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Best nautical telescope

Last Updated: 06.12.23


Nautical telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison


If you are looking for the best nautical telescope available, but you want to save some time, we are here to help. According to our research, the ITDC 6″ Handheld Brass is the unit that you should have in mind. This choice comes with a solid brass anchor inlay that is 4 inches in length, 2.25 inches in width and 2 inches in height and that you can use to store the telescope in between uses. As a plus, this product has a vintage design that will undoubtedly remind you of the models used by pirates. When closed, the item measures 3 inches, and when it is open, it is twice the size. Because it has a magnification of 3x, this telescope can surely help you analyze far away objects and landscapes. If this article is out of stock, feel free to check out the Nautical Cove Handheld as it has also received great reviews so far.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



As the market is slowly but surely overflowing with various types of devices, you might come to notice that it is difficult to get a nautical telescope for sale these days. To get rid of some of the hassle related to your research process, we have put together a short buyer’s guide that can showcase all the factors you need to take into account. To make an informed decision, don’t hesitate to keep on reading.

Consider your purpose

Just like not all models are manufactured the same, the needs of prospective buyers differ largely from one person to the next. While some might be interested in acquiring a telescope as a gift for someone else, other individuals actually plan to use it by themselves, and as such, they’re interested in purchasing a higher quality alternative.

If what you’re looking for is a model that you can give to somebody you care about, it’s important to focus on details such as the design of the product. Of course, the telescope has to look good, whether it will be utilized regularly or just displayed on a table in a living or dining room.



Unlike telescopes designed for astronomy, nautical ones have less of a magnification power. Most of the models we’ve come across have ranges from 10x to 50x. In some respects, the size of the device and the size of the aperture can be correlated with the magnification capabilities of the product.

Versatility should be given some thought to, in this sense, as you might want to understand whether or not you may be tempted to look at various other subjects other than those that can be perceived from a boat. If you are, you need to get a model with a more generous magnification range.



Larger models are usually less affordable compared to smaller ones, but that’s not all that important when analyzing the quality of the components in the construction of the unit you might be eyeing. The fact of the matter is that, in most cases, a higher price usually translates into better images.

Handheld telescopes are usually more budget-friendly compared to bulkier alternatives, but you may have a bit of trouble when it comes to stabilizing the image. The material utilized in the build of the lens will inevitably affect the cost, so you somehow have to decide whether you’d prefer investing in a model that’s worth every penny but costs a pretty one, or would much rather get a hardly usable, decorative telescope.


The mounting system of nautical telescopes differs from those you might stumble upon while looking for a model designed to look at stars and planets. Typically, there are two kinds of mounts you can choose from; equatorial and altazimuth. However, this rule does not apply in the case of nautical options.

The design of the mount needs to be borne in mind for aesthetic reasons. Again, if you plan to get the product as a gift for someone, the looks of the mount actually matter. If you’re going to buy the model online, it’s difficult to tell whether the system will be stable enough. In this case, a good idea would be to read some of the best nautical telescope reviews.


5 Best Nautical Telescopes (Reviews) in 2023


We’ve put together a selection of some of the critically acclaimed choices we were able to come across while doing our research. Perhaps you should consider them if you haven’t made a final call and if you can’t seem to decide on a particular unit.



1. Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box Pirate Navigation


This pick is fully functional, and it comes delivered in a beautiful wooden box that also adheres to the overall vintage look of the product. Even more so, with a magnification ratio of 3x, this is the right choice if you intend to use it for landscape observations. The item has a leather handle that makes it feel soft in one’s hands.

Size-wise, this telescope measures 3 inches when is in the box, but it can expand to 6 inches, which is the reason why many consider it highly practical. According to the reviews, this model is perfect if gifted to a kid that is a big fan of pirates or ship captains, as it was molded after old-style scopes.

However, given its price and small dimensions, one should not expect it to deliver high-quality results. This telescope is said to be quite durable and, by all means, budget-friendly.




