Finally hitting the salt water...

It’s been a long time. The wife’s hip surgery and all have left us out of our long skinny boats for too long. Got out the QCC today, covered in dust, only to find the bungees are beginning to rot on the deck and I’ve lost a rudder cable. Ah well, not too bad for a 2002 boat. She cleaned up nicely, but I’ll be shopping for some parts.
The deck compass is getting rather grungy on the inside. Anyone ever take one apart? Clean it and refill it with…what?

Doubt you’re going to pull it apart clean and full. If it is grungy inside I’d say it shot. What king is it? Deck mounted permanently or bungee?

Small compass not worth repairing and probably not serviceable. I would say sealed unit for the price point they usually are. 30-70 bucks and it’s new. If you do by a new bungee mount one do not by an Orca pure junk even when pampered. I had 3 or 4 of them. I like how they look at night as the glow but liquid soon escapes.

It’s a Comnav that’s deck mounted. Comnav doesn’t show it on their website, but it looks a LOT like this one:
It’s a rather expensive compass. Mine is still working, just looks like crap. I’ll see what I can do.

Before you do anything, contact the manufacturer to see what their warranty policy is. It’s also entirely possible that someone else makes the compass for Comnav. Take it off the deck and look on the bottom to see if there are any brand markings.

For those who own Brunton compasses, they are very good about replacing compasses that develop problems, like internal discoloration, “floaters” or faded markings. I would contact them before making any attempt at repairs. I’ve had a few compasses replaced this way.

That said, Brunton compasses are filled with odorless mineral spirits, a.k.a “paint thinner” in the US (NOT lacquer thinner). There should be a set screw in the bottom of the compass that allows you to drain and fill it. You could try shaking vigorously, draining it, replacing some of the fluid, shaking and repeating the process as necessary. It’s possible that some other cleaner might do the trick, but I wouldn’t use anything more aggressive than dish washing soap and water, or denatured alcohol. If you do use anything else, make sure that the compass is dry inside before refilling it with mineral spirits.

Thank you bnystrom. Good advice.