Getting lost while you are out sailing is such a horrifying experience that should never happen to anyone. Thankfully, you can always carry a marine compass with you. But, navigating can be a tough challenge, and with that, you’ll need to carry a dependable device.
Ahead, we list down the best marine compass brands that could be your lifesaver out at sea. It is a nice idea to have this tool as it can make a huge difference. So, browse through the list and find the best one that works well for you. After all, it won’t hurt to have good company to help you.
Table of Contents
- Best Marine Compass Reviews
- 1. TurnOnSport Boat Compass
- 2. Ritchie Navigation Compass Surface Mount
- 3. Odowalker Marine Digital Compass
- 4. DETUCK Dashboard Boat Compass
- 5. RITCHIE NAVIGATION F-50 Explorer Compass
- 6. SUN COMPANY Mountable Kayak Compass
- 7. COSTIN Multifunctional Metal Military Compass
- 8. SHORELINE Illuminated Marine Compass
- 9. KEENSO High Precision Boat Compass
- 10. YOSOO HEALTH GEAR Boat Navigation Compass
- 11. GELOO Boat Navigation Compass
- 12. BRUNTON Dash Mount Compass
- Buyer’s Guide
- Do Marine Compasses Come with Mounting Brackets
- How to Adjust My Marine Compass
- How Do You Make Sure the Compass is Running True to Its Lines
Best Marine Compass Reviews
1. TurnOnSport Boat Compass
Marine navigation has never been more accurate with TurnOnSport Boat Compass. Accuracy has always been one of the most critical issues with marine compasses, but TurnOnSport’s compensators easily settle this concern.
One of the highlights of TurnOnSport is its East-West and North-South compensators that minimize external influences on the marine compass. This leads to a more precise direction, making it one of the most reliable and in-demand compass brands in the market today.
The compensators aren’t my only favorite thing about TurnOnSport. I also like that it’s dependable day in and day out. At night, its incandescent light makes the device visible and readable. There is nothing to worry about when the dark sets in.
And if you’re concerned about the rugged marine conditions, this brand is definitely up for the tough times. The compass’s made from ABS plastic, which is waterproof and corrosion-resistant.
Despite its hefty size, the device remains lightweight. Installing it yourself will be a breeze. The compass comes with two EVA stickers and two screws, so mounting is never a challenge. Just look for the sweet spot, stick it up or screw it and you’re done.
You also do not have to worry about exposing the compass to too much sunlight as it has a movable cover for shade. Whether it’s a big boat or a kayak, TurnOnSport is your dependable marine compass.
Reliable utility and superior accuracy are what Ritchie Navigation Explorer Compasses are known for. With over a century of experience in the marine industry, Ritchie Navigation products remain top producers of navigational compasses for commercial and recreational boats. So, what’s up with their Explorer compasses? Find out in this review.
One of my pet peeves with compasses is how unreliable they can be. But this 2.75″ surface mount compass has what it takes to be considered a trustworthy product. I love that the makers reinforced the device with a triple cup sapphire jewel and a toughened steel pivot where every micrometer matches to a tee.
As a result, the device operates quite smoothly and locks on rather quickly even when subjected to extremes.
To be more specific about it, this device sports High Gauss Magnets customized for different compass specifications. These magnets seek and lock to magnetic north, so you know you are always right on track.
Another must-have utility for any boat compass is compensators. You can tick that box off as this compass has those. It has solid, built-in, non-interactive magnets that act as compensators for correction and accuracy. Moreover, you will get to enjoy its nighttime internal green illumination using a 12V power light.
3. Odowalker Marine Digital Compass
Tired of an unreliable compass? Odowalker Electronic Marine Digital Compass is one of the few top-of-the-line brands that hold on to promised accuracy and aesthetics. It is highly functional and straightforward, giving you spot-on directions without a lot of fuss.
If you’re a sailing enthusiast as I am, then you’ll definitely find this device to be quite a dependable buddy at sea. The device is sturdy and is made for tough times using high-quality ABS material.
Nighttime sailing can also be extra challenging for sailors, as poor lighting impairs much-needed visibility onboard. So I like that Odowalker had its compass built with an incandescent bulb light to illuminate the compass. This makes the device readable even at night.
Another thing I like about Odo Walker is how easily you can adjust the declination sheet. Thanks to its adjustable brackets, managing the compass’s position relative to the viewer’s angle can be done swiftly. I did not have to stay in one spot to get a good view of the compass.
Moreover, this compass is not just for marine use. It’s also best suited for cars, trucks, and other land-based automobiles. Odo Walker is truly one of the most flexible compass devices you can get out there. The device is available in black and white colors with a neat-looking design.
