How my In-deck Compass Got Busted..dont make the same mistake

I believe water got into the ball socket in which the compass sits. A couple of tarps which wrapped the boat got released by the winds. Or I was out winter paddling and water froze on the trip home.

I believe the ice cracked the plexiglass globe of the compass such that a fine leak developed.

I guess one must be careful to drain the water from the ball socket after use in freezing conditions or do a better job of sealing up the compass to hull gap…what you see is how it came from the original owner.

Putting a drain hole in the socket doesnt make sense.

Thanks for explaining why I prefer a deck compass attached with bungees. And, it can move easily to other kayaks of my small fleet as my kayak of the day/weekend/week changes.

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It’s not uncommon for the fluid in the 70P compasses to leak out over time. It’s just odorless mineral spirits (a.k.a. “paint thinner”), which you can get at any hardware store big box retailer. The globes are very thick and strong, so unless there are visible cracks in it, it’s probably OK. The weakest part of the compass is the mounting plate, so that’s more likely to crack than the globe.

As for the ice question, I guess it’s possible, but I’ve used my boats through New England winters - as have a lot of my friends - and by far the most common compass on our boats is the 70P. To my knowledge, nobody has ever had a problem with ice breaking their compass. I can’t speak for the others, but I don’t do anything to seal around the compass, I just focus on making sure the screws don’t cause leaks into the cockpit.

If you look on the bottom of the compass, you’ll see the screw plug for filling it. You can always try it and see if it leaks. Also, if the compass isn’t cracked but it’s leaking, Brunton may cover it under warranty.

Did you see the crack pattern in the globe? It is spread out equally.

More likely reason for the cracking:

Someone turned the kayak upside-down (or a gust of wind flipped the kayak onto its deck while on hard ground) so that too much force was put on the globe.

I use a bungied compass. Actually, I no longer use any compass when paddling, but that has nothing to do with the compass itself and everything to do with no need for one here.

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I tend to agree that it’s much more likely that it’s from an impact than from ice, especially since there’s no damage to the boat or the mounting plate and the screws didn’t pull out.

Well the boat has been in my possession and has been firmly attached to a trailer with straps. But of course someone could have dropped the boat while I was not watching it.

But the boat did not get dropped. I have the compass in front of

me. I located the plug for mineral sprits. The globe is perfectly smooth. There are no scratches or dents on it. No sign of impact damage. The bars on the trailer, where impact was most likely, have foam canoe carriers on them…not a plain galvanized tube.

Yet the internal layer of the plastic globe has these perfectly arranged almost perfectly straight crack segments.

It appears that it broke at the parting line for the clear and black hemispheres.

I think water worked its way into the seam of the partling line and froze, splitting the seam. If the Silvas have been known to leak, one would assume that the seam is where the leak occurs.

There is no way that a tiny amount of water that may have gotten into a seam could cause that. Looking at it from this angle, it appears that something whacked it hard right above the seam.

The compasses I’ve seen that leaked did so very slowly and had no visible leak or damage. They worked fine after being refilled.

The origin of the crack is exactly where water would accumulate due to the slope of the hull. There is no impact damage on the seam. But whatever,

Intend to drain it, put it in a vacuum bag and let the moisture boil off—there are small water droplets inside the globe, and then reseal the seam with some super glue or uv curable stuff.