Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-09-2007, 06:52 PM   #1
Admiral
 
atavist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Vessel Name: Persevate
Posts: 548
Send a message via Yahoo to atavist
Default

I have been looking at sextants which range from a couple of hundred dollars for a simple one to several grand for a highteck led illminated ones. How much should a person spend on a sextant? How much technology at what point does the technology added become a crutch or weakness vice an advantage? What type do you have?
__________________

__________________
“The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.” (Epictetus 55 - 135 AD)

"To see new things, and live day to day, is better than wine or poppy, and fitter for a man." (Theseus)
atavist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 07:22 PM   #2
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by atavist View Post
I have been looking at sextants which range from a couple of hundred dollars for a simple one to several grand for a highteck led illminated ones. How much should a person spend on a sextant? How much technology at what point does the technology added become a crutch or weakness vice an advantage? What type do you have?
I don't think it's the price you have to look at. It's the quality of construction and ease of use. People have circumnavigated with only a $25 plastic Davis. ( not as accurate as a more expensive $160 one) but it will get you within a few miles of where you want to go. I have a Celestaire Astra 111B which sells for about $450 and I am very happy with it. Most cruisers don't seem to carry Sextants any more and rely on GPS only. The trick with a sextant is knowing how to use it and having the tables or a method of working the sight you just took. I would sugest if you get one to use it a lot to get used to handling it in a seaway when the boat is moving around. There are computer programs to run the sight(s) after you take them but if your electronics go down you're back to square one.
__________________

__________________
Ambling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 07:59 PM   #3
Admiral
 
Trim50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Home Port: Who cares really...
Vessel Name: T
Posts: 1,215
Send a message via Yahoo to Trim50
Default

Take a look here:

http://www.tecepe.com.br/nav/

The software is super.
__________________
[
Trim50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 08:20 PM   #4
Admiral
 
Nausikaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Default

IMHO the best sextants are the German Plath and Cooke's of Hull, U.K. I like the Cooke's because of its large telescope lens which alows a lot of light to pass through and the large mirrors, both of which make taking stars a doddle. But, I am a professional navigator ( of pre-GPS vintage) and have used sextants since 1970.

My advice would be to go for a good yacht sextant rather than a professional model. It will not be as good and there may be more error in the sextant but as the errors involved due to taking sights fro a small boat bucking arround the seas, slight errors in time-taking, not-perfect horizons all add up to more than the sextant error I would not concern myself too much with that. Professional navigators were quite happy if sights gave a position withi 2 to 3 nautical miles of the true position.

Whichever sextant you buy, the most important thing is to use it often so that you will be completely familiar with it if you MUST use it.

Aye

Stephen
__________________
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2




WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?

www.nausikaa.org.uk

= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 09:58 PM   #5
Admiral
 
Auzzee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,727
Default

I swapped a bulky metal job (can't remember the name) for a Davis Mk25. The Davis Mk25 is similar to a good metal sextant, but without the weight. It is fully adjustable, has a large telescope, and in all respects is a finely engineered navigation tool.

These days, I use a sextant purely because I can, and to keep practiced just in case the GPS clags. It is nice to be able to shoot a sight and 'prove' the GPS figure to within a few miles. The sextant is also good for triangulating your position from fixed objects ashore....and with all filters in use, it is a good way to observe solar eclipses.

Sight reduction tables and the everpresent 'Norries' look good in the bookshelf, but nowadays I use a handheld Merlin calculator to name stars and to calculate position from noonsights.

Cheers

David.
__________________
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!


Auzzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 12:06 AM   #6
Admiral
 
atavist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Vessel Name: Persevate
Posts: 548
Send a message via Yahoo to atavist
Default

thanks for the input... that was pretty much what I was hoping for... that you don't need all the bells and whistles...

I'm pretty much a purist in everything I do, from flint knapping and making my own bows for hunting, to keeping up my trapping and tracking skills... i generally loath technology and plan to use a gps only as a double check when I finally set out next year... in the mean time i've dedicated all of my academics to navigational theory.
__________________
“The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.” (Epictetus 55 - 135 AD)

"To see new things, and live day to day, is better than wine or poppy, and fitter for a man." (Theseus)
atavist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 01:20 AM   #7
Admiral
 
Auzzee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,727
Default

Hi Atavist,

If you like the minimalist approach, get hold of some of the cruising books by Lyn and Larry Pardey. Check their titles on the net through Amazon.

