HENRY BROWNE, “SESTREL” HAND BEARING COMPASS – Original
is a Henry Browne & Co., Barking, London English Sestrel hand bearing compass. This compass is the finest of its
type ever designed. It’s bowl is cast bronze, and if desired can be polished to a high luster. The optical glass prism allows
the user to sight at the object and at the same time see the compass bearing in his field of view, and magnifies the
card for easy use. An iridium chip beneath the card lights it for night time use. This may need to be replaced. The compass
is mounted on a solid teak handle with attached card to make notations, and at two pounds, has the heft and feel of real
The unit is housed in a beautiful teak case with Plexiglas panel. It is good looking
enough to appeal to a collector or as a focal point in a room decorated in a nautical fashion. Both case and compass
are in extra fine condition considering their age and service at sea.
Henry Browne & Son made only the highest quality marine navigation gear under the
“Sestrel” trade mark and were purchased by Lilley & Gillie around 1975 when the marine industry was being consolidated.
The Sestrel operations were sold more than once. Today, there are many reproductions on the market and out right
fakes. We were lucky enough to find an original SESTREL “Lady’s Waist” ship’s binnacles four years
ago, and sold it immediately. Here’s the listing, https://landandseacollection.com/id83.html
SIRS Co., in the UK is manufacturing this compass under the “Radiant” name.
It comes with a leather carrying case not Teak wood. Its price is £755 plus £90 for shipping to the U.S. That’s the equivalent
of $1411.00 as of August 8th’s, 2009 rate of exchange.
4″ bowl, 4″ x 2″ handle, 10″ length overall
TEAK CASE: 9 1/4″H x 5 1/4″
W x 5 1/4″ D
WEIGHT: Compass 2 lbs,
In case 3 1/2 lbs
CONDITION: The two inch compass card is clear and sharp,
works like it should, and everything is in extra fine condition considering its age and service at sea. All
the brass work has been polished for a dramatic affect. There is one small dent on the front of the bowl and some stains beneath.
The Teak wood case is in excellent condition. The brass plate on the handle replaces a white plastic one.
This is a great item for those who have
an interest in navigation, or want to have a hand compass of unusual design.
USING A HAND BEARING COMPASS: I used a similar Sestrel while at sea
for the following purposes which are as valid today as they were thirty years ago. For you young people who grew up with GPS, that
system can not provide the information a hand bearing compass can unless coupled to a Radar. And then you
need to know Radar plotting to solve CPA problems. Here’s how to use it:
- Take bearings of vessels in crossing situations to determine risk of collision.
- Take bearings of sea buoys, land marks or other objects to determine distance off at time of
- In congested waters, take bearings of a number of different vessels to determine if their
relative position is constant or changing.
- Sailors learn to take back bearings to determine your leewayAT ANCHOR:
- Always take anchor bearings of own vessel to make sure you are not dragging.
- Take bearings of other vessels to make sure they are not a danger to you.
Rarely do you find a piece
of old gear in such great condition. A superior addition to any collection or use it at sea.
STANDARD FLAT RATE
SHIPPING to the 48 contiguous States $25.00