Marine compasses – Buying guide, Reviews, and Comparison

 

If you’re looking for the best marine hand bearing compass, but you lack time to conduct proper research when it comes to this subject, you probably need some help. Well, you’re in luck, since we’ve spent time browsing through many marine compass reviews in order to bring forward this comprehensive buying guide. Our findings show that the first product to take into consideration is the Ritchie S-53W. Its features include an internal green night illumination system to make sure you don’t have trouble using it at night, a set of built-in compensators to make it easier for you to adjust to any type of deviation and a hardened steel pivot to ensure the accuracy of movement. Should this model be currently unavailable, we suggest that you check out the Brunton F-70P instead, since it would make for a great second alternative.

 

 

Our top choices

 

In order to help you decide what item is the most suitable for your needs, we have written some reviews for a few of our top picks currently available for sale that also includes pros and cons for the products. The items analyzed have gathered the appreciation for their accuracy or ruggedness while maintaining an affordable price.

 

 

Ritchie S-53W

 

The Explorer S-53W is a surface mount compass designed to be usable in all kinds of weather and lighting conditions, thanks to its clever internal illumination system. The 2 and ¾ inches dial is illuminated with green light, making it easy to read the markings in pitch black darkness. 5-degree graduations increase the product´s accuracy and ease of use while preserving its compact size and modern external look.

A feature that makes this compass a top choice is the guiding system. It features built-in compensators that easily adjust and correct deviation, and a scientifically matched sapphire jewel. Hardened steel was used for the pivot, ensuring smooth and accurate dial movement.

Precision is one of the most praised characteristics of this product, as fellow users have mentioned in their feedback. Even though it has a longer lifespan and reliability is an important item feature, a 5-year warranty is issued by the producer, guaranteeing that if the compass breaks down, it will be replaced free of charge.

Pros

A hardened steel pivot, one scientifically matched sapphire jewel, and 5-degree dial graduation all work together to ensure extraordinary accuracy and smooth operation. The compensators easily adjust for deviation, adding a plus to the item’s accuracy.

Ritchie fitted the Explorer Compass with a 2 and ¾ inches dial that is easy to read and understand. The illumination system enables precision readings in no light conditions, making it great for use before sunrise, the hours when some fishermen prefer to go out at sea.

All the aforementioned features, together with the ergonomic design and surface mount might suggest that the product is an expensive one; however, it is available at an affordable price yet with great features that will enhance your experience.

The Ritchie Explorer Compass can be used by anyone who knows sailing with a mechanical compass. Suitable for young navigators, it satisfied professionals as well with its accuracy and design.

Cons

Some users have criticized the dial, claiming that it is too small for their needs. Even with lighting, the indications were hard to decipher by a customer. Reading errors have also been noticed but only on an Aluminum boat, with the compass mounted near the center console housing all the electronics of the craft.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($55.47)

 

 

 

 

Brunton F-70P

 

Another very good compass for sale is the Brunton F-70P; this marine dash mount compass features the best Brunton design, offering its customers as much as possible while keeping the affordable price. This is an easy to use, an accurate and resistant product that can be mounted directly on the dash by removing the screws from the frame and inserting it into the special fitting.

A feature that enhances disc reading is the bulkhead mount. The 5-degree graduations are therefore easier to decipher in poor lighting or foggy weather. A reciprocal bearing was used to ensure that the almost 3 inches dial offers accurate readings.

It is reliable, provided that watertight fit has been ensured when mounting the product in place. Limited lifetime warranty can be issued by the producer and is available at some sellers. The compass is versatile and can be used in a car (with less accuracy), or when going camping too – it is not limited to the dashboard of a vessel.  

Pros

The bulkhead fitted above the dial acts as a lens, increasing the graduation size and enabling fast readings in stressful situations. Paddlers have appreciated this feature in particular, since the waves and wind affect them in greater manner and might make it difficult to read another type of compass. Some buyers have claimed to have no problem in reading the dial at a distance of 4-5 feet.

Kayakers that paddle in foggy waters has characterized this product as being a lifesaver on more than one occasion. It is accurate, reliable and will work in the harshest weather conditions without a flaw. Basic navigation skills are all that is needed in order to efficiently use the compass.