David.
__________________
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!


Auzzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 02:29 AM   #8
Admiral
 
atavist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Vessel Name: Persevate
Posts: 548
Send a message via Yahoo to atavist
Default

Thanks for the tip... i just ordered 4 of their books:

Care and Feeding of a Sailing Crew

Self-Sufficient Sailing (which will look very appropriate beside my copy of Self-Sufficient Living)

The Cost Conscious Cruiser

Storm Tactics Handbook

Though I may not take it quite as far as they have I certainly want the ability to if the need arises.
__________________
“The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.” (Epictetus 55 - 135 AD)

"To see new things, and live day to day, is better than wine or poppy, and fitter for a man." (Theseus)
atavist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 02:46 AM   #9
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 88
Default

I love GPS. I have not had the ability to use it for water navagation yet. Any tips would be great. Is training in sextants as important now that GPS is around? I would think it would be good to know how to use.
__________________
daytrader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 03:08 AM   #10
Admiral
 
Auzzee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,727
Default

Hi again Daytrader.

Sextant use for the sort of sailing you described in your other post, will be of no real benefit to you. You will need to have a thorough understanding of pilotage. Navigation skills such as you already possess for your aircraft license are easily adaptable to the water. GPS skills are similar to those required in an aircraft, except when plotting waypoints, instead of skirting mountains etc, you need to skirt reefs, headlands and such.

Cheers.

David.
__________________
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!


Auzzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 03:12 AM   #11
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 88
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
Hi again Daytrader.

Sextant use for the sort of sailing you described in your other post, will be of no real benefit to you. You will need to have a thorough understanding of pilotage. Navigation skills such as you already possess for your aircraft license are easily adaptable to the water. GPS skills are similar to those required in an aircraft, except when plotting waypoints, instead of skirting mountains etc, you need to skirt reefs, headlands and such.

Cheers.

David.
Ok thanks. Like I said we plan to only go maybe 20 miles out and hang out for a day or two then come back. In this time I do hope to get an education on other uses for latter time. I think you guys that sail all over have it made. I do not know how you do it, but its got to be relaxing. Its prob the most relaxing hard work you can do.
__________________
daytrader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 06:02 AM   #12
Commander
 
Frank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Home Port: Puerto Montt
Vessel Name: Westerly Serenade
Posts: 112
Default

My choice for a good honest high quality sextant would be a Zeiss Freiburger.

What I have at the moment is a 1950 Plath - in the family since new - and a Tamaya Yacht sextant
__________________
= Chile,
I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Chile
Frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 01:11 PM   #13
Admiral
 
atavist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Vessel Name: Persevate
Posts: 548
Send a message via Yahoo to atavist
Default

Any idea if this is a legit functional piece of just a replica for setting on the bookcase?

http://cgi.ebay.com/brass-MARINE-MASTER-TI...1QQcmdZViewItem
__________________
“The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.” (Epictetus 55 - 135 AD)

"To see new things, and live day to day, is better than wine or poppy, and fitter for a man." (Theseus)
atavist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 02:10 PM   #14
Admiral
 
Auzzee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,727
Default

Ebay is littered with these things. mainly they are made in India from inferior brass. I have seen some of the sextants they make. They look good sitting in the study/library/bar, but as instruments they are not so good. The micrometers especially are wildly inaccurate.

But, having said that, many was the hippy in the 1970's who sailed the world with a list of AM radio stations and a cheap transistor radio as their only form of nav gear. The ferrite rod ariels in the really cheap radios would only locate a radio station when they were held perpendicular to the radio beam. RDF for $3.

Equally, I guess these reproduction thingies could work in a pinch....But why would you bother?

Cheese

David.
__________________

__________________
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!


Auzzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

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
Sextant Talk atavist Other Equipment 6 05-31-2013 11:35 PM
Sextant software kit General Cruising Forum 3 07-23-2005 10:27 AM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0