A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2017 Aug 31, 08:07 -0700
Jeremy, you wrote:
"The old timers I talk to brag about buying them in the 60's and 70's in various ports for around $700-800."
But don't forget to adjust for inflation. If you bought a "typical basket of goods" for $700 in 1970, it would cost approximately $4500 today (CPI inflation calculator). So those folks bragging about buying a sextant for $700 back then really didn't get such a great deal if the same instrument (in nearly the same condition) sells for $2000 today ...from a certain point of view, of course. If you bought 400 ounces of silver in 1970, it would have cost about $700, and today you could sell that silver for about $6800. You could also have sold that silver in 1979 for $6800, which, inflation-adjusted to 2017 aounts to $22,000. Hey, money is weird. :)
My impression --and that's all it is-- is that used sextant prices have been relatively stable for the past 15 years, which is a good thing for navigation enthusiasts. Has anyone compiled any data? Are sextant prices stable? Rising slowly? During the past 15 years, US dollar inflation has been low, averaging about 2.1% annually and accumulating to a net of about 36% for a typical basket of goods and services.