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Compass Suggestions


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Time to mount a compass on my Eddyline Nighthawk 16. It has a flat area designed for a compass about 4 feet from my eyes. Suggestions on the brand/model to buy?

Notes: When I was at MIKCO (with 90% of the club) this fall a group discussed compasses. Someone pointed out that some of the traditional brands have placed so many "degree markings" on their compasses that, along with waining eyesight, they have become hard to read. Another commented that his measure of value is how stable a compass is in bouncing seas.

Thanks in advance for your advice,


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I use the Ritchey Kayaker model. It's easy to read and I like it, but it is a bit tall and may be vulnerable during assisted rescues. Joel at NESC told me that those really low profile compasses that used to be used on some British boats are no longer available. They look great but I find them tough to read from a distance. The Silva P70s that fit into a recess on some current boats have a profile in between these two.

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Was doing some online research. Anyone have experience with the Pioneer Marine Sighting Compass? I like the concept of the permanent mount but being able to easily remove or replace it. Description is below. If you click on the picture at the following link, you will see a full picture that is very helpful.


"Using the same housing and rubber body as Suunto's Orca kayak compass, this versatile compass comes with a plastic adapter that allows mounting to any flat surface. The base mount is designed to be permanently affixed to a flat object, and the compass can be quickly and easily attached or removed from the base mount. The rubber body of the Pioneer stretches securely over the base mount for a snug fit. The unique luminous capsule is effective at tilting angles up to +/- 30 degrees. Perfect for snowmobiles, jet skis, boats, and kayaks. Not recomended for automobiles or any large metallic vehicles. Available only in black"

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While I have the 70P installed permanently on my boats, when at the BCU sumposium in Georgia, I was motivated to by a bungie-mounted compass for night paddling since the forward position of the 70P is impractical (can't see the damn thing).

I picked up the Brunton 58 kayak compass:


Pluses are:

Four bungies, rather than two, for greater stability

Small size (can store in hatch as backup)

Relatively low profile

Well made

Has potential for interior illumination (same compass unit is also available on a auto dashboard mount with a light)

There is a small chamber on top of the clear dome and a channel leading to it. I forced a small chem light into the chamber, which proved serviceable on a night paddle. More tinkering could result in a way to use lightsticks in the dome without removing the compass from the base.

Note this is a relatively small compass (maybe 3" in diameter) so there are not a lot of precise degree markings. However, given the 10 degree margin of error in paddling, this is not a great drawback.

I like it as a back up, temporary mount compass.

I think I paid $40 or $45 for it.


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If you want a permanent or hatch mount, the Nexus 85 is hard to beat. Its big, easy to read at along distance and there is an illuminated model. I put it on a removable hatch, with a ply backing plate. When I don't need it it can go inside the boat and another hatch cover swapped into its place. For illumination I used double A's in a snap in holder which I put into a waterproof container. I went with the factory suggested 12 volts and the red light was so bright on a four hour night paddle that the rest of the group just let me do the compass thing. Could run it a lower voltage.

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>IIRC, the recess on the Nighthawk's deck is sized to accept

>the base of a Ritchie Kayaker. It's a good compass that can

>be found online for ~$45. It's also removeable, should you

>be interested in that feature.

First...thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Second..Brian. Just for the fun of it, what is "IIRC" and how did you find out this information? I went looking for it and could not find it. Caveat: If you have to kill me after you tell me, I would rather not know.


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From http://www.acronymfinder.com/af-query.asp?...=iirc&Find=Find

IIRC If I Recall/Remember Correctly

IIRC If I Read Correctly

IIRC If I Really Cared

IIRC If It Really Counts

IIRC Image and Identity Research Collective

IIRC Immunity and Infection Research Centre

IIRC Impedance Imaging Research Center (Korea)

IIRC Inactive Item Review Code (US DoD)

IIRC Information Integrity Research Centre (UK)

IIRC Interactive Illinois Report Card

IIRC International Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium

IIRC International Internet Recruiting Consultants, Inc.

IIRC International Interpretation Resource Center

IIRC International Inter-Society Research Committee (on Nuclear Codes and Standards)

IIRC Internet Information Research Center

IIRC Interstate Insurance Receivership Compact

IIRC Investor Responsibility Research Center

IIRC Isn't It Really Cool

Before seeing that list I would have guessed that Brian meant the first one... but maybe it was the last one, eh?


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