Review - Suunto Orca Compass

In the event of my GPS failing I'll revert to a compass should I loose my bearings. To this point in time I've carried a handheld Plastimo compass in my Yakmate 'odds & sods' box. Though good fortune came my way today in the shape of a free Suunto Orca compass.

This compass has been specifically designed for kayaks being rugged in its construction, mounted on a rubber base. Bungee mounts with Scotty attachments hooks are fitted to enable easy fitment/removal to bungee cord or eyelets.

On my Prowler Big Game I currently have my GPS and bait box mounted on the 'centre console' so I found myself somewhat limited with regards to positioning it. I previously purchased a Richie compass designed for mounting to a flat vertical surface, though in my case it would have been positioned just past my feet in the footwell. A quick trial proved that this would have made reading the display extremely difficult despite my good eye site.

On the Big Game there is a cup holder moulded into the 'centre console' which I've never used as a cup holder, or for any other purpose come to think of it. The diameter of the compass is virtually the same as that of the cup holder so I chose to fit it within. However, it sat too deep and was difficult to read so a wax spacer of around 40mm was fitted beneath the compass. Holes were drilled within the 'cup holder' and the securing bungee passed through these holes, being secured underneath the 'centre console' with a simple knot.



The wax spacer was the correct depth to allow the top of the compass to be flush with the 'centre console'. This allowed me to still lash my bait box in position without fouling the compass. I can actually slide the bait box back by a couple of inches allowing the compass to be viewed without the need to actually remove the bait box.

The compass card is luminous and can be activated by a torch/headlamp and will remain bright for up to 20 minutes. It's effectively directly in front of me and easily readable, yet takes up no room whatsoever.

A nice quick and easy modification which could potentially prove to be a life saver.

Please feel free to comment.

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