The looks have been appreciated by many customers. Simple yet elegant and professional looking, the compass is similar to an expensive product while, in reality, it is very affordable. A 4x3x3 inches in size, it is a compact item that can easily be fitted on a small kayak or a boat with limited dash space.

Cons

When installing the item in one of their kayaks, some buyers have had problems with screws stripping during installation. They would prefer hardened or stainless steel screws, which would be more durable.

The directional symbols North, South, East, and West are too small and have not been mounted above or beside the correspondent grades, but beneath them. The problem could have been easily solved if these had been added somewhere else during manufacture.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($65.74)

 

 

 

 

Ritchie B-51

 

Ritchie manufactures another great marine compass that drew our attention. The B-51 Explorer Compass is a bracket mount item with sapphire jewel, hardened steel pivot and internal green light illumination for nighttime use.

It features a bigger dial with easy to read guidelines, all in a relatively compact product made to fit in small boats with limited space on their central console.

The nighttime illumination system is designed to be connectable to the 12 volts marine battery circuit. While it can be directly wired, using a switch and one low amperage fuse is recommended for security reasons. It can be mounted with screws (for more stability) or with stick-on materials like Velcro or other types, reducing stability but making the installation process extremely easy.  

Recommended only for sea use since in a car it might interfere and produce reading errors due to the metal cabin, this product has been appreciated for its cheapness and compact size, being small enough to fit in a cup holder on the central console.

Pros

Most users have appreciated the compact size and ergonomic design of this product. The compass can comfortably fit on a small dash, or even in a cup holder. It can be used for any kind of small vessel, and even in a kayak or paddle boat, one can find enough space to install this item.

It is a pretty accurate marine compass, thanks to the precision mechanism it features. The built-in compensators adjust to the deviation, and the hardened steel pivot provides smooth operation and good indications. The larger dial enables those with seeing problems to read with precision the 5-degree graduations on the dial.

The Ritchie B-51 Explorer Compass provides stable readings in rough seas, making it efficient in severe weather like storms or high waves. The mount can be stable enough to keep it securely in place when the boat is hit by the waves.

Cons

The illumination can be too dim for accurate readings in low light situations. Aging eyes might have a hard time reading it at nighttime, especially from a distance of a few feet from the item

Reliability is an issue that some customers have complained about after buying the product. Some have had problems installing the compass, while others had problems with the actual working of the product.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($56.28)

 

 

 

 

Seattle Sports 057815 SeaRover

 

Seattle Sports offers a great compass at an even greater price for all those who enjoy navigating on water or for hikers and campers who spend a lot of time outdoors. The item features a large, easy to read dial with 5-degree graduations, suitable even for those who have not the best eyesight.

Designed with ease of use and simplicity in mind, the compass features quick-release buckles that can be used to tie it in place on the surface where the user might want to install it. Suitable for small boats but also for kayaks, mountain bikes or for handheld use, the product can be placed anywhere thanks to the simple base atop which it sits.

The half dome is about 3 inches in diameter, and the large white letters or numbers can be conveniently seen from as far as 5 feet by someone with good eyes. It is well made and reliable.

Pros

Accuracy is a feature that many customers have appreciated when using this compass. The skeptics were impressed by how good the readings were – together with navigation skills and a map of the area they were in, they could pinpoint their location, enabling them to know where to head to. Campers used it to find the East, making camp in a way that would get them more morning sunlight.

The solid build makes it resistant to adverse weather conditions. While not necessarily dropping proof, it can withstand some damage that might occur during casual use. The resistant half dome mounted above the dial protects it against infiltrating water while the secure two-point mounting system holds it firmly in place.

The installation is straightforward. Mounting it on a kayak or paddle boat requires no screws, as it can be attached with the two buckles provided. Transport is facilitated as it can be carried in a backpack or large pocket.

