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Bombay Explorer 44
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Recently I have had to replace two items on my boat both are safety related.

The first was the LPG solenoid. If I bought one from the local chandler it would be the same as the one that had just disintegrated in a pile of rust in less than 2 years and would cost 95 $ US. If I bought one from China it would have a brass body and would cost 9.71 $ US plus 4 $ US postage. It might last longer than the crappy expensive steel one.

The second is my swim / boarding ladder. The part that needs replacement is stainless steel 4 step telescopic ladder. They last about 4 years but the welds fail on the bottom step even though it gets pulled out of the water most days. If I buy from the local chandler it is 289 $ US EXACTLY THE SAME ITEM is available on Ebay and Amazon for 49 $ with free postage sometimes.

So the solenoid bought from the local chandler would cost 978% more.

The telescopic ladder 590 % more.

I bought the Chinese solenoid when I saw the steel one rusting badly. I will buy a spare 49$ ladder the next time I go skiing in Salt Lake City. If I had to buy locally would I feel ripped off? You bet I would.

I accept that I will have to pay more in the Eastern Caribbean but they are pushing it.

I included the sunset pic. because after I had sorted both problems I was enjoying my sundowner in the cockpit and was rewarded with a green flash lasting about 2 seconds with a vertical beam of light form the horizon. Definitely in my personal top 5. What was it worth? there is no price>
 

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That looks like a Windline ladder. If so, they are very good at support and replacement for failed ones.

I find no-brand things like bilge blowers, bilge pumps, etc to be the exact same as those from Rule, Atwood, etc - to the point of having only a different sticker in the place boxed out for a sticker - and they cost 1/4 of the name brand ones. Likely your solenoid will be fine, if not better than the expensive marine ones. I know the cheap $10 propane regulator I bought has outlasted the $80 marine brand one that looks just like it internally and externally.

Mark
 

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The second is my swim / boarding ladder. The part that needs replacement is stainless steel 4 step telescopic ladder. They last about 4 years but the welds fail on the bottom step even though it gets pulled out of the water most days. If I buy from the local chandler it is 289 $ US EXACTLY THE SAME ITEM is available on Ebay and Amazon for 49 $ with free postage sometimes.

So the solenoid bought from the local chandler would cost 978% more.

The telescopic ladder 590 % more.

I bought the Chinese solenoid when I saw the steel one rusting badly. I will buy a spare 49$ ladder the next time I go skiing in Salt Lake City. If I had to buy locally would I feel ripped off? You bet I would.
>
I had a rusted out swim ladder on which the bottom step failed. I found exactly the right ladder at Overton's (I think) for a quite reasonable price, something like $80. It has held up just fine for two years so far.
 

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Yeah the solenoid for $95 is an absolute RIP off. There is nothing special about a "marine" solenoid, in fact if the marine version corrodes it is worse than a commercial grade valve, which is usually brass, and a fraction of the price.

Businesses feel entitled to Jack up the price because it is associated with "yachts".

All you have to do is compare the price of Webasto heaters from the chandlery vs from the trucking supply house...

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Here's an example of the reverse. TMC electric toilet recently for sale at our local chandlery (Whitworths) A$200.00 or thereabouts, Fleabay had two resellers offering the same item at A$600.00+. Just have to know your prices.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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I bought the Chinese solenoid when I saw the steel one rusting badly. I will buy a spare 49$ ladder the next time I go skiing in Salt Lake City. If I had to buy locally would I feel ripped off? You bet I would.
No comment on prices in the Caribbean but glad to hear someone living on a boat spends his vacation skiing in SLC. TQA living the dream.
 

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There are a number of surrounding issues, although, in the end, some chandleries are just ripping you off.

That said, to round out the perspective, the chandlery most likely paid multiple times what you think to acquire it themselves.

In some cases, that's simply because they bought in small quantity, while other supplies are dealing in wholesale quantities. The local store might also have it on the shelf for long time, incurring interest expense, before they get their cost back, let alone a profit that will pay for the rent and lights.

There can also be a liability difference. When the exact same part is sold for marine use, it could contribute to a drowning or destruction of other million dollar yachts. If sold for a less risky use, their regulatory or insurance costs can be a fraction. For example, I bought I single engine airplane, when I was in my 20s. I scrapped up everything I had and borrowed some money. I was then broke. The alternator failed shortly thereafter. It was exactly (I mean zero modifications) an AC Delco Chevy alternator. I could have bought a new one for $80 or had mine rebuilt for much less at a local autoparts store. Instead, I was required to get one with the proper FAA paperwork, which did nothing but put the supplier in the line of liability. It cost $200. There was no choice.
 

