Since 1918, when Wilfrid O. White formed the Kelvin & Wilfrid O. White Company in Boston, the White family has specialized in manufacturing and servicing finer nautical and weather instruments. In 1961 Robert E. White Instruments grew out of the original company and ceased manufacturing, but continued sales and service.

Today Robert E. White Instrument Services maintains the family tradition in the repair, service, and calibration of marine sextants, aneroid barometers, and barographs. We have long had a reputation for quality work and best business practices. Estimates are free, satisfaction is guaranteed, and service can most often be performed in a short time. Here is what we offer you:

SEXTANTS – Cleaning, lubrication, and calibration (mirror adjustment); mirror replacement; large stock of replacement parts for many models, especially C. Plath, Cassens & Plath, Weems & Plath, Tamaya, Astra, and others. We have a number of parts for older models, including English sextants.

The U.S. Coast Guard annually sends us sextants that have been used aboard the “tall ship” EAGLE for training Academy cadets during their summer cruise.

If you bought a sextant on eBay and wonder if it needs an inspection or tune-up, or if you came across your relative’s sextant in a closet or attic and want it restored to good working order, you should talk to us. If you’ve had a sextant for years and want to pass it along to another generation, let us refurbish it for you. Call 508-359-7467 to learn more.


BAROMETERS – If your aneroid (non-mercury) barometer suffered cracked or broken glass, it’s replaceable. We have done this countless times. If you think it has not been responding properly to pressure changes, call us for a tip on how to check it at no cost at home. Should it need repair or even a replacement movement, we can handle that for you.

Almost nowhere can you find a facility with a test chamber for calibrating your barometer. We have one, and we calibrate barometers for the U.S. Coast Guard at our facility. Does the pointer move up and down the scale at the correct rate? We can find out, and furthermore we can almost always adjust the rate to make it quite accurate at all points on the scale. Call 508-359-7467 for more information. If you have a mercurial barometer we can refer you to experts for those models.


BAROGRAPHS – Recording barometers are rarely in need of maintenance, but occasionally they need attention. If the chart drum is key-wound, as older models are, the clock mechanism inside the drum needs periodic cleaning by a professional. We can handle that for you, and it takes only a few weeks. If your barograph has a battery-powered movement to turn the chart drum and it no longer works, in many cases we can replace it.

If the pen arm does not seem to respond properly to pressure changes, we can find out why and fix the problem. If you need a new supply of recorder charts ... Bluewater Books and Charts (FL) - 954-763-6533


How to contact us:

  1. Email us at We might ask you to email pictures of the instrument you have a question about.
  2. Call us at 508-359-7467. Our hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., but we are sometimes out, so leave a message. We will get back to you.

Shipping instructions:

  1. Pack your instrument carefully. Use an outer carton big enough to allow ample cushioning inside. Crumpled newspaper works very well.
  2. It doesn’t matter whether you choose UPS, FedEx, or Priority Mail. What matters is how well you protect the contents.
  3. Enclose a note with your contact information and any specific questions or instructions.
  4. Ship to: Robert E. White Instrument Services, 62 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA 01945

What happens next:

  1. We receive your package, examine the contents thoroughly, and make a list of recommended service and estimated costs.
  2. You tell us how much you want us to do.
  3. We do what you ask and then contact you to say it’s ready to return to you.
  4. You send us a check. Within 24 hours of receipt we ship your repaired instrument back to you, by Priority Mail or UPS Ground, with our guarantee of satisfaction.