Captain Gare Bear

A follow-up to mounting my Ritchie bulkhead compass: I accomplished getting the compass mounted vertically and parallel to the centerline of my MacGregor 25. What I eventually did was to use the boot stripe as an assumed “horizontal line”. Then I struck a line perpendicular to the boot stripe. From this, I determined a slope to incorporate into the really nice wooden shim my brother manufactured for me. I double-checked that the face of the shim was a perpendicular face on which to mount the compass by laying a long level across the cockpit settees. I assumed that, if anything, that line was a 90-degree level from starboard to port. This line allowed me to double-check the perpendicular nature of the line struck from the boot stripe. I liked the advice about using a plumb bob, but what’s to say that the boat was sitting level either on her trailer or on the water. So, why use the boot stripe? When I sailed the boat before completing the compass project, I got the boat as level as it gets on the water by moving ballast around and using a level fore/aft and starboard/port. When I then looked at the boot stripe, it was very nearly equal to the actual waterline completely around the hull/water interface. Apparently whomever marked and painted the boot stripe originally got it right. In closing, I found that, in actual use, the compass seemed fully functional and as accurate as could be, pending calibration.