Because I have installed compass on several of my kayaks and several on others’ kayaks, I get occasional requests of how to install a compass on the deck of a kayak, and I write back the instructions without saving them. Sometimes, it’s just easier to do it for them; I shop for the screws and hardware, get out the tools and get ‘er done.
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
I wasn’t doing myself or anybody any favors by doing it for them.
This time I made a detailed directions while installing on my new P&H Cetus.
Always wear safety glasses when working with power tools and airborne particulates.
Parts will cost less than $10 at your local hardware store:
- Four # 6-32, 3/4″ Stainless steel panhead screw
- Eight #6 Stainless steel washers
- Four #6 Neoprene washers
- Four #6-32 Stainless steel Nyloc Nuts
A quality Stainless steel is non ferrous (magnetic) and won’t affect the accuracy of the compass. Test this out with a magnet; if a magnet doesn’t pick up the part, it won’t affect the magnet of the compass.
The order these parts are installed is important: starting at the outside, the layers are:
- SS washer
- Compass Bezel
- Kayak body
- Neoprene washer
- SS washer
- SS Nyloc Nut
Enlarge the holes on the bezel with the drill and bit of the size just chosen. Be sure to drill slowly so you don’t crack the bezel.
Clean the compass receptacle and insert the compass with the bezel on top. This is your first glimpse of how it will look and fit. If it seems like a snug fit, You’re doing well. If it doesn’t fit right, either buy a new kayak with the appropriate size receptacle, get a different brand compass or go in the trash to retrieve the brass bracket you discarded in the first step. Using the bezel holes as you template/guide for drilling holes in the fiberglass of the kayak. Be sure to drill slowly so you don’t crack the gel goat or fiberglass.Also drill at right angles to the bezel and mounting hole. Once this is done, remove the bezel and compass and carefully clean the wasted material left from drilling. Use caution though; this contains fiberglass shavings which will be annoying and uncomfortable if it gets in you skin. Use a vacuum cleaner.
Eyeball the lubber lines from the stern end of you boat to get it as accurate as possible.
Use a screw driver and socket wrench to tighten it down, but don’t tighten one screw at a time. First get all four screws a little snug, then tighten, but don’t go to town with your wrench – everything can crack. Tighten just enough so it feels snug, and the neoprene washer is compressed. The Nyloc nut will hold things in place for many happy years of reliable use.