A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
Re: A Science or an Art
From: Peter Fogg
Date: 2010 Dec 9, 17:09 +1100
A mile? Sure, no problem. That's within reasonable expectations for celestial navigation. But three? Errors that large should be relatively rare if we do things correctly.
From a stable platform, perhaps. Not from the deck of a smallish sailing boat, Frank. Under average conditions (the main restricting factor being the extent of ocean swell, although the clarity of the horizon is also important) 3/5nm is quite a good result, in my experience and that of others, and within 10nm is reasonable to good. From well out of sight of land, this level of accuracy is, most often, fine in practice.
With a good metal sextant, they should expect intercepts with errors of a mile or so. Hewitt and David Burch and others get one nautical mile accuracy even from plastic sextants which I think is quite impressive.
From a stable platform?
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