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    Re: Sextant sales; was: Role of CN at sea, was Re: Averaging sights ...
    From: Carl Herzog
    Date: 2004 Oct 14, 11:54 -0400

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Ken Gebhart" 
    > Carl,
    >Sextant sales in the US, Europe, and Australia are all higher than
    > they have been in the last ten years, and almost up to the level of
    > pre-GPS.
    > I don't have data for other continents.
    > We have scratched our heads over this phenomonon for several years, and
    > have
    > come up with a few ideas:
    > 1.  Making a sailing passage is a challenge, and a rewarding experience.
    > Doing it with sun, moon, and stars is more so.
    > 2.  Celestial used to be required, and thus work.  Now it is not required,
    > and so it is fun.
    > 3.  There is a back-lash against technology which entices one to wish for
    > a
    > hand-on form of navigation.
    > 4.  People want to KNOW how to do it in order to remove the mystery, and
    > make it available to them as a back-up.  Once learned, they do not
    > generally
    > use it for routine sailing.
    > Ken Gebhart
    I'm very happy to hear that sextant and related sales are up. I've long
    expected that an interest in celestial would return, for the very reasons
    that you mentioned -- much the same way wooden boats and traditional designs
    have made a comeback -- but I haven't seen any evidence that it's happening
    yet. I certainly hope you're right and that the trend continues.
    I would hazard to guess, however, that Celestaire's customers generally
    represent a better educated, more conscientious and competent sailor than
    the industry average. As indicated by the related threads on seamanship
    education, it's up to us to ensure that new and less experienced cruising
    sailors become the type of interested navigators that will feed the trend
    you're already observing.
    Carl Herzog
    Providence, Rhode Island

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