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Line of Position Navigation
by Michel Vanvarenbergh and Peter Ifland


This book is a unique, concise resource for the history of the development of Line of Position navigation techniques from their invention in the 1840's to the end of the twentieth century. The point of crossing of two or three Lines of Position plotted on a chart quickly and accurately gives a fix of the navigator's position. We owe two nineteenth century navigators for the creation of the basic concepts of celestial navigation we still use today with modern GPS technology: Thomas H. Sumner, an American merchant captain; and Marcq Saint-Hilaire, capitaine de frégates in the French navy. This book describes the new techniques they derived from their personal knowledge and experience. It also includes a complete copy of the rare 1843 treatise by Sumner, formerly hard to find and very expensive, now available worldwide as part of this affordable paperback.


Michel Vanvarenbergh learned the basics of navigation at an early age from his father, a merchant marine captain and maritime pilot. Michel's professional education was as an engineer before becoming a commercial airline pilot for Sabena World Airlines, qualified as Captain and flight instructor. He taught aircraft navigation at the national Belgian Ecole d’Aviation Civile and wrote the course that is still in use there. Celestial navigation, and particularly the study of historic techniques, has been an area of special interest for more than 30 years.

Peter Ifland is a retired Commander in the U. S. Navy Reserve, having served as a deck officer on destroyer types in WWII and the Korean affair. Peter holds a PhD in chemistry and spent his professional career as a manager in R&D for a multinational consumer products company. He has a lifelong interest in the hand-held instruments used for celestial navigation. He is also the author of Taking the Stars: Celestial Navigation from Argonauts to Astronauts, and has published numerous articles on celestial navigation instruments.

Bookstores can place wholesale orders for this title with Replica Books, a division of Baker & Taylor.

Readers can click HERE to order a paperback directly from one of our printers.

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