Cons

In case of sustained damage, improper installation or even manufacturing flaws, it will easily lose fluid and become useless. Before braking, it might lose accuracy as fluid leaks out drop by drop until it eventually will stop indicating anything with decent accuracy.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($31.99)

 

 

 

 

Jasmine Marine

 

This is the cheapest product that we have come across while reviewing various options. The Jasmine Marine Compass is a LED lit product designed to be used in a boat or car in all weather conditions. It has an adjustable mounting bracket for easy setup and individually balanced dials for increased accuracy.

Jasmine delivers the compass with attached tools to correct the deviation since it has no built-in compensators. Illumination is achieved via a 12 Volt LED system that can be wired to the circuitry available on the boat or in the car, so this item is good for nighttime use as well.

It is made from ABS and features a glass dome designed to be robust and hard to break.  Take care before ordering the compass since it is relatively big and can occupy more space than other items. Also, it is not recommended for kayaks.

Pros

The LED lit dial makes it suitable for low light situations. No supplementary wiring is needed apart from simply connecting the compass’ cables to those in the boat. The LED lights up in red, something different from most compasses which use green light.

A price as low as possible for compass is something highly appreciated by those who have bought the item. Even though it might not be as accurate as professional products, it is incredibly affordable, and it can be used without problems on a small boat or by someone who has only basic navigation knowledge.

It is pretty reliable and worked well for many buyers who had used it for marine expeditions. Most were surprised by the accuracy and ruggedness of such a cheap design.

Cons

Some customers have complained about it working improperly when installing in a car or truck, especially if it is mounted in an area full of electronic devices. Especially in small cars, people have experienced issues with calibrating or operating the compass.

It is very big. Without a compact design, the item might not fit on a central console or inside the vehicle you are trying to install it into. However, the producer warns potential buyers about the bigger size of this product and advises them to carefully measure the available space before ordering it.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.99)

 

 

 

 

Buying guide

 

A common accident that can occur out at sea is getting lost, due to thick fog, low light or improper documentation on the waters you are traveling on. Having a GPS can solve the problems, but when power is lost, it becomes useless – the best marine compass is a must-have item for any serious seagoing person.

However, finding one on the market that has the best value for the money is pretty difficult, so we offer a helping hand by writing a buying guide and providing you some insight as to what details you have to keep in mind when searching.

 

Some important details to take into consideration

Before you start prospecting the market, there are some things that you should think of. Budget is one of them since there is a huge price range when it comes to marine compasses – these vary from really cheap items starting at about $30 and all the way to the high-end, professional compasses that are sold for much more.

Do not worry about the cheaper ones being bad or unreliable – there are products that can rival the high-end options but lack certain design elements or other not elementary features. Think about the amount of money you are willing to pay in order to have an idea of what to look for.

Another important thing to keep in mind regards brands. There are some high-quality compass manufacturers that would usually offer expensive devices, but in the latter years they have diversified their catalog and are currently providing cheaper models as well.

Given the circumstances, the best way to decide is offered by the buyers: the most popular choices are usually the best, in terms of value for money. There is a brand that enjoys a lot of popularity, Ritchie, but other producers should also be kept in mind since they provide task-specific models, that are either economic or very performant (above the performance needed by common fishermen or sea-goers).

Depending on your budget and necessities, decide if you want a balanced product, like the ones offered by Ritchie, or an economic one that has great performance but lower reliability or a less ergonomic design.

 

Where do you want to fit the compass?

Every compass has a certain design, intended to make setup and installation as easy as possible without requiring any other items bought. They vary depending on the type of vessel that they are made for and the features they have.

Small boats, kayaks, and other man-powered crafts have limited space for fitting a compass. This is why bracket mounts are the best option for this kind of situations. The brackets are highly adjustable, and they are well suited for more kinds of mounting situations.

However, this type of mount is not extremely stable, and in rough waters, it might shake the compass and alter its accuracy. Surface mount compasses are designed to fit on the dash or bulkhead, having a firm grip on these surfaces as long as they are horizontal.

Some designs do not require a hole to fit in; all are intended to be easy to install and are provided either with stick-on materials or with screws to ensure a secure mount. This stabilizes the compass better, enabling users to get correct readings easier. Dash mount compasses fit into specially designed spaces built into the dash, so they match with the other dials and equipment.

