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Old 24-02-2016, 17:09   #1
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Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Now that my Dad has given me back the sextant (a gorgeous SNO-M) I gave him in the early '90's, I am morally obligated to learn how to use it

Can anyone recommend a good handbook for learning celestial nav? Maybe Tom Cunliffe's?
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Old 24-02-2016, 17:51   #2
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

I can highly recommend Celestial Navigation by David Burch. It comes in many formats, Paperback, Kindle, iBook, eBook etc.

It is a very practical approach that has you taking sun shots in the first chapter and running fixes by the second. He leaves all the mind numbing theory until chapter 11 when you have enough appreciation to actually understand it. Not that it is rocket science but I found books that started right away with nothing but the theory, put me to sleep long before finishing the first chapter.

He also runs a navigation school. Starpath School of Navigation Title Page
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Old 24-02-2016, 17:52   #3
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

William F Buckley Jr wrote one many years ago - supposedly very concise and easy to follow. It any more or I would donate. Love steering by the stars but too lazy to learn celestial navigation.
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Old 24-02-2016, 17:54   #4
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Just found a cool toy for the ipod.. imagine it's available for phones as well.. point at the sky and see the stars and planets in place, of course it has to know where you are...
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Old 24-02-2016, 18:12   #5
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Try this.... lookee at link at #1
Some Celestial Stuff
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Old 24-02-2016, 18:59   #6
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

We attended a seminar by Domineque Prinet at the Seattle Boat Show that was outstanding. He completely demystified celestial navigation. He has a handbook and a workbook that we'll be using. We got a sextant for a wedding present 35 years ago and never used it. That will change this year.

Cheers,
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Old 24-02-2016, 21:22   #7
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

A number of years ago I used Celestial Navigation By H.O. 249 by John Milligan to teach myself. It is apparently still in print and available from Amazon. It was relatively short and easy to follow.
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Old 25-02-2016, 04:15   #8
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Celestial Navigation by H.O 249 is the bet way to go. I learned for it
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Old 25-02-2016, 08:39   #9
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Now that my Dad has given me back the sextant (a gorgeous SNO-M) I gave him in the early '90's, I am morally obligated to learn how to use it

Can anyone recommend a good handbook for learning celestial nav? Maybe Tom Cunliffe's?
I obtained CelNav certification with the Power Squadron using their books and Bowditch.
All I needed over one winter.
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:03   #10
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Regarding Bytownboy's reference to W.F. Buckley's essay on celestial nav - that can be found in the book Airborne, by Buckley. It is a good instructional text.
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:17   #11
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Anyone want to buy a bronze hi end Tamaya sextant in a mahogany box?
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:29   #12
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

Self-Taught Navigation by Robert Y. Kitteridge.... Excellent book, short, concise and to the point.... ISBN 0-87358-496-1 .... he makes it easy to understand.
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:32   #13
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

I still have my 1943 version of George Mixter's "Primer of Navigation" (which is still available on Amazon.com). When I was a medical officer on a US Navy ship in the 60's, Mixter's book was the go to reference for most of the junior line officers trying to learn celestial. This book still resides in the bookcase of my boat CYGNUS. along with HO 211, HO 229 and an updated Nautical Almanac. These became back-ups to navigational calculators which, maintain a complete nautical almanac and reduction tables that do all the "work" for you; I've used Celesticomp for years but this unit has sadly been dead-ended and I must now shell out $400 for a StarPilot.

Of course, I have GPS (permanent with chart plotter) and a couple of hand-held units. But Celestial Navigation is "fun". I still take sun and twilight star shots just to see how close I get to the GPS location (usually within a half a mile). And who knows? Someday, somewhere a lightning strike may fry our electronics and celestial will get us home!

Sextants are now pretty inexpensive; you can get some for under $400; there are always some on eBay and one can frequently get a quality sextant for even less than $400.
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:42   #14
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

I have recommended this simple little book to many many people and they have always thanked me. It is time tested, easy to read, easy to follow.

Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Blewitt
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:50   #15
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Re: Handbook of Celestial Navigation?

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Originally Posted by captmikem View Post
I have recommended this simple little book to many many people and they have always thanked me. It is time tested, easy to read, easy to follow.

Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Blewitt
Yep, this is a treasure.
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