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Old 07-12-2011, 08:59   #46
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

I have an expensive Plath Navy sextant and an Astra IIIb. When I had a boat cruising, I would use the Astra. The Plath ended up as a backup.

One thing to keep in mind when looking is the trade off of having a heavy sextant such as my Plath. Although you might think the extra weight would add stability on a small boat, holding it up is a strain on the arm. I needed something lighter, but not as light as a plastic. But I also love my Plath and didn't want to sell it to get another backup.

I also use GPS - 3 actually. One fixed; one handheld; one in the ditch bag ready to go. Now of course you get a free extra one with your phone.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:25   #47
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

Some people actually like doing celestial because it is fun and adds to their knowledge about the Earth, Sun, Moon, planets and the stars. That is half the fun of going to sea, learning new things.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:37   #48
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

Again I agree with Boatman61, Ive carried most all the same tools with me for a long time!along with an astrolobe, and a lead line. Aways got me home so far ! Nothing like paper Charts Bob and Connie
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:16   #49
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Some people actually like doing celestial because it is fun and adds to their knowledge about the Earth, Sun, Moon, planets and the stars. That is half the fun of going to sea, learning new things.
Well then... for fun...any sextant will do...and I agree it is fun keeping tradition alive...

but if you want to stay off a reef...nothing like down to the meter real time navigation of a GPS!
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Old 07-12-2011, 18:35   #50
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Where can you download a nautical almanac these days? Or is it still necessary to buy the printed version each year?
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Old 07-12-2011, 18:39   #51
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Where can you download a nautical almanac these days? Or is it still necessary to buy the printed version each year?
Do a quick google search. I have it on my iPad in PDF. I use my iPad and a sextant for celestial nav.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:25   #52
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

EMP is always a risk. 2 years ago a lightning hit 5 meters from where I was sleeping, mind you that I wasn't at sea but at the lowest floor of a building at the bottom of a valley! These things happen and that's the main reason that I prefer this belt and suspenders approach.

As for the almanacs and charts go, try torrentz.eu (and for every other illegal copy/pirate torrent needs of your's), if they don't have it, it's usually not in the net for free at all...
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Old 08-12-2011, 15:14   #53
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

I mentioned I liked useing a sextant and it had saved my bacon at sea....they called celestial navigation...."a dieing art"...I pointed out that it is an "under used skill"
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Old 08-12-2011, 16:41   #54
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

I had used a Davis 25 for a few years and later got a 15 even though GPS became inexpensive and reliable. I've had electronics fail and recently had a first hand account from a skipper who had lost everything except the bilge pumps due to lightning strike. His insurance adjuster said there had been about 2 dozen claims this season in the Annapolis area, when normally there would be none.
I got the Davis 15 out and found the non SS screws were seized. Then it went to the deck and cracked a plastic part. It was a gust of wind. It was light enough to get blown right off the cabin top. When I priced replacements I couldn't believe how much these plastic sextants are going for. I found a Freiberger Yacht Sextant, the smaller one, and it's on the way at a price about the same as a plastic sextant. My other problem is I haven't used one in more than 30 years and have to go back to celestial school. You can't teach an old dog old tricks.
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Old 08-12-2011, 18:28   #55
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

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Where can you download a nautical almanac these days? Or is it still necessary to buy the printed version each year?

Download
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:00   #56
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

GPSs are great I have one along with electronic charts, etc...though electronics as well as anything electrical is even more prone to failure on a boat than on land. I sailed from Bermuda to Norfolk....no power...all sextant and spot on.
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Old 09-12-2011, 18:01   #57
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Originally Posted by wolfenzee
GPSs are great I have one along with electronic charts, etc...though electronics as well as anything electrical is even more prone to failure on a boat than on land. I sailed from Bermuda to Norfolk....no power...all sextant and spot on.
I like celestial and I have a IIB. But having one as a " backup" to gps is an old and outdated argument. I do it because I enjoy it. But gps is the "sliced bread" of the trade.

Dave
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Old 10-12-2011, 13:28   #58
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

After looking thru some dust covered boxs for my old nav books, I ran across my original Davis MK3 sextant. The mirrors are shot, and the adjusting screws are rusted. Not liking to throw things out that might still be useful, I looked up the Davis web sight . They sell a kit of mirrors and screws for all of 7 dollars. They offer an overhaul for an estimated 10 dollars. You cant beat that! They also offer parts for the other two sextants that they sell. If you run across a funky old Davis at a swap meet, it is dirt cheap to overhaul or rebuild yourself. They make a good backup.______Grant.
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Old 10-12-2011, 16:53   #59
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

Not that I wouldn't recommend the self sufficient mariner to have a sextant and learn how to make a sight, but there is a use that, well, is useful. Some areas are charted based on observations made long ago and the longitude errors are disasterous if the navigator relies on his GPS coordinates. Fixes made with 3 landmarks and sextant will usually plot true on these old charts, irrespective of the lat and long. A fine sextant with telescope and shading filters isn't necessary, a Davis MKIII is fine. You could use a handbearing compass and calculate the angle between the marks. I just bought a 3 arm protractor for my kit.
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Old 10-12-2011, 21:33   #60
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Re: Any Suggestions for a Perfect Sextant ?

KAIMUSAILING has a very good point about bearings between landmarks on charts, and there is an addition to that in the Sailing Directions(For whatever area you are in). I am only familiar with Sailing Directions To The Pacific Islands. It is a gov. pub. that has visual descriptions (among much more info) of Island from different directions. Island profiles dont change in the 150 years since most of this info has been collected and it can be a big help. It is a book of over a thousand pages that can be worth its weight in gold. ____Grant.
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