The steering compass indicates the angle between the direction of the North which is its origin and the axis of the boat in the clockwise direction.
The helmsman must follow an angle, a course, to arrive at the right destination.
Compulsory on board as soon as you move more than 2 miles from a shelter.
There are several types of compasses:
Recessed on a horizontal plane: this extra flat compass allows excellent visibility of the rose and minimizes vibrations by absorbing them. On a motor boat, this version is installed on the fly bridge, the upper deck or the central console; on a sailboat, the compass is embedded in the side parts of the deck, or on a shaft.
Bracket: very popular on motorboats, it is quick and easy to install in any location and especially on surfaces with angles. Generally removable, it can be stowed safely, a very significant advantage on motor boats without a cabin.
Mini Keg: Extremely flat and compact mounting type, requiring no turning around for installation. The compass is removable and can be stored safely.
Mast mounting: if you have little space, mounting the compass on the mast can be the solution, very easy to achieve using a specific support.
Built-in on a vertical or inclined plane: (also called bulkhead or dashboard compass). A bulkhead compass is generally installed on the cabin bulkhead, on the cockpit side, which makes it easy to see from the cockpit (and also from inside, for the famous Contest 101 compass). On the motorboat, this is the ideal mounting type for a vertical dash or center console.
Shaft for steering column: for sailboats fitted with a steering wheel.