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Old 27-03-2011, 13:54   #31
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

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Originally Posted by knotnow View Post
BUT when we’re pitching around my heavy Leupold’s are a heck of a lot steadier. If I’m correct the steadier you are the more accurate the site.
It's the same with video cameras. The Flip is small, convenient and fun, but any video shot with it looks like it was during a quake unless you somehow brace yourself on deck. Attaching a small tripod (held in the air) helps and it might help the plastic sextant too if something with mass was attached.



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Old 14-04-2011, 11:48   #32
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Freiberger Sextant

I own two Freibergers. Used one all the time, kept the other as a spare.

They come in a mohagany box. I took sun, moon, planet, and star sights
with mine. My only gripe is the scope is not bright enough for good twilight
work. I think the Astras have a bigger one.

The sextant was bought from Celestaire... whether they are still in business
I don't know.

Sextants last a very long time.

For a chronometer, get a nautical clock with an electronic works inside.

INDY
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Old 14-04-2011, 18:21   #33
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Re: Freiberger Sextant

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Originally Posted by goprisko View Post
...
The sextant was bought from Celestaire... whether they are still in business
I don't know.
...
They are still around. Got a new catalog from them just a few months ago.

==> Celestaire, Inc.

Great company. My Astra IIIb came from there.

-dan
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:25   #34
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

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After spending almost two decades programming computers and designing systems, I know one thing for sure; electronics fail all the time. So which sextants would you suggest for these three usages :

1. Everyday use
2. Emergency use
3. One to be proud of without caring for the price, something for the grand children and etc.
1. I have no personal experience with the Astra sextants, but most people who have them seem pretty happy. While I don't like the idea of made-in-China, if you can get beyond that stigma either the IIIB or the "Professional" would probably be quite satisfactory.

Naval-surplus Hughes & Son (aka Husun) sextants are very sturdy, and are well worth considering. The swing-arm lighting is a nice feature.

2. Something compact would fit the bill, so I recommend either Freiberger's "Yacht Sextant" or Tamaya's MS-933 "Venus" (the latter is discontinued but with patience can be found secondhand, which is how I acquired mine). The ex-Soviet CHO-T is relatively small too, and is a valid option if you can find one in good condition.

I would not recommend one of the Davis plastic sextants, which to my mind are flimsy things, grossly overpriced for what they are. I am not impressed by their shades or optics, and the large, wandering index errors on those I have personally used was unacceptable. These are my own, subjective, comments; YMMV.

3. Most people would probably select a Plath: either C. Plath, or Cassens & Plath. Both have their advantages, and Robert Eno once suggested that The Perfect Sextant would be a composite.

FWIW, my own choice is Cassens & Plath's "Ultra Horizon", which is an excellent piece of kit. It is rather big and heavy, but the polarized shades are great, and the drum index corrector is quite convenient, too. Although I bought mine secondhand, C&P not only provided me with the month and year of manufacture but also send me a spare bulb and a personalized name plate, both free of charge. I really can't say enough good things about C&P's customer service!

All of the above sextants have their advocates and detractors. All will do the job. The best advice that I can give you is 'try before you buy'.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:18   #35
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

1 - freiberger
2 - freiberger
3 - freiberger

I took my own sextant with me when I had to embark (merchant navy that is)
And I never had any problems with twilight shots
Those sextants are not that expensive, look nice and are light weight.
In my opinion all plastic things are useless (that include boats)
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Old 23-05-2011, 09:34   #36
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

I'm really happy with my old Freiberger made in the old DDR by Zeiss. They are often found as second or third sextant on commercial ships. Go for second hand. If you are working in the tropics plastic sextants change shape in the sun!
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Old 04-12-2011, 22:09   #37
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

I used plastic sextants in the South Pacific with no trouble at all. I sailed on other boats and used very nice proper brass sextants and found them heavy if you had to wait very long to get a good site ,or series of sites. I used a 3/4 size sextant on another boat and found it very comfortable to use, so when I had enough money I bought a 3/4 size Tamaya and loved it. Of course,by that time GPS was becoming affordable so I rarely used the sextant. I still have it and will brush up on its use soon because I know how often electrics fail._____Grant.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:09   #38
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

Thanks a lot Grant, really appreciate it.

Best Regards;
Mehmet
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:15   #39
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

This sextant aficionado suggests that the Soviet SNO-T sextant may be the best sextant ever made:

The USSR SNO-T sextant « The Nautical Sextant

It's a nice looking instrument. Probably quite a few used ones knocking around which were "liberated" from decommissioned Soviet warships. But the new ones -- they are still made -- cost an arm and a gonad!!! The price in Russia is nearly $1,500!!

