Various tools and technology have been developed to facilitate the determination of a ship‟s location. From the simple tools, the sextant has been a useful tool along with the tables and almanac. Effects of their use indicated limitations to the accuracy and reliability of information. However, the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies has rendered the simple tools obsolete including the use of celestial navigation. Lately, the basic knowledge and skills of celestial navigation are deemed to be important as a backup system in case of electronic navigation system failures. Technology has exhibited various limitations that require the knowledge and skills that were established centuries before. Since celestial navigation requires extremely challenging calculations, the need to delegate this task addresses the need for the use of technology. Accuracy and reliability of information, as well as the practice of prudence during emergency situations, shall be achieved. However, since computer systems are still electronic and may be subject to system failures, power interruptions, or computer glitches, the knowledge, and skills in manual calculations cannot be set completely set aside.


Automatic Sextant (Sun / Moon) Finder

In view of the literature and studies found in the use of technology in celestial navigation, the following recommendations are put forth. First, basic or manual calculations appear to be the exercise of utmost prudence. Redundancy as the best policy can be exercised with the demonstration of the centuries-old knowledge and skills in calculating locations. Second, a revamp of the curriculum may be reinforced with influencing the students of the celestial navigation course about the importance and relevance of the knowledge and skills in celestial navigation especially during times of emergencies and threats. Third, technology may be a convenient solution for addressing the difficulties encountered, but a complete reliance on this still proves to be ineffective. Students and Mariners should develop the calculation skills required. Fourth, vessel masters should reinforce the need to follow instructions on the use of celestial navigation. Fifth, as there were few studies on the effects of the use of technology in celestial navigation, more studies should be ventured to explore other effects which may not be covered in this paper.


Electronic Sextant G-Stell – STARNAV