Any advice on buying a sextant?

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mm5aho
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Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby mm5aho » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:09 pm

Any advice about buying a sextant? Does age really matter? I'm thinking brass/metal, rather than plastic (I have a plastic one). Is brand important? Anything else?
Geoff.
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JEN-et-ROSS
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby JEN-et-ROSS » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:24 pm

Yes, don't. Buy a plotter, they're cheaper.

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marisca
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby marisca » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:47 pm

Have you tried taking sights from the cockpit of your R32 with your plastic jobbie? My plastic yin works fine on land but I haven't got the knack for a bouncy boat.

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claymore
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby claymore » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:42 pm

Don't you need a bit of sunshine?
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:goatd

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Aja
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby Aja » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:42 pm

.....or stars ✨
Donald

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mm5aho
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby mm5aho » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:36 pm

I don't think the sights are any easier using a good one than a cheapo, but I do remember taking sights with a good one many years ago from a 21ft boat! (but that was in the Pacific - much easier there!)
Geoff.
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Telo
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby Telo » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:04 pm

Quite a few years ago, I bought a brass Heath sextant, from the 60s, made in London, tested and certified by the office of the controller for ships' instruments in Oslo. The prices were quite reasonable then and I bought mine through Marine Chart Services, http://www.chartsales.co.uk/, who sometimes carry some interesting bits of kit, apart, that is, from second-hand charts.

This was before chartplotters in tablets, and we used to carry it for horizontal three point position fixes. I was amazed at how accurate that method is - far, far better than using a sighting compass - none of that cocked hat malarkey. It was very easy and fast to plot a fix using the sextant and a three arm protractor, great piece of kit, so simple yet so accurate.

Image

Following a manual, I did a couple of noonsights just to get a feel for how it was done but never did them for real.

I suppose that the GPS and, more recently, the chartplotter has hugely changed the way we navigate and sail. TBH, I can't really remember the last time I used pencil, Portland or Breton plotter, parallel rulers, dividers etc on a chart for anything more than an approximate measurement. We haven't carried the sextant (nor the Walker's Knotmaster) for yonks. Might think taking them again if we head for Norway or Baltic some time, but with GPS and chartplotter, and with MemoryMap and Navionics on tablet, it's probably, errrmm, a little bit unnecessary.

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Nick
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby Nick » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:06 pm

.

I've got a really nice metal sextant I would consider selling.

I'll dig it out - can't remember the make, but it's a good one.
- Nick 8)

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Fingal
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby Fingal » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:02 pm

I also have one I don't use (PM sent). I don't think age matters indeed one Ocean Yachtmaster of my acquaintance navigates across oceans with a sextant he inherited from his grandfather. He uses a smartphone as well for some reason.
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mm5aho
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Re: Any advice on buying a sextant?

Postby mm5aho » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:56 pm

My grandfather had one from the late 1800s that he showed me how to use, but I never really mastered the arithmetic that goes with it. He and I used to sail together, before GPS days (1960s,70s) and he taught me a lot - mainly by brute force. We sailed out of sight of land, did a few turns to confuse matters and he'd say "Ok, take us home now". I was at that age before girls became a far more interesting hobby!
Geoff.
"Contender" Rival 32: Roseneath this winter, Gourock in summer.


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