kayak compass

Anyone have a used kayak compass? I have a recessed spot on the deck of my Valley Skerray that needs a compass. Thanks

Brunton 70p

You mean people still use a compass?
When I first came on P-net quite a few moons ago, I was taken to task for raving about using a GPS instead of a compass.

I wonder if those same people are still using a compass?

Why not buy a new one at West Marine?

That is where I got mine.

Where are you located? If you are close to me I’ll scrounge around and see if I can find it, wipe the dust off it and you can have it. ( I might have past it along six or seven years ago though)



Hate to see that empty recess, looks much cooler with a compass in it… And it’s great to have it with you all the time.

Chuckling To Myself
Or maybe at myself. I have a very nice compass that I bought with my boat. My boat has a neat idea, a second bow storage cover with the compass mounted in it so that you can go with or without. I thought it was very important to have a compass and made sure I had one when outfitting. Like JackL above, mine is collecting dust in the storage room, I’ve never used it. I paddle the coast both inshore and offshore. But I am very rarely beyond site of land and usually within a mile of the closest landing.



I never really use mine.
However my boat is bristling with gear because it is a demo model to show what all can be mounted on it. Suunto makes a bright yellow one that I didn’t care for but they also make a nice black rubber one that doesn’t have straps like the orca , it’s called the pioneer, You can pop it off its base to store it and it’s a little less than three inches in diameter. It’s mostly for “posing” my boat at sales events, but may come in handy on a large lake that is socked in with fog. No ocean here !

Carbon Footprint…
Is much less with a compass than all those batteries in the GPS’s

no compass?
you only use a GPS?

Wouldn’t be without my compass
Every time I paddle, the first thing I do is to start making a mental note of the reverse bearing back to where I launched from.

I have had way too many instances of a bright sunny day turning to unbelievably thick fog. I wouldn’t ever paddle without a compass it’s like my paddle, spare paddle, pfd, spray skirt, and VHF. I wouldn’t leave shore without any of them.

Those guys who don’t use compasses, pfd’s and the like are not people I paddle with!

Don’t know what would happen when their GPS goes kaput. Was using the GPS the other day just to monitor speed and about 30 minutes into the paddle - the screen goes blank. Hate to depend on technology if the fog came in.

Have a small hand held compass in the pocket of my pfd and the deck mounted compass on the deck. If I am paddling a boat without or paddling at night, I use a Suunto that is strapped onto the deck lines in a place where I

can see it.


well if anyone is donating…
I would be happy to give one a good home. since I am a novice learning navigation, it would be great to have on one each boat to practice. BTW, I take the GPS all the time too.


Old school
I’m another old schooler. Learned to navigate before GPS was invented.

When they first came out, they weren’t the wonderful mapping GPS’s we have now – they basically told you where you were, how fast you were going, and in what direction. You still needed a chart and compass to translate the coordinates into a position on a map, and to go somewhere you’d never been before.

My GPS gets used mostly to record distance, speed, and track. I like to save the tracks for really great paddles, and print them out on charts for friends to use if they like, or for myself to do it again sometime. But for the real task of navigating, give me a chart and compass anyday. They don’t need batteries, and the system never goes down. They are great in the fog, though!


Guess I am “Old School” too
I have a GPS, but would not want to go without a compass.

Sort of like car insurance: you don’t need it until you need it. Having a reverse reading compass on the foredeck of my kayak or on the front thwart of my solo canoe gives me constant feedback on my heading. Also makes it easier to win an argument, err, disagreement over where you are in the BWCA!


Your going to miss out on…
some good paddles



another old schooler
If I paddled out of sight of land, then I’d use the compass or GPS, but since I paddle Chesapeake Bay, with its distinctive landmarks, all I have to do is look around & I know where I am - and night paddles are only in familiar local waters. I’m a minimalist in a lot of ways & like it that way. Yes, I always wear a pfd…

jackL…Let me know if you locate the compass, I’ll give you something for it, plus S&H…heck, a 6 pack is better than nothin’!!! Thanks

as in “shucks, i didn’t go” or missed as in “dang, i couldn’t find them cause this &^(&^% black box isn’t working and i don’t have a compass”?

to each his own.

I am glad Suzzaneh has a BCU
partner to help her out here.

I would strongly suggest to any newbies reading the merits of GPS vs compass.

Don’t make your first trip with a compass to a mile long Island ten miles off shore with a fifteen knot quartering wind.

You’ll probably miss it by a few miles!

The modern world including aircraft, ships, etc has done away with the compass just as we have done away with the old slide rule in favor of electronics.



i agree with you…
that’s no more reasonable than depending upon a piece of electronics as my sole means of navigation.

seriously, i wasn’t jumping to extreme examples to illustrate the point - anything if stretched to the absurd falls apart.

if it’s how you do things, that’s fine…my initial question was honest - you ONLY use a gps and you apparently do.

again, to each his own.

personally, i’d have a compass and a chart as a secondary means to navigate - i would no more depend on a single gps than i would a single paddle on a journey. as the paddle is backed up, so would the gps.

Contrary Data Point
"The modern world including aircraft, ships, etc has done away with the compass just as we have done away with the old slide rule"

A top sea kayak coach was hired by the Navy to provide training to some SEALS. He asked about their navigational skills and they assured him they had the latest and best GPS systems and had no need of a compass. So he devised an exercise which would have a duration longer than the battery life of the GPS units. Result, the SEALS, lacking basic navigation skills, got hopeless lost on the foggy coast of Maine and began to appreciate the compass and knowing how to use it.

A friend was a navigator on a Boomer sub. He mentioned they continued to use dividers and charts on a regular basis to plot courses. Obviously not from a lack of fancy electronic gear.