A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Paul Dolkas
Date: 2017 Jul 25, 11:56 -0700
I think it was so you can jot down times & notes with your right hand without having to put the sextant down somewhere.
We haven't talked about left-handed sextants for some time...
I was in the Naval Museum in Lisbon earlier this year, specifically to see Adm Coutinho's plane and instruments, incl his original and oh so famous Coutinho AH sextant. I have a 1941 Tamaya with the Coutinho AH on it (Likely OEM'd by Plath), so didn't expect any surprises.
Except... I was surprised to see that Coutinhho's sextant is left-handed! Pic attached.
Now, I am left-handed and have been holding sextants ever since taking celnav from Francis Wright in sophomore year of college. But tho left-handed, holding a so-called right-handed sextant feels totally natural to me. I can't imagine anything more awkward than using a so-called left-handed sextant.
So, noting that only 10 percent of the population is left-handed, Coutinho's "left-handed" design must have been created for some purpose other than benefitting us in the minority.
Perhaps someone can enlighten us to the advantages of a left-handed sextant for righties?