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Old 13-12-2014, 09:33   #16
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Re: Sextant Choice - Tamaya vs. Astra

You might also consider the Soviet SNO-T sextant:

The USSR SNO-T sextant | The Nautical Sextant

Considered by many to be better than both of the above, and possibly cheaper.

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Old 13-12-2014, 17:52   #17
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Re: Sextant Choice - Tamaya vs. Astra

Thanks again for the responses and advice everyone, but just in case you didn't notice - This is a three year old thread that was resurrected today...

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Old 13-12-2014, 20:28   #18
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Re: Sextant Choice - Tamaya vs. Astra

It all depend if you wish to buy your son quality. Plastic is like buying a piano that cannot be tuned, mediocrity. Good tool are essential for quality work. It is frustrating to be limited by tools of poor quality. Sextant optic is important. Best optic are often German, then Japanese, Russian I do not know but if made in East Germany, Chinese are Chinese, definitely the Davis optic and filter are poor. I bought a new Astra thought that my eyes where shot, cleaned the lens on the old Freiberger and could see again. Star sights would be a beautiful thing to share with a son and a good evening entertainment that we still enjoy my wife and I. To find who is the most accurate is all ways great fun. To know the stars without the need of an Ipad is great, be aware than the location in the Star tracker app can be wrong by degrees (observed 2 degrees 16min lat and 34min long)! Also great is to learn to program a calculator for sight reduction procedures like a Casio PB100 or HP35s or any other programmable calculator. When very good at it, to compare different procedures to find out which is the most accurate. Great fun for all the family to enjoy. Merry Christmas.
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Old 14-12-2014, 11:47   #19
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Re: Sextant Choice - Tamaya vs. Astra

A new Tamaya would cost considerably more than a new Astra, and so I would expect a good used Astra to cost less than a good used Tamaya. Also I think the Tamara Venus is no longer made, so parts will become harder to find in the future than for the Astra, which has a large user base and robust sales, and will probably be made for many years to come.

I would expect the Tamara to be slightly more accurate, but the difference will be far less than user error, when shooting from a bobbing sailboat.

So, I would go for the Astra, but insist on a price significantly less than the Tamaya price. I actually don't like the Venus model much, myself, preferring a full size instrument. And there are lots of accessories for the Astra that might be cool to have.

A Davis makes an excellent backup sextant, And it can indeed be your primary or only sextant, but unless you are on a tight budget I think you will be happier with a metal sextant, even a used one. And you can always resell a used sextant for at or nearly the price you paid. The depreciation already happened, before you bought it. So don't be too worried about getting stuck with it should you lose interest.
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Old 06-01-2015, 19:38   #20
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Re: Sextant Choice - Tamaya vs. Astra

Yes, old thread - but relevant. Just checking recently there is a ship dismantler in India listing lots of Sextants. Most listings are, " Rare Vintage" etc. Watch out for the items described as reproductions.

When I first started looking, good looking listing were rare. These look like nice used equipment.

What say you brothers?

Tamaya Style King Marine Sextant Excellent Condition 7 x 50 Telescope Japan | eBay

1966 Tamaya Co Sextant in Original Wood Box | eBay

Hechelmann Germany Marine Sextant No 560681 Excelent One | eBay

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