I don't know why used sextants are so expensive. There must be ten or twenty of them available for every one sailor who actually wants one.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:08   #40
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

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Originally Posted by MehmetCan View Post
I've had more than several occasions where just a simple surge busted all the electronics that're hooked up to the system.
Hasn't happened to me but I have several friends that have had it happen to them. Some cruisers keep 1-2 battery operated handheld GPS units for spares, wrap in aluminum foil and store in the oven or a metal box of some sort. Principal of the Faraday cage, to protect the GPS from EMP damage.

Don't know if it works in practice but the theory is sound.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MehmetCan View Post
And for a long ocean passage, I wouldn't trust the handhelds either, since how many batteries will you have on board and more importantly, if you choose them from rechargeable ones, you won't have any house electricity to charge them!
For long ocean passages you would not need that many batteries. No need to keep a constant GPS fix at sea. I would just turn on long enough to get a fix every few days and run a DR plot in between. Save the batteries for when you get close to landfall.

PS

I do still have my old Plath sextant as well.
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Old 06-12-2011, 20:44   #41
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

I pulled my 3/4 size Tamaya that I had mentioned in an earlier post out of the box for the first time in 15 years last night and was surprised at how small it looked. I played with it and remembered why I liked the light weight and compactness compared to a full size sextant. I will compare it to a rifle(please no firearms arguments). Raising a heavy sextant(or rifle) up to the use position is steadier than a light weight sextant (or rifle) but if you have to wait for a good shot, such as on the cabin top of a rolling boat for a few minutes the heavier ( sextant or rifle) will start to wobble more than the light weight one. If it takes several minutes for a cloud to clear, or the right top of a wave, that extra pound or so of a full size sextant makes the shot that much more likely to have the shakes. This is a personal preference learned when I was young and fit on the deck of a very small boat. At almost Medicare age, I think it is more important for me. ____Grant.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:48   #42
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

No pun intended but...

Smaller is better???
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:14   #43
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pirate Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

Mehmet... my 10yr old Magellan HH GPS is my most valued tool after my tiller pilot on my boat... and it also accompanies me on my deliveries, along with paper charts...
I'll trust it long before anything on a boat I'm picking up for a trip..
As for batteries.. last ages.. only need to swich on once a day on Ocean passages and 4 or 5 times on coastal ones...
For rechargable batteries get a portable inverter that plugs into cigar lighters...
My travel kit is Notebook with CM93 & GPS puck (recent), HH GPS, mini inverter and phones (2). Can easily keep it all charged.. no cigar lighter..?? connect direct to the house battery...
Easy Peasy Mate...
And... worst case scenario everything electric dies... started sailing long passages before any of this modern stuff arrived... so have the ability to navigate the old way... Compass, charts and DR...
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:12   #44
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

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Mehmet... my 10yr old Magellan HH GPS is my most valued tool after my tiller pilot on my boat... and it also accompanies me on my deliveries, along with paper charts...
I'll trust it long before anything on a boat I'm picking up for a trip..
As for batteries.. last ages.. only need to swich on once a day on Ocean passages and 4 or 5 times on coastal ones...
For rechargable batteries get a portable inverter that plugs into cigar lighters...
My travel kit is Notebook with CM93 & GPS puck (recent), HH GPS, mini inverter and phones (2). Can easily keep it all charged.. no cigar lighter..?? connect direct to the house battery...
Easy Peasy Mate...
And... worst case scenario everything electric dies... started sailing long passages before any of this modern stuff arrived... so have the ability to navigate the old way... Compass, charts and DR...
Yep...a few years ago I just figured that I can buy 5 hand held GPSs and a locker full of batteries for the cost of a decent sextant...not sexy...but more practical...
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:12   #45
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

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Yep...a few years ago I just figured that I can buy 5 hand held GPSs and a locker full of batteries for the cost of a decent sextant...not sexy...but more practical...
Old debate, and I don't feel strongly one way or the other, but you are exposing yourself to two systematic risks - an unlucky direct lightening strike could emp all those handheld gps's, and something could happen to interrupt the gps system (DOD intended, or solar/debris unintended).

Either of these would be very very rare occurrences (but as noted in many of our safety discussions many people do seem to plan for other such rare/unlucky occurrences); and as boatman said, and I agree, you could still probably/usually make your way to land - although it would be a challenge to do so safely if you were very unlucky to lose all your GPS's around low atolls like the Tuamotu's. So, from a 'safety' perspective I don't have any strong feelings about carrying a sextant.

However my personal feeling is that celestial IS part of the spirit and aesthetic of seamanship and offshore sailing. I think both the spirit of self-reliance (ability and skill to find your position without outside help) and the aesthetic of being close to and in tune to the universe (watching and understanding the sky) are useful attitudes to adapt and to reinforce.
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