drum and vernier
Sextant vied from the
We are one of the few company’s still selling navigation instruments that know anything about them. For purposes of judging
whether Joel’s opinion counts, he was the editor of the chapter on sextants in the 1977 Edition of “Bowditch”, The American
Practical Navigator, NAVPUB 9; a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Navigation Symposium, 1975 -1978; the author of a book on
marine sextants, Cornell Maritime Press,1975, and the founding president of Nautech Maritime Corporation which partnered with
Tamaya of Japan in the introduction of the MS 733 Spica, the MS 833, Jupiter, MS 933 Venus sextants and the NC-2 navigation
computer, in the U.S. market. Joel is a retired Master Mariner, and held a U.S. Navy “D” Qualification as a Senior Skipper
– Oceans. For six years he was a Varsity Offshore Sailing Team Coach at the U.S.
Some of his, present and past, memberships include: Association of Naval Aviation, The Tailhook
Association, McCampbell’s Aces Squadron, Navy League, Naval Historical Foundation, Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, the Naval
Order of the United States and Silver Wings.
FREIBERGER HISTORY: Freiberger Präzision Mechanik (FPM)
is based in Saxony, Germany. It has a long and impressive history. Originally founded in 1791 FPM has produced instruments
for Astronomical and mine navigation as well as mine, geological and land surveying for almost as many years as the United
States of America is old. In 1965, FPM became a satellite factory for VEB Carl Zeiss Jena, and was the sole manufacturer
of all levels, compasses and sextants. In 1990, following the reunification of Germany, the Jena Surveying Instrument factory
at Göschwitz was closed by Carl Zeiss Oberkochen. However, the Freiberger company was able to continue the production of these
fine German-Made instruments under their own name as a privately owned company. However, in 1993 they spun off many of their
operations to individual companies, and went through a major reorganization as FPM Holding GMBH. They appear to have been
active until 2007 which is the year they last updated their website. However, the sextants continue to be readily available
Freiberger sextants are well thought of by
the European and Asian Merchant Mariners and have become more and more popular in this country. They were also the basis of
the Russian marine CHO-T sextant design. You will likely see some cruise ships that come up in a Google search, that show
them as part of their ship’s inventory. If you are a small boat navigator keep the enclosed tangent screw free of salt water
and lubricated with WD-40 or Vaseline, and you will have no problems. You will welcome its light weight and full size mirrors
compared to other more expensive instruments.
FREIBERGER Drum Sextant SPECIFICATIONS:
Measuring Range: -3 to +123 degrees
2.4 x 25 mm: Coated optics
Frame: Lightweight die cast aluminum alloy with
corrosion resistant light gray finish. Bronze arc.
Vernier Scale: reads
to 1.0 min. Visually estimates to 1/10 min
Index Mirror: 45 x 29 mm. aluminized
on the rear side.
Horizon Mirror: 45 x 28 mm diameter.
4 for index mirror
3 for horizon mirror
1 lbs 12 oz, 5 lbs 7 oz in case
Carrying case: Varnished wood
case with two keys
- 1 Freiberger Yachtsman Sextant frame
- 1 2.4 x 25 mm Scope
- 1 Mirror adjustment wrench
- 1 Varnished wood sextant case
- 2 keys
- Original owner’s manual