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    Re: Accuracy of sextant observations at sea
    From: Alan S
    Date: 2010 Nov 25, 10:44 -0800

    antoine.m.couette---fr, and others commenting on "the accuracy of sextant observations at sea", the following comes to mind, but first a bit about myself.

    1. I'm not a professional navigator, nor anything even reasonably close thereto, I'm not even a boater. I'm a retired draftsman, sometime field engineer, sometime construction supervisor, who for reasons unknown, became interested in Celestial Navigation, my efforts re the afore mentioned being limited to standing on the beach, shooting whatever might be visible at any given moment, sometimes including the odd bikini clad female, who can be, it turns out, distracting.

    Having said that, and by the way, most of the discussions above referenced, while academically interesting are quite far over my head, the following questions remain.

    1. What sort of boat or vesssel are the sextant shots made from?
    2. Realistically speaking, standing on a smallish boat, a large ship is another story, what sort of accuracy can be reasonably expected?
    3. How experienced is the "shooter"?

    Speaking for myself, standing on a stable platform (the beach), I have obtained two body shots of Sun and Moon, that when reduced and plotted produced fixes within, sometimes well within 5 NM of GPS coordinates. I have also done three body shots, that when reduced and plotted produced fixes that were also within, sometimes well within, 5 NM of GPS coordinates.

    I imagine that such as the above would be sufficiently accurate, however I will leave such judgements in the hands of those more qualified than I, that is those who really know what they are doing.

    Thanks for your patience and attention.

    Alan
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