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Old 17-08-2015, 17:41   #1
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Cheap sextant for instruction

Hi all,

I teach a few basic celestial navigation classes to grade school kids in the fall and winter and was wondering if anyone had a Davis or similar sextant for sale on the cheap side (I do most but not all of these classes for free).

I've been using a Davis Mk3 which is also a great tool to explain how vernier fractional measurements are taken, but I am wanting to add a micrometer drum sextant as well since they "look" a bit more like a serious instrument. One that is unreliable due to errors is fine, the main intention is to give kids as young as 10 some hands-on experience in taking angle measurements and a few seconds or minutes isn't going to make a difference.

Anyway, if someone has an old Davis 15 or something in a closet collecting dust and would like to see it being put to a good use please let me know, and what you want for it.

Lastly, we are a 501(c)3 not for profit and if someone wishes to donate any items it would be tax deductible and greatly appreciated but I'm also not here looking for handouts.

Thanks for reading!

Mark
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Old 18-08-2015, 07:32   #2
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

PM sent
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Old 19-08-2015, 06:50   #3
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

I have an old plastic one
.Click image for larger version

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Old 19-08-2015, 07:22   #4
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

PM's sent and replied to.
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Old 19-08-2015, 07:43   #5
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

Since the original OP's requirements have been handled I will ask for recommendations for real, accurate but low cost sextants. Brand / model. I will Google for myself but any recommendations appreciated.
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Old 19-08-2015, 12:29   #6
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwcolby54 View Post
Since the original OP's requirements have been handled I will ask for recommendations for real, accurate but low cost sextants. Brand / model. I will Google for myself but any recommendations appreciated.

JW,

If you are looking for an inexpensive but quality sextant I would suggest keeping a frequent eye on your local craigslist for a sextant. When one pops up at the right price do a web search on that brand and model and see what is written about it. If the reviews and the price make you happy then purchase it.

Here is a russian CHO-T in raleigh:

SEXTANT - CHO-T (Russian)

The person is asking $350 and the post has been up for a month. You could offer $150 and see what they say.
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Old 19-08-2015, 15:20   #7
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

I think it's tough to beat Davis Model 15s for the price (generally around $75 used). They are durable, accurate, they don't corrode, and you won't cry if you drop it overboard.
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Old 19-10-2015, 15:41   #8
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

I thought I would follow up this post with a couple pictures:




Thanks again to Polar Opposite and VTsailguy.
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Old 20-10-2015, 04:38   #9
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

Plastic sextants certainly are good for instructions as they will require re-adjustment when ever one wants to use them. Even so, I managed to do both my JN and N sights for the US Power squadron with the Davis Mark 15 consistently to within 1nm. Besides, knowledge of the tools you use leads to a better understanding of the process.
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Old 20-10-2015, 07:12   #10
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Re: Cheap sextant for instruction

THAT is very cool, Mark. Glad to help!

As an aside, after a ten-year love affair with electronic navigation, the US Naval Academy and other Navy commissioning sources are reverting to teaching CELNAV. The reason is cited as the modern threat against fragile GPS networks and emergence of cyber attack sophistication. But on a more humanistic front, CELNAV is recognized as a basic mariner competency and a part of the US Navy's heritage.
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