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  #11  
Old 01-09-2003
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

I''ve always found Hamilton Marine in Searsport and Portland, Maine (with an extensive catalog) to have the best prices overall for just about everything. However, I''ve found you can save a buck or two here and there by comparison shopping West, Defender, Boat U.S., Sailnet and Hamilton. Sometimes free shipping; sometimes a dollar or two difference. Sometimes different shipping and handling charges. Here in the Caribbean, the chandlery goal is to rape the buyer. I.e., ICOM M-3A. Sailnet: $131 or so; Hamilton: $139; Budget Marine (Carib): $207; Island Marine (Carib): $235. Same radio.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2003
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

In the past, there were four great places up here. Marine Exchange in Peabody and briefly in Marblehead, Nautical Traders in Salem, Lynn Marine Supply in Marblehead and I can''t remember off hand, the name of the other outfit that split off from NT to start up in Beverly. The attraction of these outfits was that besides the usual chandlery fare, they carried a big selection of out-dated, used and seriously discounted stuff. This was a big boon to sailors like me whose pride in our abilitys to just about make the proverbial “silk purse from a sow''s ear” was offset by a lack of funds in the bank.

What better way to spend a cold winter Saturday then for a couple of us liveaboarders to dive into a car and tour the marinas and chandleries of the North Shore. We’d take measurements, and discuss the pros and cons of all kinds of boats and rummage through boxes and boxes of used parts. We’d make plans for our own boats and have our own think-tank to work out the details as we drove along! Surely I’m a better sailor for those times.

Many parts that I would stumble across when I had my C22 are now in service aboard my Jesse Boyce. Both the cranse iron and boomkin end are examples of this. When the decision was made to make these spars, I knew right where to go for the bronze hardware!

Sadly all that is left are Nautical Traders and Lynn Marine Supply and they do only a fraction of the used parts business that they did ten or fifteen years ago.
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Old 01-09-2003
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

Hey Jeff! I know you''ve been on the site for a long time and that you are very knowledgeabe.

I''m surprised to hear your comments regarding West Marine. I''ve pretty consistently (in the Northeast) found them to be much more expensive than other sources (as have others at my marina). I''ve even put West Marine and Boat US catalogues side by side and West is consistently more expensive.

I suppose the jewel of advise to Rookiehunter in this thread is that one always has to compare price, service, availability amoung sources. To add my 2 cents (I already have - so maybe this make it a 4 cent contribution) - one should ALWAYS try to price match. I you can get a retailer to match the lowest advertised price for supplies/equipment you need you can walk out of the store with product in hand TODAY knowing you took advantage of the lowest price you found.

Regards.

Stormer
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

Oh - one more point. One should never overlook the value of quality used equipment from a consignment shop. Newport Nautical in Newport RI from time to time has a good selection of inflatable dighies, radars, stoves, etc....
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

Just a couple of add''l thoughts after seeing the most recent posts...

Pricing in the Caribbean is ''apples'' if we''re talking about the ''oranges'' of U.S. pricing. Shipping is indeed more expensive to get an item down there, and then the individual island nation has their own import duty to levy. Pricing of marine hardware is far more competitive in the Eastern Caribbean these days due to competing chandelry chains opening up (e.g. Budget Marine, almost a WM knock-off in store appearance). Moreover, they tend to sell many items under their own brand but made by a 3rd party and the spitting image of the expensive, copied item. I wish I saw more of that here in the States.

While this depends on the store, the level of service I get at one of our two WM stores is extraordinary...and this is part of the business model they originally sought to introduce and be known by. It''s in part for this reason that, over the years, I''ve tended to ask less and less for price matching. To me it feels in general like asking for my cake and then eating it in front of them - I accept the services no one else offers me, in my backyard and usually instantly, but ask them to honor the other guy''s price. I don''t always feel this way - e.g. I just bought 16x the same whipping twine for $11 from Defender that WM was asking $8 for. (Yes, that''s sixteen times MORE twine from the same manufacturer). In cases like that, I just give up on WM and order from the folks who got the price right in the first place. This is not the way all us capitalists are supposed to behave, I realize, so clearly I''m in the minority.

Finding "the same thing" at Walmart or Lowes at a lower price is a good strategy if it really is ''the same thing''. As Jeff points out with hose clamps, I''ve been burned multiple times by accepting such stores'' claims - e.g. brass swivel clips with iron springs, ''stainless'' clips made of some kind of el cheapo stainless alloy that immediately froze up. If it''s got the same manufacturer''s label (e.g. Ancor), THEN is when I consider the purchase.

I loved the description of the gaggle of sailors all jumping into the same car and chandelry shopping on a Saturday. I remember those days well. Today, due to large national chains like Lowe''s, Home Depot and WM, finding that same eclectic group of well-equipped hardware stores and chandelries is now rarely possible. Anyone here enjoy the experience of shopping at Sadler''s on the waterfront in Annapolis? Or being taken by the ear by Mr. Sadler up to his 2nd or 3rd floor (where the stock was kept and where he had workbenches), so he could flare some tubing for you? Those days are mostly long gone, which is why I especially treasure my old hardware store around the corner with one of everything!

Jack
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Old 01-10-2003
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

Let us not forget what I beleive to be the best two vendors of certain sailboat supplies in the country. They are Layline out of Raleigh NC and Annapolis Performance Sailing. Although they do cater more to the racing community and do not carry everything one may need such as plumbing and electrical stuff, they have one of the best selections of cordage, blocks, clothing and general sailing-related hardware of anyone. You will also see that they regularly kick West Marine''s butt on pricing.

They both have knowledgeable people and excellent service - certainly better, in my opinion, than any of the other popular vendors mentioned in this string. Great rigging shops too. Check them out:

www.layline.com
www.apsltd.com
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

I am relatively new to sailing (bought our boat last March), but I''ve already done quite a few pruchases from most of the vendors already mentioned. I like having a boating supply store near the boat, and West Marine (for the most part) seems to be fairly competitive on pricing, and always willing to provide assistance. Defender seems to be a good source for mail-order merchandise and service (IMO).

However, I''ve found that the hands-down lowest priced place to get some very nice boating equipment is ... (drum roll please)... ebay. Obviously, one needs to know what they want, and how to search for it, but I''ve had pretty good luck finding a lot of what I need (for the boat and other things). For example, I recently bought two new fiddle blocks (usually priced at about $100 each) for $35 each - delivered.

~ Good luck and happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

You need to be careful with ebay as you may be buying last year''s model or 3 year-old paint, etc. The West Marine stores I have been to will match price and they give you an extra discount in the West Advantage program.
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

You need to be careful with ebay as you may be buying last year''s model or 3 year-old paint, etc. The West Marine stores I have been to will match price and they give you an extra discount in the West Advantage program.
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Costs of Sailing merchandise

RGS,
I agree with you about Layline...I am in Raleigh and they have excellent gear and their staff is great. I recently had to return a tiller extension that I got from them becasue of some problems it developed. They called and got the manufacturer to not repair it, but send me a brand new one. They are also a customer of mine so I know how hard they hunt to find a quality product.
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