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Compass and Electronics


Electrical Equipment Can Interfer With Your Boat’s Compass

In the photo above, which represents a really common situation on modern sailboats the question is whether or not the electronic equipment (you see installed in the pod box) will have any noticeable impact on the compass mounted in the middle of all the gear.

For you power boaters, a tight dash mount on a center console or walk-around can create a similar situation. The answer to the question is to always check. I’ve had the magnet in a VHF radio mic send a compass crazy!

That said, the new LCD displays you are showing in the photo above are typically not going to have any impact whatsoever. I say this in spite of the label that is often found on electronic equipment today that advises keeping the gear at least 30 inches or 1 meter away from magnetically sensitive devices such as a compass.

Always double check this, but I can say with some confidence that I’ve yet to see the situation above cause a problem with the compass. A far more common problem with the pod mounts like the one above is to have so much gear on the mount that you can’t see through it to have a clear view forward. Much more common problem than magnetic interference.

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