A skipper should always be able to bring his sailing yacht to its destination using a sextant. Following the discovery of Carl Friedrich Gauss‘ lost true method and its use in a mobile app, anyone can now do this. This opens up a new path in astronomical navigation for a new generation of sailors, where the previous 19th century methods are finally being replaced by modern means. In this way, the Gauss method becomes the most modern, most accurate and easiest to use method for determining astronomical positions.

That a sailor should be able to master the complex intercept method with the sun, moon, planets and fixed stars, as is still propagated from all sides, is wishful thinking and does not contribute to the goal. For what purpose, apart from a hobby, is astronavigation really needed at all? That’s right – for an emergency that never actually occurs. In the same way, you will never need a life raft or an EPIRB emergency beacon and yet you have both on board. There is no question that every emergency system must be so simple that it can be operated by anyone without prior training. This is why an emergency navigation system should only work with the unmistakable celestial body sun and the only challenge should be to be able to operate a sextant. Only those who want to navigate with all the stars as a hobby and feel bound to the seafaring tradition of the last two centuries will use the interface method.

The inspiration for the development of the app was satellite navigation on a chart plotter. There is of course a difference in speed and accuracy. It results from the fact that celestial bodies cannot transmit their position using radio signals, as satellites do. Their position must therefore be determined manually from the earth using a sextant.

The new method does not require any prior estimating position, calculating, drawing or rummaging through nautical documents, and an expensive training course is certainly not necessary. All that is needed apart from a mobile device with the „Sun Navigation“ app installed on it is a sextant and a willingness to learn something new.

When a yacht skipper takes out a sextant to find his position, this not only demonstrates seamanship but also responsibility in ship management. It is also a small contribution to maintaining and preserving centuries-old seafaring traditions.