Author Topic: Leveling boat to install compass  (Read 1452 times)

Offline RCAN

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Leveling boat to install compass
« on: April 29, 2011, 10:03:49 AM »
Hi guys,

I bought my 1976 Compaq 16 with a 3 1/2" cut out in the starboard bulkhead. For the first season, I simply did a nice wooden cover for the cut out. However, sailing without a compass is sometimes difficult. A compass is the next improvement I'm making to her.

I bought a Ritchie Explorer V-57.2. After making a wooden frame to adjust for the smaller compass 3" requirement, I am ready to install the compass.

The compass angle is adjustable. So I think I need to have the boat level before installing the compass so that the compass is in the correct position while sailing. Should I assume that the cockpit sole is the correct horizontal to use and put a carpenter's level at that position? I figure that if I'm correct, then I should be able to level the boat by lowering the trailer front to the level position.

However, I think I might have an flaw in my logic. Perhaps the boat will not sit level on the water, since the bow might sit higher while afloat. Maybe I should adjust the compass position while in the water.

I would appreciate advice on this and any other suggestions to help in the proper installation. I've already read a lot of what you guys have posted regarding compasses from doing a word search.

Robert
12' Star Craft Cat - sold, 1976 Com-Pac 16

Offline brackish

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Re: Leveling boat to install compass
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 10:30:44 AM »
Robert,

I have that compass, if it is the explorer without the rectangular mounting frame.  It is mounted with a back lock ring and it is easily adjusted (port to starboard) once you get the boat on the water.  It has very limited adjustment fore and aft, but that too can be fine tuned once you get on the water.  The hole in your wooden plate needs to be a fairly close fit, the front flange and gasket are relatively small, so too much slop and there will be problems getting it to lock and seal. I actually cut a new gasket out of some neoprene I had and made it little larger outside diameter and a little thicker.

It does the job OK but it is probably not the best choice for a sailboat bulkhead mount.  But it is value priced, and keeps the GPS honest and will get you home if the GPS fails.

Offline RCAN

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Re: Leveling boat to install compass
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 12:36:11 AM »
Brackish I thank you for your comments.

It appears we are talking about the same compass. The price was my main consideration at this moment, as the cut out in the bulkhead has been bothering me since I acquired the boat and I wanted a more finished look.

The mahogany frame I made encircles the compass and adds to the classic look by making a modern piece of equipment more antiquated in appearance.

Thanks for the heads up on the hole for the compass. I used a 3 inch drill attachment which gave me an exact 3 inch hole plus a little wiggle room due to the drill vibration. Beautiful fit!

I used some marine grade silicone to seal where where the wood frame meets the gel coat of the bulkhead. Just enough to hold it in place. When I tightened the gasket, the whole thing came together like a charm.

This weekend will be my first time out with the compass in place and I will follow your recommendation and make the needed, albeit simple, adjustments while in the water rather than on land.

For now, sailing in Biscayne Bay, this compass will serve well. Maybe once I have brought the boat up to having the basic necessities, I will begin thinking of upgrades.

I thank you, once again, for you guidance.

Robert

12' Star Craft Cat - sold, 1976 Com-Pac 16