4. DETUCK Dashboard Boat Compass
The best marine compass for me comes from the reliable company DETUCK. I love this dash mount marine compass because I can use it night and day thanks to its night lighting feature and red indicator line.
The magnetic declination easily identifies both east-west and north-south directions, so I never get lost in the middle of the ocean as it improves the compass’s accuracy. I have come across several compasses that come with this feature, but not all of them are as easy to adjust as this one.
For a light traveler like me, I always choose to bring lightweight objects. I am glad that this compact compass only weighs 2.7 ounces. It is light on both my hands and in my pocket. Plus, it is also easy to mount as it comes with double-sided tape and screws that you attach to the dashboard.
5. RITCHIE NAVIGATION F-50 Explorer Compass
If you are looking for compasses for boats, then you have come to the right place. Few things beat the Ritchie Nautical Compass, among other sailing compasses. This device is easy to read thanks to its direct reading dial. Plus, your night trips will become a breeze with its built-in green lighting.
The Ritchie compass is made with Sapphire jewel and toughened steel pivot. Besides that, it boosts sturdiness with high-temperature composite. You do not want to miss its classic finish and design, either! When I bought it, I immediately knew that this one oozes exquisite quality just by looking at it.
One feature that I like about this compass is the impressive directive force magnets because not all sail boat compasses are blessed with this feature. It gives me a quick heading lock-on so I can have a more precise direction anywhere I go. You know you are in good hands with RITCHIE because they offer a 5-year warranty on all items.
6. SUN COMPANY Mountable Kayak Compass
If you opt for easy installation, then this compass is for you. The SeaTurtl surface mount marine compass features four modifiable elastic cords that secure the item in place, whether on a kayak or a paddleboard. This feature ensures a snug mount anywhere you attach it.
A busy sailor like me wants a compass that is quick and easy to read. I am grateful that I found this compass. Upon purchase, SeaTurtl served as an easy-to-read marine compass that perfectly fits on my standard-sized deck.
The hood’s adjustable feature gives protection to my favorite compass, especially when not in use. It also prevents glare when I use it on the sea. This is one of my ideal features since I hate the blinding glare which may cause accidents. It is a dangerous thing that we tend to overlook.
7. COSTIN Multifunctional Metal Military Compass
This is one of the most reliable marine compass company in the market. COSTIN is famous for its durable products that can last for a lifetime. Their waterproof compasses, which are usually IP54-rated, are also coated in high-strength engineering metal, ensuring durability and sturdiness that others cannot top.
Whether your cruiser is dead on the sea or moving sluggishly against an outbound tide, this compass gives good heading. It is a reliable boat compass that stays functional and accurate no matter the circumstances.
You do not have to worry when you get stuck in the dark, too. This high-quality marine compass comes with a fluorescent design that lights up the right direction for you. It comes with a glowing magnetic arrow and compass card. Plus, it illuminates the dial, too, so you can read the data without worries, even in a dark environment.
8. SHORELINE Illuminated Marine Compass
When I found this compass, I immediately knew that my search was about to end. This 12V device illuminates in a dark environment, so you can see the direction very clearly, anytime and anywhere. It also does not spin, giving me clarity even when the boat gets shaky.
If you love jeweled compasses like me, then you should try this one. It comes with a durable jeweled pivot installation that you cannot take your eyes off. The great design of this compass is coated with UV protection for a product that’s meant to last. I am also pretty sure that this easy-to-install compass will never delay your sea trip.
You can save a lot with this one because it features a low power draw you can rarely find in other products. This multifunctional compass is really something that you should have. It is a simple compass that perfectly serves my need for accurate direction.
9. KEENSO High Precision Boat Compass
The name says it all. This professional-grade compass will satisfy all your needs as it promises to lead you in the right direction in all of your trips. KEENSO truly belongs to the top marine compass manufacturers because ever since I bought its product, I have never got lost, and I easily reach my destination.
One thing I look for in a boat compass is durability. Thankfully, this one never disappoints. It is made of superior quality ABS plastic that efficiently resists any chances of rusting. Plus, it is also environmentally friendly, and the bracket is adjustable. You can be at ease with this compass that is easy to use.
I have tried several tiring compasses that lead me in the wrong direction. They even gave me hassles because I couldn’t read the direction pointed very well. The easy-to-read dial of this compass is far different because it guides me in the right direction easily, quickly, and with no confusion.
You can look for a marine compass online, but you may never find a compass as good as this. When I get lost at sea, I know I can count on this product’s direction accuracy. The dial is also convenient to read, thanks to the accuracy compensator that comes with the compass.