This type of mount makes them well protected from knocks and scratches but might lower visibility (which is usually increased by an illumination system). Bulkhead mount compasses are larger in size than the previously described items and are supposed to be placed into the bulkhead of the vessel.

Usually, they can be adjusted to accommodate the particular incline of that bulkhead. These are recommended for larger vessels such as sailing boats. They have the same benefits and disadvantages like the flush mount compasses, but they usually require some more work to be installed.

Size is important too. The smaller the compass, the easier it is to find a place where you can install it – the disadvantage is that the dial will surely be harder to read, especially in flat and front reading cards.

The larger the device, the harder it will be to install it, but larger dials are much easier to read from a bigger distance. These are more suitable for boats where the helmsman sits at some 4-5 feet from the dash where the compass was mounted.

Visibility

A compass is no good if you cannot properly read the indications. Where from and when will you be reading it is details that you must take into consideration before deciding on a product, and these details are also related to where the compass is going to be mounted.

The dials are available in more options, each best for a particular situation. Flat-card dials are the ones commonly found in flush mounted compasses, and these should be looked at from above. They are identical to those featured in common outdoor compasses or the best handheld marine compass.

Looking at it from a horizontal angle will yield incorrect results, as this type of dial is barely visible. Bracket mount compasses feature direct-read dials, with a hard glass dome above them – these are easier to read from a horizontal point of view as the magnification effect is greatest at such an angle.

Combi-dials are also available on the market – these are a mix of both types aforementioned. A sloped area shows the indications from a horizontal plane, and then the sloped dial will change the angle, making it visible from above.

There is also a front reading card available. This is one of the most widely used boat compass types; the card is dome shaped and can be read when placed along the sailor’s line of sight. It cannot be read from above, and it has minimum magnification, so it is a little bit more difficult to read if your eyesight is not good. The front reading card is usually found in boats where the pilot is very close to the dash, so they can read the 3 inches in size dial easily.

 

Do you need extra features?

Basic compasses are the cheapest offer of any producer. These show the magnetic north and can guide you with accuracy, provided that you have taken some courses and you know how to navigate.

They are very good backups for the moments when the GPS system has broken down and sometimes offer more accuracy than modern electronic devices. However, depending on your needs, some extra features might be very useful.

Some compasses feature an inbuilt illumination system that is powered by the 12V battery in the boat or car. Sometimes, higher voltages might be required, but this is valid only for very big products that are not commonly found in your everyday boat. Lighting makes them easy to read and use in low light situations and at night.

If the boat does not have a covered cabin, bad weather might alter reading accuracy, and this is another point where the light proves helpful. Illumination is not such an important feature if you do not go out on the water during nighttime. If the boat does not have power, the compass will work as normal, but without the lights.

Sunshields are another common feature found in compasses. They are used to reduce glare that might render the dial useless as it cannot be read. A very important feature, they have adjustable visors that can block direct sunlight coming from any angle, making it easier to read the indications.

Reliability is a factor that should be taken into consideration. Some products might last for one year, some for five, some for a lifetime – in this matter, you should discuss with other boat owners who have experience with at least two different brands.  

Many other features can be incorporated in a compass, some useful, some not very important, and some needed only for personal preferences.

Accuracy

Mistakes are not allowed when orientating yourself while out at sea. The best boat compass is, essentially, that which has the highest accuracy; now, extra features are also important. Accuracy remains the most important criteria when choosing a product.

It is good to know whether your device has corrector magnets – these are used to correct the deviation that might appear when the compass is mounted on the console and surrounded by electronics.

The magnets can be adjusted to offer compensation as needed, depending on a number of gadgets found on board that can create a magnetic field. The bearings are also important in deciding how smooth and accurate operation actually is. Most brands have had their products tested and issue warranty, assuring their customer that the device is accurate and can be a lifesaver.

Since all GPS devices require electricity to operate, the compass is a must-have item in a boat that does not have its own power supply. You cannot rely on your phone or portable device when you take your kayak out at sea since common electronics and water do not go along. In such situations, a very accurate device is necessary – Ritchie was cited as the best brand when accuracy at low prices was brought into the discussion.

