Traveling with delicate instruments....?

Hi Folks,
Wondering how folks are dealing with their delicate instruments (sextant, bino’s, computer) when traveling. I’m considering a carry-on size Pelican box with a custom foam insert for my stuff. Then it would just be a case of putting the laptop in a separate bin when dealing with the TSA. Can anyone discuss taking a sextant through their screening - I REALLY don’t want them touching it…
All the best,

Why are taking a sextant with you? Most ships have them and why risk having the TSA not let you through with it, they will not understand what it is or what it does. Besides, whats wrong with your GPS?


I’ve taken all sorts of unusual things thru security in the last few years. I doubt very much that they will open up your pelican case if it only contains a sextant. If they are going to look in they have to tell you before opening it so, at that time, NICELY explain to them how to remove the sextant.

You can also leave a comment on the TSA’s Blog which they are pretty good about responding to.

I’ve never used a pelican case for my computer itself but gCaptain’s back-up drives live in my Pelican Micro Case that I fitted with some egg shell packing foam. If I was you I’d purchase a separate case for each piece of gear and put them inside my carry on luggage.

Actually you inadvertently answered your own question - I’m not sailing on ships. I’m doing my sea time for the PMI two year program aboard ocean tugs - and so far they don’t seem to be equipped with sextants. As for depending on the GPS system…I’m not one for keeping all my eggs in one basket. You’ve heard about the gov. spending dollars on Loran E haven’t you?

Thanks for the TSA blog link - I will be posting there ASAP.


I traveled with a sextant as a cadet and they were not pleased letting me through security with an object that appeared to have a pistol grip. I explained it to them, but it only barely sunk in, I have also had to ditch the ends of chart tubes while traveling because they could be weapons. It only takes one TSA knuckle head to ruin your day, what will you do with a sextant if they decide you can’t carry it on? The Pelican cases should work, as John suggested…As for LORAN, I have never been on a ship with a LORAN receiver, so that back up doesn’t help me. Good luck with the C-Nav though and knocking it all out.