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· Once known as Hartley18
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I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but here in Australia when it comes to ship-chandlers I've noticed an enormous class distinction between "yachtsmen" and "fishermen".

For this reason I reckon, as a yachtie (sorry, "sailboat person"), you'd have to be at least partly mad to buy anything at Whitworths/BCF/Ray's Outdoors that you can get someplace else. The situation here in Melbourne is made quite comical when Discount Seamart, which is not half a block away from Whitworths, sells much of the same stuff as Whitworths but has a larger range of sailing hardware and is often far cheaper and with excellent customer service thrown in also.

As said earlier, stock levels are a big issue for small chandleries. IIRC most (not all, but nearly all) in this country get their stock from warehouses like BLA who, it seems, have similar buying power and product lines to Whitworths - kinda like Coles vs Woolworths.

FWIW, we have a local chandlers that is doing pretty well in the Internet market simply keeping minimal stock of frequently-purchased items (paints, varnishes, anodes, rope, sunglasses..) and offering (a) the customer service and project suggestions you don't get on line and then (b) ordering in all of the stuff you want (sometimes even from overseas) as a bundle to save you the hassle of doing it yourself and then going as far as (c) offering a "yacht club discount" on local purchases to known sailing-people - and thus encouraging you to keep using their service and leaving the BCF frequenters and pseudo-yachtsmen to pay full price. ;)

IMHO, that's the way of the future..
 

· Once known as Hartley18
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G'day Simon! :)

This is from today. I have been looking at a new water maker as my old one was used by Noah and kept running by yours truly with duct tape and fence wire. Anyway looking at a Spectra, the best price in Oz $10699 plus $67 freight. from the US $6490 free international freight. I tend to buy a lot from the US.
I'm surprised you could even buy a specialised beastie like that over here. On stuff like that the local resellers often get caught out by rapid fluctuations in exchange rates and transit insurance and end up overpricing.. perhaps that's what happened??

Owning a 'classic' yacht, I tend to buy stuff from Germany and Holland and only very occasionally from the US. You need to be careful buying electrical stuff from the US.. they can't handle the voltage. :cool:
 
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