For those who want to install their compasses in a jiffy, I highly recommend this one. It is a bracket-mounted compass, so it is known for its easy installation. It also supports the charge of your car or boat while offering a proper viewing angle to give a more precise direction.
This compass works well in many vehicles, which is why it tops other compasses. Unlike others that are bulky or too small for boat use, this one comes with the perfect size for your RV or sailboat. Plus, you will not need electricity or tools to install it.
Are you tired of inaccurate compasses that lead you in the wrong direction? Then you can now rest easy because this marine compass from GELOO will never misguide you. It is a good pivoting compass for your car and boat, giving precise directions anywhere you go.
Since it is made of superior ABS, you know that you can count on this product. ABS material is known for its extreme durability that makes any product last long. It resists corrosion, too. So, you can take it on all your sea trips without worrying about the salty ocean breeze that causes rusting.
Another highlight of this product is the lighting. This boat compass with light saves you from the dark as it illuminates itself to make the dial easy to read. You don’t have to stress about the installation because it pretty much attaches to any surface. It comes with an EVA foam sticker or screws to make your work more convenient.
12. BRUNTON Dash Mount Compass
We are now at the last but not the least product in this article, and I will tell you why I reserved this one for you. I got this bulkhead mounted compass when I was about to have a long trip at sea, and this dash mount compass never disappoints. It is a flush-mount compass, too, so you can easily put it on top of almost any surface, including kayaks.
Plus, this compass is way different from other models in terms of quality and reliability. The BRUNTON compass has five-degree graduations for optimum accuracy. You know you are going in the right direction with this tool.
Save your troubles with this easy-to-read compass with its direct reading disc that makes this feature possible. It gives spot-on directions with its reciprocal bearing, even when facing giant waves at sea, so you would not have trouble figuring out your location.
We all want to make our buy worthy. That’s why everyone should be equipped with some info regarding marine compasses. So, what are the two important things that you must keep in mind? Well, first is the mounting method.
If you choose the correct mounting method before buying your compass, you will notice how it makes all the difference. There are different mounting methods, but I will just introduce the four common ones and exclude less common types like the overhead marine compass. They are the bracket mount, flush-mount, surface mount, and binnacle mount.
In a bracket mount, the compass usually rests in a bracket. You can mount this type on helms or decks. It is also easy to do, and you can have the right angle right away, which is why it is loved by many compass users.
Next is the flush mount. In this type, the compass lies inside the dashboard. It comes with a challenging assembly, but I can guarantee that the quality and visuals that this mounting type offers are out of this world.
The surface mount is where the compass sits on top of the dashboard. Just like a bracket mount, it is also easy to install. If you opt for a decent-looking installation, then you should go for this one.
Lastly, the binnacle mount. Just like the name says, a binnacle-mounted compass comes with its own case. It also looks decent and classy, but this mounting type may be bulky and takes up a lot of space. It also needs a lot of work, just like a flush mount.
After knowing the mounting types, I know that you already have your favorite in mind. It is time to go to the next thing that you should consider – the size. You would not want a bulky compass attached to a tiny helm. Besides that, the right size allows you to read the direction quickly and easily, even after installation.
Remember that smaller to mid-sized ones can range from 4 to 5 inches wide. Small sailboats, usually under 20 ft., are better suited with a small surface-mounted compass.
Do Marine Compasses Come with Mounting Brackets
A bracket-mount compass usually comes with a mounting bracket. Some compasses do not come with a bracket mount, but there are times when you can convert one type of mount to another — for example, using a bracket to convert a flush mount to a bracket mount.
If you do not want to have a bracket mount, you can opt for Ritchie Explorer, Voyager, or Navigation Globemaster models.
How to Adjust My Marine Compass
Marine compass adjustments can be a piece of cake or a headache. But the general rule is to head zero degrees using the compass while disregarding the heading. After that, you should turn exactly 180 degrees and adjust the compensator. This will take out half the overshoot or undershoot. You can then repeat the steps on 90 to adjust the fore compensator.
How Do You Make Sure the Compass is Running True to Its Lines
To know if your compass is running accurately, you should observe these things. Put the compass on a non-magnetic flat surface.
Afterward, you should turn it in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. If the compass is accurate, the needle should act like a match stick that floats in the middle of a basin of liquid that you twist.
Calibrating a compass is one of the most challenging parts for me. I know that you can eventually get used to it, but the quality of a compass also plays a part. Choose a compass that delivers accurate direction and does not require constant calibration or tapping. It will save your time a lot.
Choose the best marine compass that comes with your preferred mounting type. By doing so, you can install something that you can actually handle. If you are a starter, choosing a bracket or surface mount is a good idea.