In a massive push to eliminate my debt, one of the things I did was forego credit cards. While in a few instances it's a mild inconvenience, being completely and utterly debt free has made it more than worth it.
A side effect though is not being able to order parts and such online, which is where the question comes in.. I'm in Toronto, and don't mind driving in the GTA and a little beyond to pick up parts I need. What are some good vendors that you guys use locally? Primarily, I'm looking for:
-hardware (travellers, blocks, sheaves, anchors, etc),
-electronics (VHF, sounders, knotmeters, etc)
-quality fastners (Home Depot et al don't cut it)
-rigging - standing, running, tuning
-mast parts (specifically spreaders)
-good sail lofts (more for sail maintenance than new purchase)
-hardwood supplies (teak, mahogany, marine and high grade exterior ply - again, the big box hardware stores don't cut it)
-Also of interest are local used or consignment chandleries..
Basically anything and everything boat related.. I've got a great local supplier for fiberglass and epoxy products, so that's covered. For the first two on the list, I know of Binnacle in Ottawa, Pride Marine, Fogh, and Mason's Chandelry. I have a contact that may be able to hook me up on the wood side. Any others?
I know there's a West Marine downtown, but we all know how reasonable those prices are
I also know I'm probably going to end up paying a little more than ordering through, say, Defender, but I'm also all about building up the personal relationships that only comes with local shopping. For the standing rigging, I know there's a service in the states that absolutely stellar (can't remember the name off hand, but it's in my links) so I may suck it up and get it put on the girlfriend's CC, but I'd rather avoid that.
One of my primary reasons for going to the boat show in January is to size up what's around, but nothing beats a recommendation from a satisfied customer