I buy the sextant… and the ephemera?

We have already expressed our opinion extensively on nautical astronomy in the article dedicated to Sexting.

icaptain, astronomical navigation, astronomy, ephemerides, ship point, stars

In this article, we will try to give information that can help those who want to approach the subject seriously and train on a fascinating and still relevant subject for the aspects mentioned above, or to those who have studied astronomy a lot but to practice has made little of it (such as students from former boaters).

At this point if you have decided to be ours and want to approach practically this discipline follow also all the next articles that will help you to become a real commander (from an astronomical point of view…); To do so you need two things: a Sextant and the Ephemera.

Buying the sextant can be difficult at times, on e-commerce sites you will find both new and used but you have to be careful because you might find:

  • Working and complete periodof from each component.
  • Age stalks unusable for lack of the fundamental components or with some of these damaged.
  • New brass swastanti for pure decorative use.
  • New professionals.

If the purpose is the teaching is fine even a vintage sextant but it will have to be well calibrated so it is advisable only to the most experienced and willing. Given the prices in line with the new one, we recommend that you choose a new or used sextant for the latest generation of professional use (commercially available from 200 euros for plastic ones, from 650 to 2000 euros for metal ones).

We also recommend a sextant at full horizon and not half-horizon as it will also allow the less experienced to use it more easily.

Below we report a good plastic sextant for value for money, we used it personally and I have to say that we managed to pull out some good astronomical points:

Having a good tool is no use if we don’t have the Nautical Ephemeralsat our disposal.

The Nautical Effemerids are publications published in Italy by the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy that are part of the mandatory nautical kit that must necessarily have a ship; they are published annually and contain a whole range of astronomical parameters essential for carrying out nautical astronomy exercises.

If you are not on board you can find this publication for free also online on sites dedicated to this such as nauticalmanac

We will also need to know the UT-Universal Time, that is, the average Greenwich time, but we will talk about this in the next article.

Now that you’ve come to the end of this article and maybe you’ve started downloading ephemera or dusting books you’re thinking, all very nice but how many calculations do I need to do? How much time do I have to devote to this thing to get to make a decent ship point?

Quiet with our iCaptainapp, the info you find inside and the guides we will publish will help you make a discreet ship point in just 5 minutes.