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Ensign Sailing Forum

Side Deck Compass
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I have a TackTic electronic compass mounted on my mast, but it is hard to see when I am back at the tiller. I could mount the TackTic on the bulkhead, which would bring it closer to me, but that will not solve the crew blocking my view. The TackTic is also designed to be mounted in the center of the boat since it has two displays mounted at about 90 degrees to each other. However I don't have enough room on the bulkhead over the cabin doorway to mount the TickTac so it would have to go on one side or the other, which makes the crew blocking issue worse.

I'm considering mounting a surface mount compass on each of the side decks near or behind the end of the jib sheet tracks. This way I would be able to see one of them no matter where I am or what else is going on the boat.

The compass I am considering is the Ritchie X-Port Tactician, This compass is small enough to mount on the side deck, and can be purchased for about $60 to $80 each, depending on the dealer.

My major concern is that the winch may interfere with the operating of the compass. This model does not have internal compensators, though Ritchie says you can use external magnets if necessary to calibrate against the effects of nearby objects that distort the magnetic field. The end of the track is about 2 1/2 feet from the winch, and I may be able to move the compass back another foot and still be able to see it easily. (I need to see the actual unit to determine is I can look down at it, or need to look at it from the side.)

My other concern is lining each of the compasses up with the center line of the boat, but I think I can deal with that issue.

Does anyone else use deck mounted compasses? If so, do you see interference from the winch? Has anyone else used the Ritchie X-Port Tactician? Are there other good solutions? Perhaps compass with a large dial in the bulkhead, or an electronic compass with large digits.


Vic Roberts
#2032 - Journey
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