A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2021 Feb 19, 18:01 -0800
Raphael, you asked:
"which older edition or editions of Bowditch, if any, have the best treatment of celestial navigation?"
Well, which celestial navigation? :) Times change. There have been a number of plateaus in the history of celestial navigation --moments when it all came together to create a stable picture, and that was reflected in published resources. Here's a list, specific to American practice and editions of Bowditch, that I feel covers the key content of celestial navigation over the course of a century and a half. After the middle of the 20th century, I don't really recommend any edition of Bowditch for coverage of celestial navigation.
- 1881 (or any up to c.1900)
- 1903 (or up to c.1912)
- 1938 (maybe... editions from the 1920s through 40s are all rather mediocre... pick one, any one)
Many of these are available for download. Here's a list I put together years ago. If you're looking to buy a printed copy of the big old book from a relatively recent decade with decent coverage of the subject, at a reasonable price, then look for the 1958 edition (reprinted in 1962). It's classic.