A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Bruce J. Pennino
Date: 2015 Oct 18, 19:00 -0400
I take it that you are more of Scots descent than the “other” Canada.
Still we Scots (believe it or not) have an affinity to the French for their welcoming of the Bonnie Prince in his hour of need.
Scots wha hae and Skye Boat and all that!
But I am wondering why the Celestaire marketed Astra III-B’s are the only sextants available in Canada?
Personally I like the Astra III Pro just for its sturdier construction and use of Bronze and Aluminum arc. This adds weight to the Sextant, but it is still easy to hold and really weight is the only difference between it and the III-B
Price is the only other factor but the difference of price between the III-B and the Professional is only $216.00 but that could spell the only bar to obtaining it.
The Astra’s are nice because they are copied from and nearly identical to the Tamaya Spica, sadly the fact that Tamaya is made in Japan and the Astra on Mainland China is the only other sticking point.
Cheap labor in China enable’s the Astra/Celestaire people to product a quality Sextant at nearly half or one-third of the price.
Besides my Astra III-B I own Davis Marks 3 and 25 plastic ones, I learned on the Vernier Scale Mk. 3 when I was a kid, as well as the Cassens and Plath Horizon Ultra.
German and Japanese optics still seem to hold and set the bar today, and the C&P Horizon is German made and the Tamaya Spica is Japanese made.
The cool thing about most sextants is that if you are adventurous you can switch out the mirrors and telescope to higher grade ones if you so wish.
But so far my Astra III has withstood the test at sea and has come through greatly and I can discern no real differences in optical resolution between it and the C&P Horizon I also own and use.
Therefore, I would recommend the Astra III and tell you that as a book ought not be judged by its cover, neither should a sextant.
Rommel John Miller
8679 Island Pointe Drive
Hebron, MD 21830-1093
410-219-2690 (Land and Home)
[mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Chris Willmes
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 12:22 PM
Subject: [NavList] Purchasing a sextant
Hello. My name is Chris Willmes. I've been following NavList for some months now, and this is my first post. I learned celestial navigation decades ago in the Canadian Navy, but it has been quite a while now since I last used a sky wrench in anger. I'm no longer in the Navy, and I don't have a boat (or even a friend with a boat), but I would like to reacquaint myself with the art. I plan to buy a sextant, and I'm leaning towards purchashing a new instrument, since it would not have been abused (I would hope) and ought to be accurate right out of the box (i.e., instrument errors would be known and consistent). I know that an inexpensive plastic sextant would suffice for practising technique, but I would rather have something more like what I used to use. I am considering the Astra IIIB, in part because choice here in Canada seems to be limited, and I would rather avoid th complications of currency exchange, customs duties, etc. I would appreciate the thoughts and suggestions of the members of the group.