Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...
TakeFive knows me... and I've spent a decent amount of money on "parts" this winter season. I've put more than half of it into Defender. However, I think West Marine has done a much better job at being competitive lately. I did order about 1/4 from them... However the rest was spread around to other places across the web.
NOTHING is near me as a store. The closest store to me is WM near Philly. I had no idea that Defender had any stores.
For me though ordering from the web, even with ground shipping I get stuff 1 to 2 days tops from Defender... That works nicely for me. I like having "choices" to go to for parts.
Actually for specific parts for my boat, I do favor catalinadirect... but I've been known to try mauipro, and aps as well. Bottompaint (since it's special ground shipping) is one of those things that I get from wherever will get it to me cheapest.
It's been 1 year since I was in Philly, and when I can I stop by the WM store. I purchased about $200 worth of stuff while there, and admittably spent more than I would if I had purchased it online. Because the gentleman working the store, was bright, knew his boats, and was restoring a Bayfield. To me, that's living it, not just working it! I personally FOUND stuff I needed because of the help/support he gave. For that reason I also buy from our local marina when I need something and sooner is better than later. I know there's a major markup on it, but if it's minor to me... its the convenience, and I don't mind paying for it.
Sailing a Capri 25, cheap, fast, trailerable, and paid for... Catalina Mainsheet Capri 25 Tech editor that's large (I mean at large).