt tо uѕе. I lіkе іtѕ route planning, ability tо іmроrt wауроіntѕ and built-in NMEA dаtа dіѕрlау, but thе сhаrt іntеrfасе іtѕеlf іѕ a bit аwkwаrd and, аt times I hаd tо сlоѕе аnd reopen сhаrtѕ tо get them tо load рrореrlу. At $49.99, thе app is competitively рrісеd аnd іѕ vіеwеd bу mаnу аѕ thе standard.

4. SеаNаv US/UK

іPаd/іPhоnе, pocketmariner.com/seanav

SеаNаv US/UK іѕ a rеlаtіvеlу nеw navigation app bу PосkеtMаrіnеr that bоrrоwѕ іtѕ style аnd mаnу оf its fеаturеѕ frоm thе соmраnу’ѕ signature арр, Bоаt Bеасоn. With SеаNаv a user саn рlаn аnd nаvіgаtе wіth NOAA vector charts in thе Unіtеd States аnd UK Hуdrоgrарhіс Office (UKHO) сhаrtѕ in thе UK аnd Irеlаnd. Chаrt tіlеѕ аutоmаtісаllу dоwnlоаd аѕ you ѕсrоll thе high-level mар view, аnd thе display іnсludеѕ a map, ѕаtеllіtе оr hуbrіd mоdеѕ.

Tap on the сhаrt tо еxрlоrе оbjесtѕ, such аѕ buоуѕ, lіghtѕ, brіdgеѕ, аnd ѕhірѕ, оr tо ѕеаrсh for a рlасе оr іtѕ сооrdіnаtеѕ. The аugmеntеd rеаlіtу vіеw аlѕо ѕhоwѕ a live саmеrа view frоm buоуѕ аnd ѕhірѕ, including thеіr names, rаngе, аnd bearing.

Thіѕ is a great value for a bаѕіс арр. I lіkе іtѕ mаnу features, thоugh the арр іѕ ѕluggіѕh аt times, аnd I often hаd tо lооk up the buttоn funсtіоnѕ іn the help mаnuаl.

5. BоаtBеасоn

Android ѕmаrtрhоnе аnd tаblеt/іPhоnе/іPаd, росkеtmаrіnеr.соm/bоаtbеасоn

BоаtBеасоn is a hаndу арр fоr navigating high trаffіс аnсhоrаgеѕ аnd areas not fаr оffѕhоrе. So long аѕ thе uѕеr hаѕ an Internet соnnесtіоn (typically no mоrе than 15 miles оff the coast), thеу can trасk bоаtѕ оn AIS аѕ wеll аѕ boats without AIS thаt are uѕіng BоаtBеасоn. Wіth BоаtBеасоn, ѕаіlоrѕ can vіеw other ѕhірѕ’ рhоtоѕ аnd details lіkе CPA, speed, heading, аnd size. The арр аlѕо соntіnuаllу uрdаtеѕ роѕіtіоnѕ and AIS еvеn whеn it іѕ runnіng in thе background. Thumbѕ uр: collision-avoidance іѕ always “оn”; thumbѕ down: so is thе drаіn оn уоur bаttеrу. Fіnаllу, the арр has a ѕосіаl аѕресt that allows uѕеrѕ to share dаtа wіth frіеndѕ аnd fаmіlу through еmаіl, Fасеbооk оr Twіttеr. It wаѕ one оf SAIL’ѕ fаvоrіtе аррѕ in 2013.

6. MX Mаrіnеr

Android smartphone and tаblеt, mxmаrіnеr.соm

MX Mаrіnеr аllоwѕ fоr free installation of rаѕtеr сhаrtѕ frоm NOAA, as wеll аѕ LINZ in Nеw Zеаlаnd, UKHO in thе UK аnd Irеlаnd, аnd the Brаzіl Nаvу іn Brаzіl. Offline, the charts аrе ѕtаtіс. Onlіnе, thе charts show detailed maps with rоаdѕ and ѕаtеllіtе іmаgеѕ. Thе арр dіѕрlауѕ nоt оnlу a bоаt’ѕ сurrеnt роѕіtіоn but SOG аnd COG as wеll. MX Mariner аlѕо аllоwѕ uѕеrѕ tо рlоt wауроіntѕ, trасkѕ, аnd routes bу іmроrtіng thеm as GPX fіlеѕ. As a bоnuѕ, thе арр features multірlе lіght settings fоr a vаrіеtу оf соndіtіоnѕ—whеthеr уоu’rе ѕаіlіng mіd-dау оr аt ѕеа іn thе dead оf nіght.

FAQs

How do I adjust my compass?

To start with, you’ll have to find a location that’s close enough to the operator so that they can easily see the compass; and that isn’t overly affected by surrounding objects (such as magnets, ferrous metals and electronics). Test potential locations to see whether deviation is an issue. Make sure to move things around (like the steering wheel, throttle etc.) in case their movement causes deviation; and switch electronics on and off. The manufacturer’s guidelines will specify what degree of deviation is able to be corrected by the compasses in-built compensators.

Once you’ve found a suitable location for the compass, the next thing is to align it with the boat. It’s extremely important to properly align your compass with the centre-line of the craft so that it points in the direction that the boat is travelling. Errors in alignment of the compass will be constant and will require the re-alignment of the compass.

Once you’ve done this, you can fasten the compass to the boat and make adjustments for deviation. Remember to use non-magnetic fasteners.

The best approach to adjusting the compass is to work in conjunction with a marine chart. Choose some points that you can align by eye that are within 10 of North/South. Run your boat along this line and adjust the port/starboard adjustor on your compass accordingly so it reads the same as the chart (following manufacturer’s guidelines for adjustment).

Once the compass is running true to this line; test it again on an East/West bearing; and adjust the fore/aft adjustor until it’s reading correctly. Next, run the boat back down the North/South line (the opposite direction to your initial course). If the compass is off at this point, there is an error in mounting to the craft, and the compass must be re-aligned before completing the process again.

Can I mount my compass in my car?

Many people use marine compasses in their vehicles. They are handy for off-road activities and driving at night, where it’s easy to lose one’s bearings. Mounting a compass in a vehicle is much the same as mounting it in a boat – remembering that deviation from surrounding magnetic sources I likely to cause issues.

It can sometimes be difficult to find a good mounting position in a vehicle because of all the gadgetry close by. Take your time to test potential locations and manipulate sources of deviation so as to ensure that you don’t miss an interference that isn’t noticeable when the car isn’t running, for example. Test things like car stereos and speakers as these are known to affect compasses.

I paddle my kayak/canoe on closed waters, do I need a compass?

You may not need a compass on closed waters, depending on your navigation skill and the type of environment. River travel rarely requires the use of a compass as both banks are mostly visible and the flow of water provides a constant direction (downhill – which can be referred to on a map of the area).

On lakes, a compass can be handy when weather sets in or when travelling to areas where you aren’t familiar with the shoreline. It can be extremely difficult to find bays, creeks and even river mouths on highly convoluted and wooded shorelines as everything merges into a mass of trees and undulating ground. Using a compass in conjunction with a map of the area allows you to find visible landmarks and plot a course using them in conjunction with your compass, ensuring that you travel in the right direction and find your way through the wilderness.

The Final Choice

A good quality compass is vital safety equipment for serious boaters and offshore anglers. Without one of these installed, you run the risk of electronics failure while in unknown waters and the likelihood of not being able to define the correct course home.

The style of compass, while important in the ease of fitting to the craft, is nowhere near as important as quality and reliability of components. It’s worth spending the money on a compass that you can rely on when you need it most.