Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Big, bigger, biggest: Silva 100p

Most modern British seakayaks come standard with a recess for the Silva 70p Compass. In combination with the preferred position for the compass on deck, being not to close to the cockpit, but in front of the kayak somewhere around the front hatch, some people however have difficulties reading the small digits on the Silva 70p.
A good alternative is the slightly bigger Silva 85p. With 85 mm’s diameter it’s only 15 mm’s wider than the 70p, but the digits are remarkable better readable. While the 70p is originally made to fit in a bulkhead of a sailing boat and needs a recess, the 85p is flush mounted with a flat bottom plate. So it’s easy to mount a Silva 85p on a flat deck or on a hatch-cover.
When even the 85p is to small, the next step is the Silva 100p. Just like the 70p it needs a recess, so it takes more work to adapt it to a kayak. Jörgen Cobber sent some pictures of his solution with the Silva 100p: a construction with an adapter that fits in the standard recess of the 70 p and holds the 100p. The adapter is made by a mould, filled with epoxy resin and “microballoons”: very light and tough. It has a tight fit on the kayak with shock-cords.
Jörgen's construction is still in the test-stage: when Jörgen is confident paint- and polishwork follows. Jörgen is a perfectionist. You have done a good job Jörgen!

Pictures from Jörgen Cobber van der Pol: thanks Jörgen, see you next week in the 5 star group. I am looking forward for coaching at Vlieland!


Rene said...

Hej Hans,

Yes it is a pitty that the digits of the 70P compass are so difficult to read.
Or are your eyes getting older? ;)

The older model 70P compass was much better to read because the typografy of the digits was much rounder than in the present 70P where Silva uses narrower digits. Which are not as easy to read.
Why Silva changed the typografy of the digits is not known to me.
Of course it is a solution to swith to the bigger compasses 85P or 100P.

The only thing I do not like is to mount the compass, like you propose, with bungees.

I prefer to change the deck-recess for the compass; or to have it changed professionally.
This because I have an uncomfortable feeling with a bungee-mounted compass :
- it is possible to loose the compass (f.i. in the surf)
- the mounting on the kayak is less accurate, resulting in less accuracy in your paddling-direction.
- it is possible to forget the compass; leaving it at home.

An other option could be still to use the 70P but to mount it closer to your eyes. Leaving you with the situation that the compass-recess still has to be changed.


Hans said...

Hi René!
Indeed: fixing a compass with bungees has its disadvantages. The fact that you can forget it/leave it at home, is for a chaotic person (as I am) a major point!
Concerning the accuracy: Jörgens adapter should have a tight fit in the original deck recess, so the compass is locked in and can't twist sideways.
I agree the best solution is to change the deck-recess itself, but that's a very definitive and (when you have it done professionally) pricy solution.
Mounting the compass closer to the cockpit makes the digits better readable but it's rather tiring to have to look down every time...