Flush-mount compass vs clip on

Me again. :wink: I’m ordering a Solstice GTS and was see the custom flush-mount Ritchie compass as an option. The way I’m ordering the option is a reasonable price. I don’t know much about Ritchie compasses or flush-mount in general, but it seems to me that the deck of the Solstice is so peaked that there isn’t a good place to strap on a compass anyway. So the flush-mount seems the way to go, but I’ve never actually seen one. Is there a disadvantage to the custom flush-mount option?


rnd…love southern ME
I just bought a surface mount Ritchie compass, Angler model, from West Marine… it is super. I own one of the Suunto compasses that are all over eBay, and frankly, there is no comparison, the Ritchie is much much better oil dampened compass. It even lights up if I mount it as such. I cannot answer about custom mount specifically, but I certainly would get a Ritchie (and I think I’d have it custom mounted) if I were you. The good old Kittery Trading Post, although expensive, sure has one heck of a selection of kayaking supplies. Wow. Sweet.

Yes, Kittery Trading Post
has a great kayaking section. That is where my wife and I got fitted. Very impressed. Thanks for the info on the Ritchie. I liked what I read online. How does it light up though? It seemed to me that the lighting was geared for 12volt setups, not battery or glow sticks. I’m leaning toward the flush mount just because it keeps it out of the way and like I said the Solstice has just a high peak to the deck.

Fitted at the Kittery Trading Post? Wow
That is a very nice story, fitting at the Post. They seem to be good people, but again, the prices are a tad steep. We stayed for a week at the Wentworth by the Sea with many family members in August, and it was sublime. Ate clams (Bob’s Clam Shack, 100 yards from K Trading Post)until I was belching clam juice. You kow the feeling I am sure, you;re a Mainiac. Anyhow, you are riight, the Ritchie surface mout that I have has a 12 volt light, not battery. That is an issue. Don’t know if they will rig yours up for use with light, or not. I know what you mean about the peaked hulll as I considered at GTS this past year. Did you already buy it? You might want to see the reviews online I had a thread about it in the summer (likely archived) that scared the crap out of my buying one… anyhow, I am sure it will be fine if you already ordered it, rnd.



Look at the cover of this book, that is how your Ritchie would look on the peaked deck. Snazzy, man, wicked snazzy.

Thanks again. Yes I had read those reviews, but we’ve paddled a lot of differnt boats over the years and think the Solstice GTS fits our current needs and paddling style the best. Tracking is primary for my wife and I appreciate it as well right now. For every review that talks about problems pearling etc. there is another two that say it’s great in rough conditions. I’m sure it will be fine for us and I may end up outgrowing the tracking, but about that time I’ll be ready to get my own boat. We have two small kids so we can’t get out together much, hence the one boat. Once the kids are older we’ll all be able to get out more and I’ll probably be looking for something more manuverable. That’s years from now though. =)

Thank cooldoctor1!

I hear you, rnd.
Sounds like you have a paddling “crew” in the making with your family. Will look forward to your review of the boat when you get it; agree, the reviews are only one facet of your choice. Seems like you;ve done your homework. If you get a deal on the Ritchie compass installed, that sounds like a nice bet too. If you’re going that far and getting a sweet fiberglass boat, mightas well spring for the compass.

I envy your paddling areas. Down in Portsmouth NH, where we stayed, there were plenty of kayak rentals, paddling up the river and along the coast. I did not get around to renting one, but wish I did. Too busy with the family thing. slidegal posted a really nice description of her recent paddle at Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, it is in the Places2Paddle section and is a very well written piece, you can sort of feel what she must have felt paddling alone in ME. I really envy your neck of the woods, rnd.

We really love it here
We’ve only been here about 5 years but we love it. We’re pretty much in Portland so the paddling options are just great. Lot of nice coastline and hundreds of islands. One paddle this summer was inside Portland harbor with a stop off for a pint at an Irish pub downtown and back across the channel. Fun stuff. My favorite is to go out and camp out on the islands though.

Our first ever kayaking experience was 3 days sleeping on the islands around Bar Harbor with Maine Island Kayak as guides. I was hooked from the start. Took almost 10 years to get moved up here and finally get kayaks though. I’ve got a beater Loon 110 for getting my 4yr-old boy out occasionally and am now ready to get the nice kayak. When his sister is ready to go out he’ll be ready for his own small kayak. I’m looking forward to the day we all get to go out together and explore the islands.

Where in New England did you grow up?

it is peaked
the flush one on the gts is mounted on a molded plastic flange,it’s not as smooth looking as the one on the link. But I would think a deck mounted one would sit 4" higher.

Yeh, I saw that
here: http://www.cdkayak.com/cdkayak/gear/accessories2.asp

Still as you say it’s got to be better than trying to stick one on the top of that deck. I would think I’d have to create a foam base to keep it flat or something.

I agree with Lee… the deck mounted

– Last Updated: Dec-06-05 9:28 PM EST –

one like I have would indeed sit up much higher on the deck.

I grew up in Massachusetts, near Athol/Orange area. Not as beautiful are your area, but less snowy. I think that is great about your kids and the old stalwart, the Loon. I tow my 10 yo in his own yak with rope and he loves it (in nice weather). Can imagine your child doing that when you paddle your new yak. Can see him saying, "Daddy? Where did you go daddy?" and tugging on line going into the water in front of his kayak. Don;t worry son, Dad just pearled completely under in his new GTS. He'll bob back up.

Just bustin' ya. We flew into Portland, nice airport. Ever see Stephen Kings house? He is a very fine author, even though he has no paddling in his books.

rnd, that is my exact Ritchie compass on that link, only mine is deck mount, not integrated into kayak. get the integrated one like your pic. It is a really fine dampened compass. You'll like it.

flush mount
I have just installed the Current Designs flush mount on my GTS. I had one on my previous GT and had to get one on my new boat. The mount itself is a fiberglass cup with a 2 inch lip around the top. The kit comes with a template that you use to cut out a 5 inch round hole in your deck, drill holes, apply sealant and bolt down.

The mount allows you to place the compass any where from the very front of the deck to right behind the forward hatch.I use a peaked deck bag so I mounted mine about 3 inches behind the front hatch. Make sure you miss the front bulkhead when you cut. I used a rotary zip saw that worked fine on kevlar.I bought the Ritchie explorer compass that fits awesome, just remove the bottom half. CD factory also said they have one that mounts forward of the hatch if you have good eyes…good luck…nice looking mounts