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Here is an example. One can buy the "big-name marine manufacturer" blower: https://www.amazon.com/MARINE-PERFORMANCE-BLOWER-230CFM-PACTRADE/dp/B018RO0RGM/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=tmc+blower&qid=1554034118&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Or one can buy the identical item from a "no-name manufacturer": https://www.amazon.com/MARINE-PERFORMANCE-BLOWER-230CFM-PACTRADE/dp/B018RO0RGM/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=tmc+blower&qid=1554034118&s=gateway&sr=8-3

I own one of each of these, and both are in operation, and I can tell you that there is not a lick of difference between the two except for the thin sticker around the middle.

I suspect that all "manufacturers" are not actually making these, but getting their supply from the same builder.

Mark
 

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Here is an example. One can buy the "big-name marine manufacturer" blower: https://www.amazon.com/MARINE-PERFORMANCE-BLOWER-230CFM-PACTRADE/dp/B018RO0RGM/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=tmc+blower&qid=1554034118&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Or one can buy the identical item from a "no-name manufacturer": https://www.amazon.com/MARINE-PERFORMANCE-BLOWER-230CFM-PACTRADE/dp/B018RO0RGM/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=tmc+blower&qid=1554034118&s=gateway&sr=8-3

I own one of each of these, and both are in operation, and I can tell you that there is not a lick of difference between the two except for the thin sticker around the middle.

I suspect that all "manufacturers" are not actually making these, but getting their supply from the same builder.

Mark
The only difference is the big guy spends a lot more money on advertising in all the glossy marine mags.

I just went through this comparison on three new bilge pumps. I spent $150 on the no name brand rathers than $360 on the name brand ..... I could not tell the difference.
 

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Those are fair points, however I would guess that most items the Chandler stocks are purchased at wholesale prices. In my experience with wholesalers the discounts you get for buying larger quantities are incremental. 10-20% at the most. That doesnt explain the 500% markup. In my business when we resell parts to the end user the most markup we have is 100%, and that is only on smaller items, under $100. Bigger ticket items are only marked up 20-40%.

I want to support the brick and mortar stores, but they need to at least TRY to be competitive.

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I really don't believe, as a rule, the brick and mortar stores are marking up 500% and trying to get away with it. I believe they paid multiple times more for the inventory than the next guy, particularly the next internet guy. That doesn't mean you have to pay up, just that I don't think they're intentionally trying to rip folks off like that. Of course, it does happen, but I believe it's the exception.

The internet has made retail pricing very difficult. Indeed, there are vendors who end up stuck with excess inventory they'd sell below cost, just to get the rotting capital back. Then everyone complains their local guy is so expensive. All sorts of scenarios.
 

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This has little to do with local retail stores, or even internet retail. The price difference is between the "marine brand" and the "non-marine brand" for the exact same gear. I showed an example of this for blowers, and boatpoker implied the same for bilge pumps (of which I also have direct experience with the differences).

I'm sure retail stores pay more for something like a Rule brand than they would for the same non-branded part. The major difference is the manufacturer supplying the part and setting the prices, not the stores themselves.

The manufacturers even set prices in different markets. I often buy water pumps and other gear at RV stores for lower prices. These are the exact same brands and models, except the manufacturer sets different prices based on market segments. I've also bought stuff sold to professional markets that were much lower in price still.

I've a sneaky suspicion that these manufacturers lock in retailers with draconian terms.

Mark
 

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In many cases 'manufacturers' market a brand and manufacture nothing. Some do labeling and packaging inhouse...some contract out the whole shebang.

Source the real mfgr...invent a brand.. and away you go...:)
 

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TQA
I won't add to the pricing debate but I would like to ask if you have considered a different type of boarding ladder. I ask because in our locale I've seen quite a few of those telescoping types and the majority seem to be in pretty bad shape. It looks to me like the telescoping tubes lead to early rusting that is not easily removed.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Discussion Starter #18
TQA
I won't add to the pricing debate but I would like to ask if you have considered a different type of boarding ladder. I ask because in our locale I've seen quite a few of those telescoping types and the majority seem to be in pretty bad shape. It looks to me like the telescoping tubes lead to early rusting that is not easily removed.
I like the telescopic ladder I have as it fits the wooden steps I made and it stores nicely when folded up.

It is the bottom step that goes and the welds succumb to crevice corrosion.

They last 4 years so at 49 $ that is 12.25 $ US a year. Seems a good deal to me.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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Any day in the mountains is a good day but sunshine good snow empty pistes and no lift lines and a ski buddy make it great.
I like your attitude. I have been alternating my life with time on the beach sailing and time in the mountains skiing. It would be nice to have an opportunity to mix them up in the same year. Hopefully I will be getting a buoy this year so I can do some sailing in the mountains.
 

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The transom of your boat looks great, except for the metal ladder. I agree that $50 is a modest price over 4 years; but I don't agree that the ladder has lasted 4 years, it looks terrible.
 
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