This device has a magnification ratio of 3x, and it can be used to analyze far away objects effortlessly.

Given that this model was created after older style telescopes, it can be considered a great addition to any pirate-inspired collection.

Because it comes provided with a cool-looking box, you won’t have to invest in an additional one. Also, you can be sure that your new acquisition is safe in between uses.

The item measures 3 inches when it is in the box, and 6 inches when fully expanded, so it is quite portable.



A relatively small number of buyers remarked that, when used for the first time, this model has a rather strong chemical smell. However, it is said to go away quickly and, thus, it should not be an issue.

One owner reported that, because of the small magnification ratio, this model is not as powerful as he expected it to be.


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2. Nautical Handheld Pirate Brass Telescope with Box Case


As we were saying in the buyer’s guide, sometimes you need a small handheld telescope that you can give as a gift.

Perhaps this one might suit you if you are looking for a product of this kind as it is a brass model that’s quite eye-catching. The design of the unit makes it the perfect alternative for boaters, travelers, as well as collectors.

While the exterior of the product is handmade and that’s why it looks so stunning, the inside of the model is quite different. As it has been equipped with high-quality fully coated optics, you’ll be able to make the most out of this 14” nautical telescope.

Because it is considerably more reasonably priced than other choices, this alternative has received a quite impressive amount of praise on the part of those who have bought it. Buyers speak highly of its detailed maritime design and capabilities.



This model measures 14 inches when fully expanded, and it was made of brass and leather. Because of this, the item is rather sturdy and likely to pass the test of time.

According to the seller, this product was hand-crafted, and, thus, it has a unique design that will surely catch everybody’s attention.

This option is considered the ideal present for travelers or for nautical collectors.

Moreover, the choice comes shipped in a sturdy carry case that also has a vintage look that adds to the authenticity of the item.



Because it was hand-made, the seller points out that there is a high chance that this telescope might change its color as time goes by. Still, this has nothing to do with its overall quality.

Some buyers had problems when it came to assembling it, especially because it does not include any type of instructions.

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3. Artshai Royal Navy 12 Inch Antique Look Full Brass Telescope


This 12-inch is a great choice either for nautical purposes or for home decor, depending on the purpose you have in mind. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around, which is why it can be used efficiently while on a boat. It doesn’t even take up too much space in one’s pocket, which is also worth mentioning.

While the model measures twelve inches while expanded, it measures just five inches when it’s folded. The 12x zoom is, perhaps, inferior to that made available by the other models we’ve included in our selection, but it appears to be a more than decent feature.

Something other that needs to be added in regards to the Artshai 502 is that it is not intended for long-distance observation or looking at stars.

As it is impressively budget-friendly, most of the individuals who have chosen it praise the value it offers for the money.



With a magnification ratio of 12x, this telescope is very practical to have around whenever you go sightseeing.

The product was made of high-quality brass, and it features a stylish golden antique look that most previous buyers spoke highly of.

When fully expanded, this telescope measures no less than 12 inches. However, when it is collapsed, it is only five-inches-long. As a result, it can definitely fit in your pocket.

Given that it was manufactured from quality materials, this choice is considered quite durable. So, you’ll be able to use it for years to come.



The main drawback of the item is that it does not include a carrying case or a storage box. Because of this, you have to be extra careful when traveling with it.

Some owners said that this item is a little expensive. However, the model is of high-quality and, according to them, it is worth the extra dollars.

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4. Nautical Cove Pirate Telescope Handheld Brass with Wooden Box


If you are looking for a kid-friendly alternative that can be used as a prop during plays, the Nautical Cove Handheld might suit your needs, as it can prove to be a great piece of equipment for a kid’s adventures. The item has an extended length of 15 inches and a 3x magnification ratio. Besides, it comes in a solid wooden box that measures 6.25 x 2 x 2 inches, and that is velvet lined.

