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Vikingsailor
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day, I removed the thermostat on my Westerbeke 20B Two to test it and make sure the spare that was bought by (I assume) the PO was correct.

Well, the spare was completely different. The only thing I can say about it is that it's a genuine Westerbeke part.

So...not wanting to be left with no spare, I went online to order a new one.

(Sticker shock!) $60!!! and another $6.50 for the gasket. Give me a break!

In a state of shock, I stopped by my local Napa Auto Parts to see if they might have something that would work. Lo and behold, we found the exact same thermostat...and the grand total? $20. Oh...and I got some of the gasket material with the sticky back to make my own...that nearly broke me at $0.59.

To order would have set me back about $70 w/shipping.
Local Napa: $20.85 or so...

Now...does that seem right to you?

By the way, I am going to sell the other, wrong thermostat on eBay...figure I can come out ahead!
 

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Your Westerbeke is a diesel engine, so make sure you got a thermostat for a diesel engine. As I'm sure you know, heat produced by diesel engines is measured in dBTUs (diesel BTUs) and should not be mixed with gBTUs (gasoline BTUs). The inferior thermostat you bought from the auto parts store will destroy your engine because:

1. It uses gBTUs, not dBTUs.

and

2. The box does not have a picture of a boat on it.

As to #2, above, The FCC does not allow a vendor to place a picture of a boat on any product unless it has gone through a rigorous testing qualification procedure and met the minimum MESPBP (Marine Engineering Standards for Picture of Boat on Product) standards.

I urge all boaters to only buy products with a picture of a boat on it, and pay no attention to those shoddy, non-boat products available everywhere at less than half cost.

Remember, sure it's expensive, but there's a picture of a boat!

Best Regards,

e

.::.
 

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404 Posts
To back up the bashing or Marine prices...I use those Damp Rid hanging bags that give off a nice smell and have the little bag on the bottom that collects the water from the damp air. I started off getting them from West Marine and paid around $15 for one in an individual box. The other day I was in the grocery store and saw a box of 3 of them (same size) for $10....
 

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Vikingsailor
Joined
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your Westerbeke is a diesel engine, so make sure you got a thermostat for a diesel engine. As I'm sure you know, heat produced by diesel engines is measured in dBTUs (diesel BTUs) and should not be mixed with gBTUs (gasoline BTUs). The inferior thermostat you bought from the auto parts store will destroy your engine because:

1. It uses gBTUs, not dBTUs.

and

2. The box does not have a picture of a boat on it.

As to #2, above, The FCC does not allow a vendor to place a picture of a boat on any product unless it has gone through a rigorous testing qualification procedure and met the minimum MESPBP (Marine Engineering Standards for Picture of Boat on Product) standards.

I urge all boaters to only buy products with a picture of a boat on it, and pay no attention to those shoddy, non-boat products available everywhere at less than half cost.

Remember, sure it's expensive, but there's a picture of a boat!

Best Regards,

e

.::.
HA! Yeah...if I squint my eyes, and turn down the lights, I can kind of see a sort of abstract boat shape on the bag the thermostat came in...
 

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Irrationally Exuberant
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1,432 Posts
Hi, my name is Tom, and I sometimes buy non-marine parts and get around the MESPBP by drawing a picture of a boat on the package. I am ashamed. :rolleyes:
 

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Does the NAPA thermostat that happened to fit open at the same temperature as the OEM thermostat? Most marine thermostats for small diesels open at 160F, but automotive thermostats usually open at 180F - 210F, which is hotter than the factory usually specifies for a marine engine. Many marine thermostats are made from stainless steel because they're designed to be used in both fresh-water and raw-water cooled engines, while automotive thermostats don't need to be stainless because they're always used in an antifreeze coolant mix. When Westerbeke orders stainless steel thermostats with a lower temperature than standard automotive parts they can't order a couple of million like an automobile manufacturer can; they probably only need a couple of hundred, and therefore the manufacturer charges them a lot more to make them.
 

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Vikingsailor
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does the NAPA thermostat that happened to fit open at the same temperature as the OEM thermostat? Most marine thermostats for small diesels open at 160F, but automotive thermostats usually open at 180F - 210F, which is hotter than the factory usually specifies for a marine engine. Many marine thermostats are made from stainless steel because they're designed to be used in both fresh-water and raw-water cooled engines, while automotive thermostats don't need to be stainless because they're always used in an antifreeze coolant mix. When Westerbeke orders stainless steel thermostats with a lower temperature than standard automotive parts they can't order a couple of million like an automobile manufacturer can; they probably only need a couple of hundred, and therefore the manufacturer charges them a lot more to make them.
Yup...both are rated at 160F. A metallurgist might be able to tell the difference in the two...maybe. But to the eye, touch, feel, smell (ok, maybe not), they are identical. My primary concern was fit (size) and temp rating. Dead match...can't beat that.
 

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Totally. There are a million examples - 'marine' heat shrink electrical tubing at $2 per 6" length versus the same thing at Home Depot for $3 for three feet.

But my favorite is when West Marine sells things for more than the manufacturer sells the exact same thing on their own site. Or even better, when West Marine relabels the product under their own name and sells it for MORE. Here is a perfect example of the EXACT SAME lifejacket...

West Marine Type I Lifejacket = $109.99
Stearns "Merchant Mate II" Lifejacket = $91.99 (sold by West Marine)

It is the same lifejack, same pictures, same everything, all on West Marine's website.
 

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ex-Navy
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224 Posts
Not to mention sinks

When we got Enchantress the sink in the galley (along with the head) was one of the two MUST REPLACE from my wife. A new marine stainless sink of about the same size was $500 and the double sink was even more. When to Home Depot and got a white acrylic sink for $60 ( on sale) While I was at it I got a really good faucet set ( also on sale). Had to sand the opening to get the sink to fit but nothing major. When it starts looking grungy I'll just throw it out and get a new one same with the faucets.
 

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Senior Mumble
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320 Posts
FWIW - I can also pay more for an item when I shop at the small local hardware store than when I go to Home Depot. Sometimes I do that to support the local merchant. Sometimes I pay more for an item at the local brick and mortar marine store because I like having a nearby place that sells the truly marinized items that I sometimes need. Brick and mortar merchants carry more overhead than their online counterparts and offer convenience that is sometimes necessary. I've had good experience with the marine store's customer support and price matching. I also buy online. In this hobby, there's plenty of purchasing to be done, so it can be spread around, which is a good thing.
 

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Rather than paying the un-godly amounts of money wanted to replace the plexi in my two opening hatches, I got a sheet of smoked plexi from the local glass store ($60) and cut them with a scroll saw to fit. When I went to WM for adhesive I balked at the $21.95 for a tube of white BoatLife Life Caulk and went to Lowes - $5.49 for the (basically) same thing in black (the color I wanted. I still have enough plexi left over to do the other non-opening ports too.
 

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Keep Shopping

Time to replace the fuel filter on the car. Racor 45s: $48 at NAPA. West Marine had it for $25 (that was 6 months ago - just checked, it is now $36 at West).
 
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