A magnetic compass will help the operator of a pleasure craft to determine the direction and to measure a boat's heading. The marine magnetic compass is essential to navigation especially when visibility is reduced. A magnetic compass is influenced by the proximity of metallic and/or electrical devices, which could provide inaccurate information. Furthermore, it is important to keep magnetic screwdrivers, key chains, flashlights and any other magnetic materials at a distance from the compass.
The magnetic compass equipment shall operate satisfactorily and remain usable under the operational and environmental conditions likely to be experienced on the boat in which it is installed. With the exception of the light, no electrical power supply shall be necessary for operating the marine magnetic compass. If possible, it shall be installed on the boat's centreline.