Re: Compass

Posted by Terry Mcadams on Nov 1, 2004

So why do you need a compass anyway? I mean, you're a lake paddler, right? Whichever way you paddle, you'll hit shore and you can walk home.

But if you must clutter your decks with a compass, I like the idea posted a year or two ago to mount it on an extra forehatch cover. Easy to see, being slightly elevated on the hatch and you can switch it off with a plain cover to avoid theft (which appears to be much rarer in Dear Canada than down here in New Jersey).

I, being too lazy to make another hatch cover, use one of those Aquameter compasses that attach with bungees on the foredeck. Light weight, easy to put over stuff lashed on deck up there, inexpensive for a compass that seems as accurate as larger ones I've used, and removable for the times you don't want it (which, with that copious Canadian fog, shouldn't be very often).

You probably already know not to put large pieces of ferous metal near the compass. You can a check and adjust a newly installed compass's accuracy by using a chart to plot some bearings to known land marks and seeing if the boat compass matches those bearings

Another option is to use a GPS; something I've used on larger boats but resisted buying for the kayaks. I probably should, as it has several benefits over the compass/chart method of navigation in fog and in tricky passages on rivers and in groups of islands.

Also, if you really want to be the "complete kayaker," you'll need radar, RDF, depthsounder/fishfinder, SSB radio, as well as the AEGIS fire-control and missle tracking system.

Good luck trying to fit in the generator.


In Response to: Compass by Mac on Oct 31, 2004