I have recently been re reading some of Tilman's fascinating accounts of his deep sea voyages on the sailing Bristol Channel pilot cutters during the 50s and 60s. His navigation equipment
was basic and he preferred not to have things like echo sounders , RDF or even a radio
. He did have a chonometer and sextant
though and worked out star and sun sights via the tabulalated systems as illustrated in the US Hydrographic Office publication HO 211. A 50 page book. , in conjunction with the British Nautical Almanac. On one voyage a crew member
used to supplement Tilmans "sights" by taking his own and working up by what Tilman humourously referred to as " time honoured methods employing logerithms, haversines and Cosecants". I was seafaring myself in the 50s / 60s and am pretty sure that the crew member's system would be the so called Marq.St Hilaire intercept method which was most commonly used and perhaps still is.
I have a copy of the Nautical Almanac dated 1994 wherein there is laid out an explanation of a "quick" and accurate system for calculating position line and azimuth and assume that this is what Tilman used. I don't know whether I am just "past it" or missing something here but having attempted several examples of working up a sight by this tabular method I am left with the result that it is a most complicated, finicky and time consuming procedure when compared with the M. St H. mathematical system.
I just wondered out of interest if anyone would care to comment on this and the current
systems for finding position. Or does everyone now use the satallites?!