A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Edward Colonna
Date: 2018 Apr 6, 08:36 -0700
I am a student studying a marine based navigation course at university. Since having had practical use of a sextant on my sea phases and learning about it in some depths throughout my studies I have been itching to get my hands on one for personal use and as something that can last me for the many years to come. I was hoping that I could hone in on someone’s wisdom here and be advised accordingly as I find myself going in circles at the minute.
Having practiced on the Astras I find no issues with them, even though they are made in China they do themselves justice for the price. Without the consideration of cost I have looked at Tamayas, Cassens and Plath, Freiberger and a variety of others. The cost for these (especially those with a brass/bronze arc) is vastly more expensive in comparison to sextants such as the Astras. Is this down to the fact that you are paying for a prestigious name or because in fact that the ones manufactured in Japan and Germany are just that much better? Unable to afford a brand new Tamaya or C&P I had a look around for second hand ones which are more within my price range. Is going for a second hand Tamaya or C+P better than investing in a brand new Astra. It seems mad that people would potentially pay a huge sum of money for a Chinese Astra when for the same price you can purchase a second hand Tamaya or C&P with a brass arc and a better scope for the same price. I was hoping that with the money I may save on purchasing a second hand sextant that I could maybe invest the remainder on sending it to a local shop in London that specialises in refurbishing sextants. The large majority of these second hand German and Japanese sextants seem to be coming from India, has anyone had experience on importing a second hand sextant from India or is it something that should be avoided? A large quantity of them seem to be going for a good price however, some of the photos show that the manufacturing number on the arc and the sextant certificate do not match up, should that be a sale to walk away from? Is there anything that I should be meticulous in checking specifically when looking at a second hand sextant or avoid it completely?
Thank you in advance for considering the above and I really would appreciate any feedback and comments.
I look forward to hearing from you.