 

 

 

Frequently asked questions about marine compasses

 

What is a marine compass?

As opposed to a land compass, the marine compass is a dome-shaped bulb with a rotating dial designed to be used when sailing in order to give you information on the direction in which your boat is pointing. It’s important to pay attention to this small variation because the indication of the compass is not necessarily the direction that you’re heading in. In cases when you’re at sea, and you do not have a visible reference point ahead of you, having such a device and knowing how to use it can definitely be a plus.  

 

How can I use my marine compass?

Despite the technological advancements of our years, no other device will inform you with such precision of your trajectory, so it’s always preferable not to use a compass exclusively but at least to incorporate one into your sailing gear. You can pair it with your GPS device and use a series of easy calculations in order to figure out whether you’re affected by currents and adjust your direction and speed of movement accordingly. After having to calculate your course, use the directions of the compass to steer the heading into the desired direction to properly navigate.

 

How to calibrate a marine compass

Although each and every navigation device has pre-installed settings from the manufacturing process, they can be altered by metallic elements which are abundantly found on a motorboat. To compensate these alterations, you need to personally calibrate your compass or get service if you feel like you can’t handle it. There are a few solutions as to how you can perform this task, one of them is using your GPS to locate certain landmarks that indicate where the real cardinal points are and adjust your settings accordingly. Don’t forget to make adjustments with the engine on and off because you might find that the situation slightly differs.

How to install a marine compass

When it comes to marine devices, you can’t consider buying a hand-held compass since it wouldn’t work properly given the situation. Therefore, you have to choose one with a fixed mount, which can result in some installation trouble. The most important thing that you need to know is there are various types of systems to choose from, and before you take a decision you should analyze both your options and the type of motorboat you own, as well as the main features that you are looking for. Don’t forget to read our guide on how to install your device.

 

How does a marine compass work?

The compass consists of a magnetic needle that sits in a layer of liquid treated to reduce effects from exterior magnetic fields that may interfere and result in a confusing display. The needle floats around and indicates the magnetic north on a circular display. Although this is the basic definition of a regular hand-held compass, marine ones are no different since their purpose is largely the same, only perhaps more important given that it’s trickier to find the right direction when at sea as opposed to when standing on solid ground.

 

 

 

Setting up your marine compass

 

Every sailor should include this device into his gear pack, not only for safety reasons, although a compass can definitely save you when you’ve lost your track, but also for making navigation a lot easier and technically correct. What we can do is recommend that you do not use only one navigation device, but instead use a combination of gadgets and a compass to get the most accurate result.

When it comes to marine compasses, the installation process is probably the most difficult part, since reading the display is something almost anybody can do. Fortunately for you, we’ve analyzed the various options that you have and bring forward this guide to help you complete the task.

For a horizontal surface, one of the options you could go for is a flush mount. Despite not being the most popular alternative, it certainly offers a good viewing angle and is best used on the upper deck. Such a mount can also be used when talking about an inclined surface, so its versatility is a feature worth considering.

For those who prefer adaptability and want to be able to change the placement of the compass according to their will, the best option they have is a bracket system, which doesn’t only offer versatility but is also easy to store until next time and can adapt to various angles and surfaces.

When you’re the owner of a sailboat with a steering wheel, you might want to try a binnacle, since it will allow you to mount the gadget directly on the wheel thus making navigating a lot easier and letting you focus on multiple tasks at once.

If you find that you’re a fan of this type of mount, you can also give the mini version a chance, because of the additional features it has. For example, the item can be mounted with no cut hole and storage is a lot safer.

For those of you who aren’t keen sailors and don’t need a durable system, it might be a good idea to try a removable mount, for the few times when you go sailing. This is also effective if you rent a boat, although it should probably already have a compass on board. If it doesn’t, this system allows you to remove the fixing plate at the end of the day and store it safely until the next time you need it.

When sailing on a boat with next to no available space, you need a compact solution that’s just as effective as the ones mentioned before. Luckily for you, we’re here to recommend a mast mounting, a kit that will spare you a lot of trouble when dealing with small surfaces and close angles.

