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Taking a sight with a sextantWinAstro Software

WinAstro takes the tedium of sight reducion calculations out of astro navigation (also known as celestial navigation). You can use WinAstro to plan your sight, then take your fix with your sextant, and in seconds have a Line of Position (LOP) calculated, without the need for any almanacs or tables.

WinAstro lets you enjoy the satrisfaction of astro navigation without the need to buy annual sight reduction tables or to get bogged down in tedious arithmetic. You do the skilled part of using the sextant, and the computer carries out all the celestial navigation calculations for you.


Why Astro Navigation?

Cassens-Plath Horizon Ultra SextantIn these days of GPS, you may ask yourself why would anyone still want to use a sextant. There are two reasons. First, GPS is not 100% reliable. From time to time there are system failures (normally due to a satellite failing or transmitting incorrect data), or there may be problems with your system on board - the antenna or unit could fail, or be subject to problems such as electrical interference. In these situations it is good to have a fall-back navigation system that you can use, and the benefit of a sextant is that it is totally independent of any other system.

Secondly, it is enjoyable. There is a great satisfaction to be had by using the sextant to take a signt on the sun, moon, a planet or a star, and then using this to calculate your position.

Practice Sextants

For those wanting to try out astro navigation without the expense of investing in a sextant, we offer training sextants made of robust card, that are surprisingly accurate and very affordable.

We don't offer "real" sextants any more, as to be honest it was more effort than it was worth, but we do give impartial descriptions of the sextants that are available, which I hope you will find useful.