Digital Compass

Thread starter #1
I'm still new to the class, having raced my first regatta this past March in Panama City. Rules question: the Rules allow for two compasses and the Rules also prohibit electronic navigation aids. Is an electronic compass, e.g., a digital compass, class legal?


Active Member
I would think they mean navigation aids that allow you to plot where you are on the race-course
in real time. In addition to provided only approximate heading information a magnetic compass
points magnetic north and some digital compasses will use GPS to point true north. If you use
GPS to set and track way-points that to me would be a electronic navigation aid. As a reference
tool I can't see any advantage using a digital compass and reliability-wise a whiskey-compass
wins the day every time.
Thread starter #4
The only info on that I know of is in here if you read the results of the Advisory Council meeting at the recent Sunfish Worlds. World Sailing will still need to approve these changes, but I don't know when they will do that
Thanks so much for the reference to the sunfish newsletter, it answers the question with no doubt - electronic compasses are now allowed if the compass uses ONLY magnetic input and not input from another source. That nullifies my ProStart and the hockey pucks that I use on keel boats. Thanks!


Upside down?
Staff member
The advantage of a digital compass is that it is easier to read than an analog one. Especially relevant for 'mature' sailors


Active Member
That's about it for Sunfish sailors. Race officials don't want you using GPS to plot out the
race-course ahead of time and run the optimal course by using way-points for every tack
or at least using it to shave off time compared to those who don't have GPS. Can you imagine
how bunched up the traffic would get if everyone where shooting for nearly the same
way-points. GPS also eliminates magnitic deviation vs. those without GPS.