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Old 30-09-2018, 20:48   #1
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Sextants for Dummies

Hi, this is my first post here but I have been watching you guys from a distance and its been highly educational, interesting and sometimes very amusing. So first my thanks to you all.

To the question, I have no formal training using a sextant but very much want to learn in preparation for when I leave to begin my circ/nav next year. I have followed the mechanical side of the operation and that seems logical enough. I have tried to find a "dummies guide" to the maths part, i.e angles tables etc but I don't seem to be able to. All I seem to be able to find is long winded explanantions of things that are out of my sphere.of requirement. I am sat in KZ at present and want to use this time to learn, can anyone make a suggestion what would be the most efficient process please ?

Many thanks Shaunskie
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Old 30-09-2018, 21:04   #2
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Re: Sextants for Dummies

There are loads of references/texts/online classes available. Almanacs can be downloaded...even celestial nav calculator apps for your phone.

Any good basic text, a basic sextant (like a Davis plastic one), and an artificial horizon (depending on your location) are all you really need to get started.

See for one list of related resources
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Old 30-09-2018, 21:22   #3
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Re: Sextants for Dummies


Many years ago I learned using Mary Blewitt's book, a plastic sextant, and a beach. I'd been told her book was the classic but I found it very un-intuitive. It took me a long time to learn what is a very thin book.

Recently, I wanted to refresh my skills and could not find my old copy of Mary's book. I discovered that David Burch had written a book on celestial. Having read many of his other books, I figured I'd like it.

I wish I had had his book when I first started learning celestial. It is hard to describe why his book is so intuitive to me. I guess it seems to be written for the classroom (which I think it was).
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Old 30-09-2018, 21:31   #4
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Re: Sextants for Dummies

I'd be more than happy to help. Just post or PM me with any specific questions you have.
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