AN INNOVATIVE product called ‘The Modern Sextant’ was the winning entry in the International Harbour Masters Association ‘pitching’ competition.

The entry was from Nick ‘Crummy’ Bonser, a senior adviser in nautical and hydrography at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The ‘modern sextant’ aims to overcome the maritime industry’s apparent over reliance on satellite navigation.

Using digital technology, Nick’s modern sextant would allow vessels to self-sufficiently navigate without the need for external assistance.

While the modern sextant would not replace satellite, it would seek to supplement it and provide a means to continually cross check accuracy and reliability.

The winning entry was announced by IHMA president and Port of Quebec harbour master, Captain Yoss Leclerc.

According to event organisers, the inaugural IHMA Young Maritime Professionals Pitching Competition attracted some of the best in the industry.

Nicholas Bonser has received international recognition. Credit: IHMA

As part of the IHMA Congress, which was delivered virtually in October, the competition called young maritime professionals to ‘pitch’ ideas for improving operations to industry leaders.

“IHMA is delighted to promote and advance the ideas of our future leaders,” Captain Yoss said.

“We were all very impressed by Nick’s engineered solution to a practical and growing concern. His digital sextant would come complete with an in-built almanac, chronometer and all formulas required to calculate the vessels latitude and longitude allowing the sextant to continually track the altitude and bearing of multiple celestial bodies using an artificial horizon, free from any external interference,” he said.

“We look forward to catching up with Nick and continuing the competition with the IHMA 2022 Congress.”

Other winners were:

  • First runner-up: Kayode Akinrinlola, Associated British Ports – An Automated Future
  • Equal second runner-ups:
  • Ricky Rouse, Port Authority of NSW – Risk Management & Modelling for MASS
  • Jay Stephens, Fendercare Marine – Integration of Existing Quayside Equipment into the Automated Port
  • Isabel Waterfall and Matt Rattenbury, Associated British Ports – Port Integrated Intelligence – Pii