The last type of mount that we would like to mention works best for more complex navigation systems, in the form of multifunctional compasses, and is probably a good idea for more advanced sailors. Try a fixing bracket if you need more than just a regular mount for your gear. However, this is not a general rule.

The most important thing is to consider both the type of gadget you have, the available space and the features you’re looking for in order to get the best product for you.  

 

 

 

Best marine compass apps

 

 

Garmin BlueChart Mobile Free

 

Designed for iPhone/iPad users, this is a free application that has been received with enthusiasm by seafarers. Based on BlueChart marine charts designed by Garmin, it is also very easy to use and accurate. It contains a radial menu, waypoints, localization and route management features that can be used without reading the instructions since they are intuitive and simple.

The BlueChart mobile app can be easily read thanks to its clear indications. Tides, currents, sun and moon phases are also shown, as is the wind speed and direction of the gales. Many other features are included in this free program, including the capability of syncing it with different devices or the integrated ActiveCaptain service. To fully operate it, you need to connect to a Garmin Quatix watch or an onboard network.

 

 

iNavX

 

Another application designed for iPhone/iPad using customers, the iNavX is another appreciated navigation app for open seas. It supports free U.S. NOAA Raster charts (and not only, since other maps can be purchased). The menu is relatively easy to use, and charts are grouped according to the regions; after selecting a map, the location is immediately displayed.

Considered one of the most versatile and inclusive apps, features of this program are GPX import/exports, weather forecasts that include tides, currents and other conditions, waypoint and management and can be used as a repeater for GPS or AIS. However, all the features included, the accuracy and reliability come with a price – the iNavX application can be purchased for about $50 from online stores.

 

 

MX Mariner

 

We turn to Android users with this application that is available online. The program allows the user to install raster charts from NOAA, LINZ (in New Zealand), UKHO (in UK, Ireland) or from the Brazil Navy (in Brazil only).

When used with an Internet connection, the charts offer detailed maps which include roads and satellite images of harbors and cities in the specified region. It displays current position and allows for route management and waypoint plotting.

GPX files can be imported and loaded unto it, enabling track management. In order to fully serve the customer in all light situations and even in bad weather, a variety of light settings are available to enhance its visibility and eliminate reading errors caused by the lack of light.

 

 

BoatBeacon

 

We continue the list by presenting another application that has both Android and iPhone/iPad variants. BoatBeacon is designed for use in high traffic areas such as harbors and is not recommended for far offshore use (since an Internet connection is required to use this product fully).

Boats with or without AIS that use BoatBeacon can be tracked by the program, and the user can see other ship photos and details, including heading and speed as long as the other ship has enabled sharing these things.

A collision avoidance system is integrated into the compass app, and it cannot be turned off, guaranteeing safety for the user when sailing crowded places. However, it has a big impact on the battery, draining it immediately.

 

 

SeaNav

 

Intended only for iPhone/iPad users, SeaNav is a new product conceived by PocketMariner that borrows characteristics from another appreciated app, BoatBeacon.

As is the case with other apps, this one allows downloading NOAA or UKHO charts which are loaded according to the region you are in. Chart tiles can be automatically downloaded during scrolling the main map. Objects such as bridges or ships can be explored by using this app, and harbors (or other places) can be searched by introducing their coordinates.

It has many other features, including the social ones such as live cameras from other ships or buoys. However, it is quite a basic app that is not known for its ease of use and versatility, but it offers great value for the money.

 

 

Compass Pro

 

Smartphones with Android system incorporate GPS and compass applications, but developers have created much better versions of the pre-installed ones. Compass PRO is a free application that integrates the best features of compasses with ease of use generated by the code and how it interacts with the operating system.

This program offers conventional directional signs, and in order to use it all you have to do is turn it on and keep the phone on a flat and smooth surface. Additionally, it features a lubber pointer, to enhance deciphering the directions.

Apart from these features, the numbers and letters are specified in bold format, and the lubber pointer coincides with the numerals in order to confirm that the heading is the right one. If any errors are generated, restarting the application and retracing the steps can solve the issues.

