Mounting Bulkhead Compass on Forward Bulkhead of 1984 MacGregor25, Bulkhead Angles

I just purchased a Ritchie bulkhead compass for my 1984 MacGregor 25. The mounting specifications specify a shim to create a 90-degree angle to the water surface. Does anyone out there know what represents a true angle for the port-side bulkhead (which also serves at the forward wall of the cockpit and stern wall of the cabin? There are no reference points to work off of since it appears when the boat is at rest on the water there are no straight lines or vertical lines relative to what may be the water surface or even to the centerline of the boat. The bulkhead I’m referencing is angled slightly forward (vertical axis) and very slightly forward (overhead axis, working from companionway entrance to port side of the boat.

It sounds like you need to use a plumb-bob or level to find “straight up” at the port-side bulkhead. Then you need to make a shim that matches the angle that forms with the bulkhead, and use it when mounting the compass on the bulkhead. There is no set “angle” that anyone can give you, because each boat will float a little differently. Some may have more chain in the anchor locker, or stow diving gear aft. This is a custom installation.

Plum bob is the way to go. simply a string and a weight. load you boat as you would normally have it loaded and use the plum bob to create the correct angle for your wedge piece. transfer it to wood or other medium, (3d printed would be my choice) and attach. Non ferrous materials only please :slight_smile:

Follow-up question: So, with the boat on the trailer, could one assume that if I leveled the boat by using the trailer jack and boot stripe as likely the only thing remotely parallel to the water–and then used the plumb bob, I would be about as close as I can get to a perpendicular mount? Fortunately, I have access to a 3-D printer and some folks who know how to program the needed sizes and angles at our local Great Plains MakerSpace.,

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.