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Old 13-10-2007, 16:28   #1
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Singlehanded sailing

I just finished reading Singlehanded sailing by Henderson. Its a very good book but outdated.

I quote:

"In recent years, several sophisticated offshore electronic navigation systems have been developed, such as Loran C, Omega, and Decca, but it does not seem likely that old-fashioned celestial navigation with the sextant, a time piece, and astronomical tables will ever be entirely replaced"

Obviously, this just isn't the case. Can anyone recommend some books that offer equally as good info but are more current? Thanks.
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Old 13-10-2007, 18:49   #2
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If you are going offshore, you need to have a sextant and know how to reduce the shots and have the ability to DR navigate. GPS has largely taken the place of DR/celestial and rightly so. Those older disciplines are still needed for a back-up just in case, however.

No way that celestial/dr nav. will replace the accuracy and certainty of GPS. I did a lot of cruising on both coasts and SoPac before GPS. With DR/celstial we were almost lost, it's was just the degree of lost. Sometimes our fix was good within several hundred feet but mostly it was within 1,000s of yards and too often it was within several miles or worse. Occasionally the question was even which ocean you were in.

Peter O.
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Old 13-10-2007, 21:10   #3
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While I want to learn celestial nav just for the heck of it, having a backup handheld GPS or two is pretty inexpensive these days. Now that basic GPS units have fallen below the $100 mark, it's hard to have an excuse NOT to have one for a backup.

However, access to the satellites themselves does pose a single-point-of-failure issue, and you need the batteries or external power to keep it running. The risk and likelihood of a failure (or disruption) is pretty low, but it is there...

As far as an updated reference for Henderson's book, pretty much everything else in it is still relevant these days, if I recall.
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