i have just replaced the mast on my boat. I cannot re-fit the Plastimo compass on a bracket on the mast. Is a Tacktick micro compass (digital) strapped to the mast allowed under Class rules? I have a spare compass that can be mounted in the companionway on one of the washboards but sight of it is invariably obstructed.
Whenever I have been asked to scrutineer on this I have always taken a view that “correctly installed and calibrated” means that the compass cannot be bolted to the washboard or mast but should be permanently attached to the boat structure. There is nothing in the rules however that says you can only have one compass, so no reason why you can’t have a second compass on the mast…….Saraband has a Plastimo compass installed at the front of the cockpit, wired into the nav lights for night use + a Tacktick on the mast, which in reality is of course the compass we use 90% of the time!
I’m quite certain that:
1. A tacktic (or any digital) compass is not CURRENTLY allowed by the class rules
2. This prohibition is not INTENTIONAL – just an issue of technology overtaking the wording
The problem is that, being a one design class, the Sonata has rules that prohibit anything that is not explicitly permitted; so anything new, however reasonable, tends to get prohibited.
This leads to some bizarre results: Right now VHF sets are prohibited for this reason – and we all just ignore the rule as it’s silly.
By the same logic – not permitted therefore prohibited – you cannot have multiple compasses – the rules specify a compass (singular) – and it has to have a minimum 60mm card, which automatically excludes anything digital as it does not have a card at all. They then perversely classify the compass under “portable equipment” so if we took the rules seriously you would not be allowed to fit it. Even a hand bearing compass is technically prohibited. Again, no-one pays any attention: but the same logic also prohibits wind instruments and apparently that prohibition was intended.
A number of boats at the Nationals had tacktic digital compasses, and the scrutineers chose to ignore the problem, so we have to conclude that in fact they are permitted.
I’d prefer to see the rules brought up to date, of course… I think this system of second guessing which bits of the rules we have to obey, and which we can ignore, by “common sense” will cause trouble if allowed to persist, so I’m working through the rules to see what else I can find – most entertaining.