A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Roger Harris
Date: 2015 Feb 6, 20:44 -0800
One sextant is all anyone really needs, but having several to choose from is nice. Here is my small collection:
1) Tamaya 'Venus' MS-933, split mirror. An elegant little sextant, very well made. The shades are good but there are only two (both index and horizon), which is a bit limiting;
2) C&P 'Ultra Horizon' with 4x40 scope. Easy to use. I do not use the drum index corrector and would prefer not to have it, it is unnecessary and looks a bit silly IMO;
3) C&P 'Professional' with 6x30 scope, whole horizon mirror (purchased second-hand; eventually I would like to replace with a split mirror). The cheap-and-cheerful plastic case is very practical: does a decent job of protecting the sextant, no worries about scratching it up, is substantially smaller and lighter than the Underwater Kinetics 'all-weather case' sold by Celestaire, and stows the stextant handle-upward.
My perspective on the Astra IIIb: affordable, light, and fairly compact. I'm not a huge fan of the shades. I like the wooden box, which is rugged and allows storage with the index arm in a large range of positions: not possible with the above three, unfortunately. While it's not my preferred sextant, it is quite functional and is certainly a huge step up from any of the Davis plastic sextants.
I would like to own a Tamaya MS-733 'Spica' with 7x35 scope, not because I need one but just for fun. It appears to be the finest sextant currently in production (the most expensive, anyway); does anyone have any thoughts on that?