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    Re: Celestial Navigation on the wane?
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2007 Jan 15, 21:27 -0500

    Somehow having been transformed over my life into a non-lurker type,
    might I just point out regarding Frank's little-worn newer sextants
    on eBay.  The worn ones would tend to still be in use and not for sale!
    
    Fred
    
    On Jan 15, 2007, at 9:18 PM, Ken Gebhart wrote:
    
    > OK Frank, lurk inclined as I am, any time someone says that CN is
    > of little interest to people these days, I have to raise my voice.
    > Now that you have said that CN is of enormous superficial interest,
    > and that the number of people with greater than a casual interest
    > is debatable, I will call it a day and quit while (I think) I am
    > ahead.
    >
    > Sincerely, though, I really appreciate your willingness to come
    > forward with your views, and welcome others.
    > Ken
    >
    >
    > On 1/8/07 7:33 PM, "FrankReedCT---.com"  wrote:
    >
    >> Ken Gebhart wrote:
    >> "Frank, may I ask on what you base this conclusion?  We (at
    >> Celestaire) are
    >> seeing sextant, nautical almanac, sight reduction tables and CN
    >> calculator
    >> sales all up over previous years. This is the case as reported by our
    >> dealers in the UK and Australia as well.  At most of the US
    >> sailboat shows,
    >> attendance at CN seminars is much higher than 10 years ago, and is
    >> quite
    >> respectable."
    >>
    >> That's certainly very interesting. First, let's not discount the
    >> fact that you personally are doing something right. Imagine a
    >> grumpy old man sitting in a booth saying to prospective customers,
    >> "Yeah, it's a sextant. You're holding upside-down, moron. And no,
    >> it doesn't have anything to do with sex. Don't even think about it
    >> until you read these three books!" You can imagine that this
    >> imaginary sextant merchant would see declining sales. But of
    >> course, that's not you. You're a skillful, interesting public
    >> speaker, an enthusiastic advocate of the art of navigation, and an
    >> all-around nice guy. No flattery intended. As the available
    >> options for learning about celestial navigation have dried up in
    >> the past twenty years, the remaining business should rather
    >> naturally gravitate to you. So that's part of the puzzle.
    >>
    >> More generally, I think that there is enormous superficial
    >> interest in celestial navigation. Sextants are "cool". They look
    >> like they might be really fun to use. If a person could become a
    >> celestial navigator in three days or fewer, or better yet three
    >> hours, I am sure that the market for the tools would be very
    >> large. As it is, many potential students are eager to buy "stuff"
    >> but very few indeed get around to trying them out. How many of
    >> those boat show sextant sales end up on ebay a few months later?
    >> There are used Astra IIIb's on ebay on a regular basis, and the
    >> auctions almost always include these phrases: "hardly ever used",
    >> "used once", "never used, stored in a closet for ten years".
    >> You'll never see phrases like "normal wear from use" or "used on
    >> three Atlantic crossings". Those phrases do appear on auctions for
    >> old Simex sextants, Tamayas from the 1960s, and so on. And, of
    >> course, the great majority of sextants on ebay are purely
    >> decorative. But they sell well.
    >>
    >> The number of people with a greater than casual interest in the
    >> subject is debatable, but I think it's very low.
    >>
    >> -FER
    >> 42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N 72.1W.
    >> www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    > >
    
    
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