West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 26 Old 07-06-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

Like the rest of you - love/hate.

The staff at my 2 local stores are friendly and knowledgeable - never had a problem with the them. And as Cap'n Larry says, it's fun chatting with the cruisers who occasionally work there.

Prices are nearly always higher than elsewhere, sometimes appallingly so; I always do some research on the internet before shopping at WM. I like having a local business, with what I generally need on the shelves, and am willing to pay a modest premium for that. However some items are 50% or 100% more than , say, Defender; if those are big ticket items...well, loyalty only stretches so far!
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-06-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

i like west marine although I always shop at Svendsen's chandelry when I can (way better). I like it because it is there as opposed to nothing. Even in the SF bay area, there are not so many other generalized marine store and it is quite useful on a Sunday afternoon.

I found people to be friendly and a few to be quite knowledgeable. You just have get the feeling for who knows what. One guy steered me away from the expensive fiddles and encouraged me to make my own for example, so they are definitely not all vultures as some claimed in other threads

and yes, they were good at replacing my handheld when the GPS died on me
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-06-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

When I was a beginner I used to drool at all the good stuff in the marine supplies. After crossing the Pacific etc, I laughed at all the useless ways they have to sucker beginers into spending their money on such flimsy useless crap. I now find more useful stuff in industrial supplies. The only thing I find useful there is rope, electronics, and chart atlases. Most of the rest I make myself, or buy at industrial suppliers.
In BC, I wonder why all westmarine stores are miles from the water, a nod to car culture. Not many transient cruisers keep a car on board.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

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In BC, I wonder why all westmarine stores are miles from the water, a nod to car culture. Not many transient cruisers keep a car on board.
I'd say it's more of a nod to the realities of the value or real estate/rental properties, relative to their proximity to the waterfront...

Always have to chuckle at those who gripe about WM's prices, while simultaneously bemoaning the fact that their locations are not all akin to Fawcett's former locale in the heart of Annapolis harbor, or JT's on Thames Street in Newport...
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

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Originally Posted by LarryandSusanMacDonald View Post
Often, they hire cruisers who work for a while and then are off cruising again. Often, cruisers know boats well and know the WM inventory well and can speak knowledgeably. Suzi and I have both worked at West Marine. And I can tell you this: If you are outfitting a boat, get a part time job there. The pay may be low but the employee discounts are awesome.
A buddy of mine and I went into WM a few weeks ago and the guy who helped us is retired and working parttime at WM. He told us the employee discount has saved him thousands and that's why he works there.

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post #26 of 26 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

my love hate realtionship has to do with the cute girl who works there ..

really im looking for a part time job for a couple years while i get my skills up get the right sailboat and get ready to go. after reading this thread Im tempted to go to the local west Marine and see if they are hiring.
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