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Danforth Compasses


Danforth Compass Brand Image

Danforth Compasses

Danforth is a part of ITT Industries and they represent the broadest compass line available in the world. With their exclusive technologies and patents combined with the care and craftsmanship make Danforth compasses your best choice for accuracy and reliability.

Many of Danforth compasses are recognized as "classics" for prestigious yachts, Coast Guard, Navy and commercial vessels and the name has become synonymous with "the finest that money can buy".

Danforth Series

Danforth Quest

    Suited for powerboat installations, will point you in the right way whether your fun takes you to the water or off-road. The exclusive NO-SPIN card technology gives guaranteed accuracy and rock-steady readings in a small, sporty size. The Hi-flux corrector magnets provide the added measure of adjustment that is often required for automobile, RV, ATV, snowmobile & certain marine installations.

Danforth Skipper II

    These series Danforth compasses have exclusive guaranteed NO-SPIN GlobalBalance front reading cards with 5° graduations for stable readings at high speeds or in rough weather. Features include:
    • Full 30° card tilt angle
    • Large illuminated 2-5/8" (67mm) Lexan dome
    • High visibility bright yellow, or red lubber line
    • Expansion diaphragm
    • Cross-bar compensating system
    • Night illumination

Danforth Cruiser

    Designed for cruising class boats in the 18-30 foot range, all these compasses have crystal clear spherical domes, cross-bar compensator, and red night illumination. The Cruiser series are available with a front reading, 3-3/8" (86mm) apparent diameter NO-SPIN GlobalBalance card or a front or flat reading card.

Danforth Corsair IV

    The Corsair series compasses sport a unique telescoping hood which protects the compass when not in use. Available with either a traditional flat card or the exclusive NO-SPIN GlobalBalance front-read and dual-read card models. As well they are suited for power or sail applications and available in flush, binnacle or bracket mounting styles.

Danforth Saturn

    The Danforth Saturn series are compact 3-3/4" (95mm) compasses that are available with the exclusive NO-SPIN GlobalBalance front reading card or flat card and are ideal for sailboat installation. All Saturn compasses feature:
    • Adjustable hood
    • Compensators
    • Night illumination
    The bulkhead mount compasses feature:
    • Exclusive retractable light bar
    • 30° inclinometer

Danforth Constellation Family

    Earning the title of The World's Most Trusted Compasses, the Constellation family series are used worldwide for larger pleasure boats, ocean racing powerboats and sailboats, commercial vessels, fishing fleets and by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Available in flush and binnacle mounting styles, for power or sail, these compasses provide uncompromising quality and performance for the most discerning yachtsmen. The Constellation compass features include:
    • Internal gimbal ring, allowing for full tilt and heel
    • Virtually indestructible jewel and hardened alloy pivot
    • Unique concave distant reading card, that allows you to read it from longer distances and at lower angles of sight.

Choosing the Right Compass

Flat Card

Danforth Compass Flat Front Card In the past this has been the most common style, (though currently the front-reading style is most popular). Modern flat cards are dished-shaped like a saucer with turned up edges, these edges suit the purpose of improving readability at low angles of viewing. Headings are read from the top, forward edge, farthest from the helmsman. Unlike the front-reading style, a quick glance at a flat card provides instant directional orientation. This style is the best choice when the helmsman's line of sight to the compass is from above, as with sailboat pedestal and center console powerboat installations. One of the major advantages is that the number and graduation lines appear much larger, compared to other card styles.

Front-reading Card

Danforth Compass Front Read Card Currently, the most common card style is the front-reading card. The front-reading style cards are dome, or conical-shaped with the heading read from the card skirt (vertical edge) closest to the helmsman. This style of card is recommended when the compass is mounted at, or just below, the helmsman's line of sight, when a flat card could not be easily read at such a low angle of viewing. Most compasses under 3" in size are front-reading and are most commonly found on powerboats up to about 25 feet.

The two drawbacks to front-reading card are:

  • The magnification of the card is only slight, so when compared to a flat-card compass of the same size, the number appear much smaller and more difficult to read.
  • Confusion in orienting oneself directionally. For example, the current heading is "S", the "W" card designation is to the left of the "S" on the card. By turning the boat left however, you would be heading East.

Dual-reading Card

DanforthDualReadCard The dual-reading card is the most recent card style to evolve, it combines the elements of both the flat-reading and the front-reading card systems. These dual-reading cards are the best choice when the helmsman's viewing angle may vary greatly (standing v. sitting). Dual-reading compasses are commonly found on mid to large size powerboats where the compass is mounted on top of the console at eye level for a seated helmsman.

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