My boat needs a bit of work and I also want to update it to make it easier to single hand sail.
Was wondering where you guys and gals buy your equipment.
I will be looking for rope clutches, self tailing winch, and a lazy jack system.
For anything over $100 I start with Defender Industries. Then search around--Jamestown, Fisheries Supplies, anything that turns up. I am not loyal.
But I am a believer in hands-on, so West Marine is always in t he equation. I've made a lot of mistakes guessing lines sizes, and WM will take anything back (not cut line), and now has a price-match policy. Their biggest value is free shipping to the store--and you can always take it back.
Returning stuff to Defender is packing and shipping and paying for it.
Amazing stuff at amazing prices gets put up on eBay, but you have to be willing to wait to find it. I’ve bought great tools, halyards, winches, and a beautiful and huge wire reel in recent years for little more than scrap value. But I was in absolutely no rush for the items.
It is pretty darn tough to beat Defender. Every once in a while I find foam core at Jamestown Distributors for just a little bit less, after shipping. Or some kind of great deal on West epoxy. But not much less, and not very often. And Defender’s clearance sales can be jaw-dropping, as I realized after my $40 Henri Lloyd foul weather jacket arrived a couple of months ago and was not a pricing mistake. The “store” in Waterford, CT is kind of fun to visit too - a relic of a bygone era of warehouse-style marine retail.
Marine consignment stores are fascinating. I love strolling through Minney’s, the crown prince of boat consignment stores (which is now for sale for $2M BTW), and have been going there since 1992. Unfortunately I have bought far, far, FAR more stuff that turns out not to be quite right for my intended purpose than I have stuff that was put to use. Maybe if I lived right down the street I could be more tactical about the use of a consignment store, but I don’t, and pretty much consider them purveyors of entertainment and avoirdupois than of utility.
All of the above, but I see that nobody has mentioned Craigslist. Like Ebay, you have to be patient and watch for a suitable offering. My problem is, that people offer up stuff that I didn't realize that I needed until just then. But you can also recycle stuff back onto Craigslist. A few items I can think of that I scored from CL: ST2000+ autotiller, NIB (but 20 years old) powersurvivor 35 water maker, dinghies (bought and sold), dinghy motors (bought and sold), spare Atomic 4 engine (someone had to rescue it) Old but never used storm sails that happen to fit my boat. New air conditioner/heat pump unit (some guy bought it for his truck, but couldn't figure out where the sea water pump would hook up to...) AmpAir wind generator that just needed a bit of TLC. Oh yeah, and the boat itself!
Caution: sometimes this stuff can be had for next to nothing or even actually nothing. But all the fixings and time required to install them can really add up in a hurry!
BTW: Speaking of consignment stores, last I heard, Columbia Marine Exchange in Portland was still for sale. Your ticket to jump in to the marine industry and fix your boat on the side! Sadly, they were no longer accepting items on commission and were returning a lot of stuff to its owners (who *ahem* thought they had seen the last of it!) Getting liabilities off the books, I suppose. The owners have moved aboard their own boat and are heading out soon. It seems that this happens periodically - part of the normal life cycle of the store.
Anybody need a bunch of Lewmar #8 halyard winches with the old weird-sized handle socket?
You know, I always look at Fisheries Supply. I’m on their mailing list. But any particular item always seems to be available elsewhere for half the price. They seem to be right in at about 150% of WM prices. I haven’t figured out what their niche is, but it isn’t guys like me. I’m guessing it’s business accounts.
^^ case in point. I asked WM how much for the whale galley flipper pump for head sink. The quoted me $114. I showed them the same pump on my phone (don't remember the site) for $70ish) and they matched it right then and there. Waiting for delivery now.
Good point. They have done quite a turnabout in this service in the last few years.
On the complaint about Fisheries, I am puzzled. I find that both companies publish the regular "list" price, and no one charges "150%" of that.
While WM will have recurring sales and sometimes also semi-secret sales via their email list, Fisheries will usually quote the lower price when you ask them about a specific item. i.e. their catalog, paper or on-line, will not publish the lower price.
FWIW, Defender often will often only show the lower price when you go to the checkout part of the site purchase system, and this is about par for a lot on-line pricing from many vendors.
There is a separate problem -- that WM is easing out of the sailing hardware business, and one of these days will be gone completely. We sailors are a (slowly shrinking) niche market compared to fishermen and water skiers.
Yeah, I don’t know how the 150% number got into my brain last night*, but Fisheries has always had the highest price for any item I’ve shopped for. It seems like they have a wider selection in some categories, but the variety tends toward high-end items that are out of my budgetary reach anyway.
For those of us on the west coast, the sticky bit with Defender is figuring out whether the shipping cost (and time) will wipe out the price advantage.
I’ve noticed that West Marine’s “free shipping” limit has fluctuated this year. It went up to $100 for a while, but now seems to be back down to $50?
In any case, the sheer number of “West Marine” logos appearing on my gear is becoming a bit of an embarrassment. I’ve seriously considered ordering some custom stickers or embroidered patches or something to cover them up. Not that it would fool anybody.
(*Possibly related to my discovery that the watermelon juice drained off my plate after dessert and topped-up with Cabernet makes a most excellent Sangria...)