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.
T. P. Donnelly
S/V Tranquility Base
1984 Islander 30 Bahama