Learn to use a Sextant

This Celestial Sailing weekend offers a practical hands on experience, a great way to get some sextant practice and a chance to find out if it's a subject you'd like to take further.

For centuries sailors have navigated their way across the oceans by celestial navigation or nautical astronomy - using the sun, moon, plants and the stars. For the modern sailor it is not only a fascinating art but essential when crossing oceans as back up to the modern and much relied upon electronic navigation.

If you are curious about how to use a sextant or have taken the Yachtmaster or Ocean Theory courses, or are even self taught, our celestial sailing weekends are ideal offering both an introduction and a refresher. All are welcome. A big advantage is that you learn in a small group, under the supervision of an expert instructor.

The weekends involve sailing along the south side of the Isle of Wight and back up through the Needles

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If you have your own sextant bring it along. You can compare the pros and cons of different models ranging from the very basic through to the proper thing. The course will cover the basic principles behind using a sextant to fix your position, initial sextant checks, meridian passage, sun sights, star planning, compass checks and whatever else we can fit in. Plus you will get some great sailing!

These weekends offer a practical hands on experience, a great way to get some sextant practice and a chance to find out if it’s a subject you’d like to take further.

Accommodation is on board, use of waterproofs are included, food on board is included for all meals apart from the Friday evening meal.

The weekend will cover the basic principles behind fixing your position using a sextant.

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We find it is better if you arrive the evening before your course starts. This way you can start getting to know the yacht, the skipper and your crew mates before the course really gets under way. If this is not possible then you need to be at the boat by 8.00am on the first day of the Sailing Course.

During your sailing course you’ll sleep on board the yacht. There’s typically three double cabins and two single berths which provide accommodation for eight people. However, there’s only ever a maximum of 4 students on board, plus the instructor. You can book a whole boat with up to 5 students.

Sometimes two people have to share the saloon or a cabin. The saloon is a large airy space with the two single berths or a large double. The cabins can have a dividing cloth to separate the space in half. You would never have to share with someone of the opposite sex.

You can expect to get away by 5/5.30pm on the final day of your course. If you are catching a train we recommend you do not book a ticket in advance as we can’t guarantee you will get away at 5pm on the dot. It could be earlier or a little later.

Contact us
0203 006 3717
Our Locations

Shamrock Quay

William Street



SO14 5QL


c/o Cruising Association

CA House

1 Northey Street


E14 8BT

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