What is more, interested buyers should know that the item allows the users to modify its focus and to change its magnification ratio in accordance with one’s preferences. Also, the carrying case that the model includes makes it easy for one to transport it from one place to another without breaking it.

This telescope was made of pure brass, and it is considered a replica of what seafarers used to utilize a long time ago. Hence, it feels quite authentic.




This option is a great pick if you intend to offer it to a person that has a soft spot for pirates. Also, because of its small dimensions, it can also be used by children.

According to the seller, there are two different sizes that one can choose from. Therefore, you can select a device that fits your needs.

The wooden box that is included in the deal is an excellent addition as it can be used to store the model and to transport it without damaging the telescope.  

Given that this product was made of brass, chances are that it won’t break easily, even when used as a prop by enthusiastic children.



One owner pointed out that this choice was not as large as he expected it to be. However, the seller does supply the buyers with info regarding the item’s size.

Users have claimed that the model is hard to see through. Yet, this might have something to do with it not being adjusted properly.


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5. Marine Navy Leather Elegant Telescope Rosewood Tripod Stand 


Sometimes, you don’t need a real telescope in the sense that you might want to focus less on the quality of the materials used in the development of its optics, rather than that of the exterior.

If you’re strictly looking for a product that can be given as a gift to someone who is a collector or telescope aficionado, the Marine Navy ZTS526 might be a good choice.

Made out of solid brass and wood, this option looks breathtaking in any setting. Besides, the unit has been mounted on a tripod made out of wood that seems to be easy to put together once you’ve received the parcel at your home.

The weight of the entire ensemble is just a bit over 7.7 pounds, so it is reasonably lightweight and can be moved from one spot to the other. In short, the Marine Navy choice is a less functional but more elegant model to give some thought to.



This choice has a design that will surely catch your attention. Besides, it comes supplied with a tripod that allows the user to enjoy a more stable viewing experience.

The item is 32 inches in height, has a tube length of 19 inches and a ground dial of 16 inches.

Because it is manufactured from solid brass and because it has a wood finish, this device is rather sturdy.

On top of that, this fully functional telescope can also be used as a décor piece as it will surely fit perfectly in any room.



When compared to other devices of this kind, this telescope is, in fact, a tad expensive. Still, buyers claim that its unique look is worth the money.

Because it is rather sizeable, this unit is not very portable; you can’t really use it outside your home. However, the model is intended to be a décor piece.

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Unavailable products


Hampton ST-0152


The Hampton model is a 60” floor standing alternative that comes with optics constructed out of glass. On the one hand, this ensures that the images you’ll be looking at will be crisp and clear, and on the other, it’s a good pointer as to whether or not the unit will withstand the test of time.

The refractor telescope has been mounted on a tripod made out of wood. Therefore, not only does the device do exactly what it has been designed to do, but it also looks good and can tie any room together.

The 15x magnification appears to be satisfactory, at least judging by the feedback that the model has garnered over time.

Focusing the image is made easy as the unit boasts an eyepiece ring that you can maneuver both conveniently and efficiently. A cap for the objective lens to which a chain has been attached is also provided in the box.



Antique Replica


If your budget is, by no means, an inconvenience, you might have to take this model into account. It comes with a variety of features you might be able to enjoy, especially as it boasts a 32x magnification and an objective lens measuring 42mm.

These two details place it above many of its competitors as it is significantly more efficient than most decorative handheld choices.

What’s more, the unit comes with its own tripod. While the product description clearly states that this model is primarily destined for decorative purposes, we couldn’t help noticing that its specs are superior to those of some of the other units we’ve come across.

The chrome finish of the model makes it beautiful enough to display in any living room, so it’s also perfect as a gift. The feedback provided by some of the individuals who have purchased the Antique Replica is favorable, so it might be worth trying out.




1) History of the telescope

2) What are the differences in telescopes?

3) How to choose a telescope

4) List of telescope types




Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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