Where's Your Sextant? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 06-05-2012 Thread Starter
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Where's Your Sextant?

Talking to some cruisers today, he mentioned that they bought a decent sextant along with all the books and cool stuff when they started cruising. He hadn't touched it since the first week when they bought it. He thought that maybe it's deep down in the bilge but he wasn't sure. They had planned to learn celestial navigation after they started cruising, but that was 10 years ago.
Do you know where your sextant is?
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

Mine is burried in somewhere in the warehouse. I never need it, even a compass is not very much used in the area I cruise. Aegean sea is full of land pieces and you navigate directly by sight. I know how to use the sextant but I think I need to study again if I ever need it again.
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post #3 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

In my bookcase waiting for a boat to call home
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post #4 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

While I've learned to use one, I've never bought one of my own. I've often thought that it would be a good use of time on a long passage. However, on 90% of passages in real life, I'm not really looking for more to do.
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post #5 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

Its in the boat closet, at the house. I would need to get a new almanac part of the H.O.249 too, since I haven't looked at this stuff in 15 years or more. I guess I would pull it out and find a place for it on the boat if I was crossing an ocean, but for the kind of coastal cruising I do now...nah
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post #6 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

In a specially built case over my chart table

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post #7 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

I learned to use a Sextant in the Navy 35 years ago and did use it a few times at sea. I never bought one for myself even though I taught navigation for two years. They're delicate, expensive and you have to practice with them constantly if you want a reasonably accurate fix. Here in the Chesapeake Bay all you need is piloting and dead reckoning because so much stuff is in plain sight all the time. Coastal cruising isn't much different. You are not out of sight of land long enough for dead reckoning with compass, set, drift, and leeway corrections to become all that inaccurate. If you lack confidence, add a fix once a day from GPS and work on your correcting and skills (assuming you have built your leeway tables already).

If you really want to buy a little used, old, expensive piece of equipment, I should think a Stadimeter would be much more useful than a sextant for the kinds sailing most of us do. When piloting, the Stadimeter would provide a nice supplement to the data gathered by taking bearings. But even that would prove difficult when sailing short handed.

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post #8 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
Talking to some cruisers today, he mentioned that they bought a decent sextant along with all the books and cool stuff when they started cruising. He hadn't touched it since the first week when they bought it. He thought that maybe it's deep down in the bilge but he wasn't sure. They had planned to learn celestial navigation after they started cruising, but that was 10 years ago.
Do you know where your sextant is?
On the shelf under my Nav Table together with needed copies of HO249.

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post #9 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

Sold it on Ebay.

Gary
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Where's Your Sextant?

In the back seat of my car. I can't get a horizon easily on the Chesapeake, so I go out to an old ferry pier and take noon sights, occasionally.

I took it along on a recent Annapolis-Newport sail, but the weather was such that we never got it out. Too bad.
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