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GPS jamming by Lightsquared - Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Lightsquared, who are developing a wireless data network, have been granted permission to use frequencies that are used by GPS, even though t is proven that thios will stop GPS receivers from operating near their transmitters. Luckily, sextants are not affected!

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WinAstro reviewed by PBO - Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Practical Boat Owner has reviewed WinAstro and given it a very good *** rating. You can read the review here on the web site.

Mike Richey passed away - Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mike Richey, expert on astro navigation and famous for his single-handed races across the Atlantic in the 26 foot junk rigged boat "Jester", passed away on 26th December at the age of 92. He was also one of the founders of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and served an apprenticeship with the sculptor and typrographer Eric Gill.
Read his obituary here.

WinAstro reviewed by Sejl magazine - Friday, July 30, 2010

The Norwegian magazine Seil has reviewed WinAstro. The report, written by Terje Bølstad, is available for reading on Seil's web site - he has been an enthusiastic user of WinAstro for many years..

WinAstro now with Planetarium Software - Friday, July 30, 2010

WinAstro is now supplied with a separate planetarium program, Stellarium, that lets you see the sky at night from your location, and identify the stars, planets and constellations. This helps you identify the body you want to take a sight on, and more generally to identify all the objects in the sky - a great way to make those night watches more interesting!

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English (United States)


Here we offer a range of books on sextants, celestial navigation, and using PCs on board in general. To obtain new or second hand copies of books either in or out of print, we partner with and with Amazon. AbeBooks specialise in second hand books, whereas Amazon offer new and secondhand, but are generally best for new.

Click on the graphic on the left to buy through Amazon, or the book title on the right to buy through AbeBooks.

Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Blewitt - this must be the classic guide to astro navigation, originally written around 1950 and now in its 12th edition. The first, and many would say still the best, book to make astro navigation approachable. Published 2008. 72 pages.

Celestial Navigation: Colour Edition by Tom Cunliffe - a concise, clear and straightforward guide to navigating with a sextant. Written in Tom's relaxed style for those who just want to know the essentials, without delving into the formulae and other arcana of this supposedly dark art. Published 2000. 64 pages.

Admiralty Manual of Navigation V2: Astro Navigation for those who want an in depth understanding of navigation by sextant, including all the different types of sight and sight reduction methods as well as the background theory.

The Sextant Handbook: Adjustment, Repair, Use and History by Bruce Bauer - as the title says, all you need to know about a sextant, from selecting a sextant to using and maintaining it, as well as a short history. This book is solely concerned with the sextant and taking a sight with it; it does not go on to deal with the methods of sight reduction - but then you have WinAstro to do that for you! Published 1995. 192 pages.
Taking the Stars: Celestial Navigation from Argonauts to Astronauts by Peter W. Ifland - if you want to know the history of celestial navigation from the earliest days to its use in space, this illustrated book is for you. Published 1998. 222 pages.
Longitude by Dava Sobel. This popular book on Harrison's development of an accurate watch, allowing longitude to be determined accurately, makes a good read on the development of an invention that was as significant in its day as GPS has been nowadays.

The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco. A fictionalised account of the race to determine time accurately, ultimately won by Harrison's clock but with many other competing approaches, some more scientific than others. A wider scope than Sobel's book and, in my opinion, a better read. Published 1996. 515 pages.


Yachting Monthly's Computers on Board

Based on a popular series of articles in "Yachting Monthly", this book takes a modern, hands-on look at using PCs at sea. Tim Thornton's accessible style and helpful use of colour photographs and diagrams gives readers the tools to maximise the benefits of using computers at sea whilst avoiding common problems. Up to the minute, practical and tackling a range of issues for sailors, motor boaters, cruisers and racers, this comprehensive book covers communications and entertainment systems as well as navigation. Topics covered include hardware options (what does what, what is most suitable for your needs, linking equipment); voice communications; data, email and internet; obtaining weather data; navigating with a PC; and entertainment systems. A user-friendly and important book, this is the first place to go for all boaters wanting the last word on using computers at sea. Published 2007. 128 pages.


Using PCs on Board

A manual on using a PC on board a boat. It guides the reader through the process of choosing a PC as well as suitable software for tidal calculations, route planning, chart plotting, performance analysis, weather information, communications and the Internet. The authors demonstrate how using a PC can make life easier on board and take the slog out of navigational calculations. There is information on installing and looking after a PC on board, along with discussions of power supplies, interfacing and upgrading. First published in 2000, 2nd Edition in 2003. 160 pages.