Astra IIIb Sextant

Deluxe model, traditional mirror, Comes with wood box, shown below Shipping weight is 15lbs.

$659.00   ...item# 1840

Astra IIIb Sextant
This product when purchased here includes a complimentary Elibra ebook copy of How to Use Plastic Sextants—with Applications to Metal Sextants and a Review of Sextant Piloting by David Burch. Please do not be misled by the title. It is also been reviewed as the best source available for how to use metal sextants. The ebook must be read from a Windows PC. A serial number is provided at the time of sextant purchase. More info.

This instrument is made in China; it is the latest version of the popular Astra IIIb model. Upgrades included new box, improved lighting, and larger index mirror. The Astra sextant is the most popular sextant in the world at the moment, because of its low cost — the next step up in competing models is some $1,000 or so. The Astra is dependable and more than accurate enough for the job. It is highly unlikely that any navigator regardless of experience could do more accurate navigation underway in a small vessel with any other sextant, even those costing $2,000 or more.

This aluminum-alloy instrument at some 2.7 pounds is, in fact, easier to use than the traditional 4-pound brass models of the more expensive units. The Astra optics are excellent and the instrument has a good feel to it. Note that aluminum alloy sextants are not unique to this Chinese manufacturer, even the makers of the expensive brass versions offer aluminum alloy models, sometimes even more expensive than their brass models.

We recommend this instrument because it has more than adequate quality for the job and is at a reasonable price. These days, it is difficult to justify paying more when you can buy this sextant plus two GPS units for the price of most other sextants alone. Even in nautical matters, some things change.

On the other hand, essentially any metal sextant will do the job if it has not been damaged. Bargains on used instruments still exist. One can always use the price of this new one as a reference for evaluating the price of such an opportunity.

We recommend the traditional mirror (as opposed to so-called "full view" models, and the deluxe version, which has the larger mirrors. See discussion of sextant mirror types in the FAQs on our celestial nav home study course.

The sextant comes with the traditional, all-purpose "4x40" telescope. An optional additional 7x35 scope is available to enhance sun and moon sights and improve index correction measurements.

astra III  B

We also carry a full line of Davis plastic sextants.


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