A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Robert Eno
Date: 2017 Sep 1, 14:05 -0600
I will wade in here as a proud owner of a C.Plath. I bought mine about 25 years ago – used – for about $1500. It was (and still is) in mint condition. In retrospect, I probably should have stuck with a Cassens and Plath. Why? Reparability is a big factor and I really love the feature they have where you can adjust out the index error right in the knob.
The late Frank Janicek, who was a well-known instrument repairman out of Baltimore, held much the same sentiments about Cassens and Plath, vs. C.Plath.
So why did I go for a C.Plath? Two reasons
- Snob appeal. Yes, I admit it. I wanted to be one of the big boys so owning a C.Plath, was for me, the signature of a serious navigator
- C.Plath frames, are, from what I understand, made from cast bronze, as opposed to cast brass in the Cassens and Plath. Bronze is much more corrosion resistant in a salt-water environment. Having said that, one never puts away a sextant without first wiping it down and doing the basic care and maintenance, so a bronze frame is not absolutely necessary. Still, this was one factor that appealed to me.
In answer to the original question, I would insure it for 3K
From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Frank Reed
Sent: August-31-17 9:14 AM
Subject: [NavList] Re: C.Plath Navistar Classic Value
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.