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Old 07-03-2013, 15:23   #1
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Powerboat/Sailboat/Compass

I am considering buying a Danforth Cruiser steering compass for my 31' yacht (sailboat) to replace a faulty unit, as this model will fit without any modiforcation This is advertised as suitable for power boats. Would it be suitable for a yacht? What is the difference between the two? Many thanks
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:48   #2
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Re: powerboat/sailboat/compass

A compass that is "suitable" for a power boat would probably have additional damping to limit the compass bouncing around when the power boat is bouncing around at high speeds in rough water.

Should be just fine for a sailboat as well.
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Old 08-03-2013, 14:08   #3
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Re: Powerboat/Sailboat/Compass

Many thanks for that
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Old 08-03-2013, 14:54   #4
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Re: Powerboat/Sailboat/Compass

Maybe it's not an issue with most compasses today, but there was a time when many compasses did not function when tipped beyond a certain angle. A quick search just now looks like most compasses marketed for boating operate at high angles.

First keelboat I learned to sail on had a compass that stopped working at less than 10 degrees of heel.
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Old 08-03-2013, 16:03   #5
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Re: Powerboat/Sailboat/Compass

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
First keelboat I learned to sail on had a compass that stopped working at less than 10 degrees of heel.
The compass stopped working when the boat was heeled less than 10 degrees? So that means the compass didn't work when you were motoring in calm water?

That's a first for me. Sure it wasn't a defective compass and instead of a design feature?
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Old 08-03-2013, 16:24   #6
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Re: Powerboat/Sailboat/Compass

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The compass stopped working when the boat was heeled less than 10 degrees? So that means the compass didn't work when you were motoring in calm water?

That's a first for me. Sure it wasn't a defective compass and instead of a design feature?
It was a clip on compass so it could be put away to not be stolen and it would double as a handheld compass. The compass card would hit the base when the boat heeled somewhere around 10 degrees. Universal free gimballed compasses were very expensive back then, and this was at a time when this club boat had nothing electric beyond lights, so no VHF, and no depthsounder other than a leadline. But this was a time when everyone I knew that had a VHF had a crystal set.

John
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Old 21-03-2013, 10:13   #7
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Re: Powerboat/Sailboat/Compass

One of the major differences is the lubber lines. A sailing compass has them fore and aft and at 45 deg either side of dead ahead. Useful when tacking.
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