Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-05-2016, 23:40   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 37
Sextant, what to buy?

It seems the sextant remains a basic component in a sailors kit, so which model should I purchase? Are plastic worth the while? What is the preferred make and build material?
Cheers.
__________________

__________________
Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.
e.e. cummings
SeeLevel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 00:01   #2
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,071
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Something like a Davis Mk 3 is fine for emergency use and learning. I wouldnt go anything more expensive in the plastic. $100 should get you a new mk3

If you enjoy using it then a secondhand metal one for around $600 is a lovely thing to own and use.
__________________

__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 00:10   #3
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,949
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Zeiss Freiberger would be my pick.... about $500 Australian is the usual ask.

Freiberger Sextant | eBay
El Pinguino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 00:11   #4
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,071
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Also look into the ebbco plastic sextants. They are no longer made, but pretty cheap secondhand.

There is a fair bit of debate over the need to carry a sextant. There are alternative emergency navigation techniques that can work. Another concept that is very good is the bris sextant.

Learning to use a sextant is a great thing to do. It connects you to the universe, and to the past. In my mind thats reason enough to own and use a sextant.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 02:07   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 221
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

There's a few pretty easy tests to do on a used sextant to confirm its condition. Worth knowing.

I got my Plath in an antique store in Jakarta for $150 about 15 years ago in great shape. A couple others on the shelf were basically ornamental only.

A few of our friends have the plastic Davis sextants as backups and have found them adequate for that purpose.
__________________
Hobie_ind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 03:05   #6
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

I picked up a barely used (if at all) Tamiya, 20yrs ago, for $300. Complete with every possible attachment & accessory, a calibration/deviation card, & the original batteries. And I LUV it.
I couldn't see doing any passagemaking without one. At least of the offshore type.

They're also a good tool to have for more than just position fixing via heavenly bodies. As, for example, you can use them to accurately range your distance to objects of known heights. Which is handy for plotting & piloting.

One accessory for them, that's invaluable, is an Artificial Horizon. Which is basically a level that mounts to them, that you can see at the same time that you're shooting fixes when on land.
So it lets you to practice with it at home. A much easier way to learn, than from the bouncing deck of a vessel. Plus, it's a fun way to entertain friends. And to get kids & teens to understand the value of math, via real world demonstrations. Which, IMO, is priceless.

Bottom line, they're both fun, & surely worth having around. And if you've a friend who's a serious navigator, take him/her with you when shopping for a used one. And you'll likely find a great deal on a nice bit of pre-loved kit.
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 04:17   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Finally finished flying for the summer, packing all the junk i bought for the boat; Boats in Simons Town RSA
Boat: Dix 38 pilothouse
Posts: 206
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

I bought a very nice mint, Tayima here on CF for 250 dollars

LD
__________________
lamadriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 04:36   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
bletso's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Louisville, KY
Boat: Globe, cutter/ketch,38
Posts: 546
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

I have a Davis Mk 25 and an Astra IIIB. They are both great for different reasons. I do use the Astra more as the plastic needs adjustment every time it is used, common for plastics.
__________________
www.sailboatvigah.com Boats don't like being neglected, but then neither do significant others!
bletso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 04:51   #9
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,071
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Zeiss Freiberger would be my pick.... about $500 Australian is the usual ask.

Freiberger Sextant | eBay
Yep, love my Freiberger! Its a real work of art.

I also have a Davis mk 15 which, although it was my grandfathers sextant that he gave to me for my 21st birthday, its sadly never given consistant results. There is about 12' of play in the micrometer on the plastic worm teeth that make it very difficult to use. You have to set the index error for both ways, then try to remember which way the micrometer was turned last.

I found I got much better results with an old vernier ebbco.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 05:19   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Among metal sextants the Freiburger, Tamaya, Aires, Astra, Hughes and a few others are considered excellent.

However, for many years the German sextants made by C. Plath and by sister factory Cassens & Plath have been the ones to beat. They truly are works of art.

Over the years I've owned most of them. Still have two Plaths in excellent condition, including one I purchased new in Hong Kong years ago. Sadly, I'll be placing one of these two for sale soon. Hate to let it go, but time marches on....

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 08:35   #11
Registered User
 
01kiwijohn's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Boat: Casacde 36
Posts: 290
Images: 1
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

I got a plastic Davis, ata swap meet for $10 and use it on ocean crossing daily, both for practice and to insure against electronic failure. Gets me within 4 or 5 miles of GPS.
__________________
01kiwijohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 08:43   #12
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,743
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeLevel View Post
It seems the sextant remains a basic component in a sailors kit.
No, not really.

If you enjoy it, fine . . . . But "basic kit" these days - no.

The metal ones are a joy of precision heirloom construction, the plastic ones are functional..... and an apple ipad with iNavx a testament to high functionaly high tech which you might actually use.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 09:26   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Fort Worth
Boat: Catalina 30 TR
Posts: 26
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
No, not really.

If you enjoy it, fine . . . . But "basic kit" these days - no.

The metal ones are a joy of precision heirloom construction, the plastic ones are functional..... and an apple ipad with iNavx a testament to high functionaly high tech which you might actually use.
Looks like they are having a 50% off spring sale. I'm still a few years from needing it, but tempting.
__________________
CShawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 09:29   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 37
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Awesome, thank you for these helpful replies! Now for a bit of shopping.

btrayfors, I'm in no hurry so perhaps you can let me know how much $ when you are ready to sell, if that works for you.
PJ
__________________
Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.
e.e. cummings
SeeLevel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 09:34   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Sail any boats from 28 to 60 ft
Posts: 530
Re: Sextant, what to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeLevel View Post
It seems the sextant remains a basic component in a sailors kit,
Really? I have been doing it wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
No, not really.
If you enjoy it, fine . . . . But "basic kit" these days - no.
Exactly, I have a plastic sextant, I know how to use it. I use it for fun, demonstration and bragging rights. Other than that, I carry extra GPS and batteries.

What happens if the whole GPS Satellite system goes down in a flash? Well I will die along with thousands of other who are foolish didn't know how to use a sextant or forget to carry one on the plane.
__________________

__________________
rockDAWG is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sextant

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice Request; Which Sextant To Buy?? MitchM General Sailing Forum 45 04-02-2013 11:00
Time to Buy a Sextant ? rover88 Navigation 179 16-09-2010 12:29
Buy Cheap and Refit Yourself or Buy Turn-Key? Tspringer Dollars & Cents 43 22-06-2009 05:30
1975 Morgan -to buy or not to buy???? HELP Jennybug Monohull Sailboats 24 16-05-2008 17:01
Buy cheap & repair ... or buy expensive and go? j9gillik General Sailing Forum 22 23-10-2007 15:02



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:58.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.