Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...
So I happened to be out by the WM Lake Union store on Sunday and I thought I should try them out again and spread my boating funds around a bit more. We have a new kayak for the boat and we needed non-inflatable PFD's for it. The sales person was incredibly helpful and directed us to the cheaper WM branded models. And he pointed out the differences between standard lifevests and ones designed for kayaks, I hadn't realized that before. And at $45, not bad really, and a nice quality.
As we were about ready to leave he asked if we needed anything else, well I thought I would give him a tough one that no one else has found a solution for. Our fuel caps have a winch type socket interface and we lost the neat little wrench handle that was designed for it. The WM sales person found a great cheap solution that never crossed my mind. As a comparison, at fisheries a couple weeks back, the fisheries salesperson barely raised his eyes before replying in the negative. Typical of my experience at fisheries.
Regardless, the pricing still can't be beat at fisheries. Buying off their internet site and having it sent to their "will call" works well. The folks in "will call" seem to be newbies so they have not had enough time on board to be corrupted by the poor fisheries work culture.
I do get why people like WM, generally just a bit too pricey for my likes. But when I'm out of my knowledge area, not a bad place to go.