 

 

AR Compass-3D

 

This program was conceived for the more recently updated versions of Android, so old versions might not be able to run it. The AR Compass is an application that provides three-dimensional experience for the user, who can find information about the location and time of a destination.

To enhance communication, these details can be shared with other smartphone users who run the app. The compass is rotated automatically, but a manual mode can also be used with the same efficiency, providing better view perspective. There are many other features that equip the AR Compass, all meant to enhance ease of use and to provide pinpoint accuracy.

 

 

 

Marine compass accessories

 

After carefully considering all the characteristics that the ideal product needs to have in order to meet your requirements, after analyzing the installation process and other details, you can also consider accessories that are sold together or separately but are designed to make your life a little easier and help with certain aspects such as storage, transportation, mounting or others.

It’s essential to understand that not everything that is sold is also useful, and depending on the item that you have chosen you must pick out your accessories accordingly. Among the additions that you could consider are storage accessories such as canvas pouches or compass holders, mounting devices such as binnacles, or leveling blocks.

If you’re a person that doesn’t go sailing very often, you still need to buy a navigation device, but since you won’t be using it more than a few times a year, you need a safe method of storage that will ensure its longevity and protect the interior magnetic field. There are a few brands that commercialize such products in the form of canvas pouches and compass holders, and you can choose from a wide price range.

Some of them double as transportation devices, some of them don’t, all you need to do is figure out what you need and shop accordingly. Esthetic aspects are important to some of us, but they are certainly not crucial in this case.

When it comes to mounting devices, the options are so varied that it’s easy to find one that perfectly suits your context. When choosing a model, you should think about the available space on the ship where you’re going to place the compass, the angle of the surface and the viewing angle that you intend to obtain.

If you want to go into detail, if you have a little bit more knowledge on the subject, you can always go in-depth and choose in accordance with the type of boat you own and enhance a compass’ functions using your expertise.

Other types of accessories can be less common, for example, compensation cells are used for gadgets mounted on motorboats with a lot of metallic elements in their construction, which can affect the magnetic field as time goes by and result in misleading directions displayed by the compass. In order to correct this deviation, you can use this type of device or a similar one and make sure that the information you receive is accurate and helpful.

When you’re feeling playful, and you want to experiment with unusual items, you can search the market for various mixes of useful gear updated to work as one item. For example, the best marine binoculars with compass might not be a mandatory request when it comes to basic sailing gear, but they can surely enhance your experience if you try them.

After all, the most important thing is to choose the alternatives that best complement the type of compass you’ve chosen to add to your gear and make sure they work well together to deliver great results and improve your experiences.

 

 

Comparison table

 

Ritchie S-53W Explorer Compass with Night Lighting Brunton F-70P Dash Mount Compass Ritchie B-51 Explorer Bracket Mount Compass
The good This product offers you great value for its price, especially due to the easy to read display and the accuracy of the steel pivot. In order to improve precision, the compensators are added, which can easily adapt to any deviation. It can be used by almost anybody, without requiring any previous experience. Despite its many useful features, this choice is an inexpensive option so you needn’t spend a fortune. Aside from other important factors, the design is one feature that seems to be appreciated in this item. You should give this model a shot if you’re looking for a durable product that will last through extreme weather conditions and still maintain it’s accuracy. A few customers have claimed that the display is easy to read even from a distance, making this alternative great for both amateurs and professionals. Featuring many of the features that make Ritchie products reliable, the Explorer manages to pack them into a compact shape, making it easy for you to add this gadget to your trip gear. It uses a mount that’s tight enough to keep it in place even in unpleasant weather conditions, which is especially important while sailing. Its size makes it fit even for a small vessel.
The bad Some customers have complained that the dial is a bit too small and the result is hard to decipher. There have been some complaints about the mounting screws, which apparently aren’t durable enough. In low lighting situations, you may find that the illumination isn’t bright enough to allow you to read the display.
The bottom line This is a model fit for both professional users and amateurs that delivers great quality for the money. Try this choice if you’re looking for a slightly more professional device, fit for a seasoned sailor. You should opt for this item if you’re looking to find features you know a good marine compass should have in the form of a tiny device.

 

 

 

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