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whats up with West Marine?

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3 hours ago, loneshark64 said:

I'll bet you five bucks he logs in here, every day  :lol:

doubt it.  he was probably in his mid 60's back then so he's mid 80's at this point.  dude was a power boater as well.  id bet you there aint a lot of 85 year old power boaters that troll these forums... 

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46 minutes ago, MikeR80 said:

doubt it.  he was probably in his mid 60's back then so he's mid 80's at this point.  dude was a power boater as well.  id bet you there aint a lot of 85 year old power boaters that troll these forums... 

Bravo2 and Soreass

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On 8/3/2020 at 1:51 PM, view at the front said:

I just discovered that a local hardware store in Anacortes will order things from Fisheries Supply in Seattle, which is probably the most complete marine supply store in the PNW.  The price is the same as Fisheries would charge, and there is free shipping.  It's getting harder to go into WM now.

Sebo's?

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2 hours ago, view at the front said:

Yep, Carl said that he would do that, when I said that I was going to WM for something not at Sebo's.

Sweet!

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22 hours ago, RImike said:

Just wait until you go to a store with someone that actually knows what they are doing and they pull up the old DOS based Intrepid system. The sad thing is that it works so much better than the "modern" system.....

The last couple of times I went into my local WM, I almost asked if I could just look up what I needed myself.  The nice thing about that system is it is very easy to remember and to see what you need.  I was once comparing Port Supply, excuse me, "WM Pro" prices and they wanted to run it through the register.  With Intrepid, enter the sku, then "Ctrl(?)-F10" for PSS. Was also good for monitoring transfers.  Has been over 15 years since I worked there and I still remember.

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On 7/31/2020 at 6:08 PM, SF Woody Sailor said:

Yup. It is good to be in the business of flour, yeast, home exercise equipment or sex toys right now.

. . .and disinfectant manufacturing.

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2 hours ago, bplipschitz said:

. . .and disinfectant manufacturing.

Sure, but that was entirely foreseeable when a pandemic broke out. Some things were less intuitive. The world almost ran out of condoms, for example, because people were shagging like minks but didn't want to have babies due to the economic uncertainty. The baking craze was also a bit of a surprise. Maybe the exercise equipment was obvious when gyms closed down, but sales of games like Scrabble and jigsaw puzzles are up 400% which wasn't entirely straightforward,

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On 8/4/2020 at 10:32 PM, MikeR80 said:

doubt it.  he was probably in his mid 60's back then so he's mid 80's at this point.  dude was a power boater as well.  id bet you there aint a lot of 85 year old power boaters that troll these forums... 

Maybe he logs in from power boater hell? (actually that sounds like ft lauderdale...)

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16 hours ago, loneshark64 said:

Maybe he logs in from power boater hell? (actually that sounds like ft lauderdale...)

Lol wut?  Lauderdale is the super yacht capital of the world,   but lots of sailing talent in that area as well.  We are actually considering a move to there soon,  there are actually semi-affordable homes on the waterway w/ a dock, unlike the Gables down here in Miami-Dade.

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I started getting back into woodworking and logged onto Lee Valley to order some hand saws, planer, and chisels.  They are back ordered on almost everything they offer for at least a month.  

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54 minutes ago, SeattleB said:

I started getting back into woodworking and logged onto Lee Valley to order some hand saws, planer, and chisels.  They are back ordered on almost everything they offer for at least a month.  

https://www.pecktool.com

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That’s awesome,CL!

Dad’s boat graced the cover of a catalog one year...

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8 hours ago, MikeR80 said:

Lol wut?  Lauderdale is the super yacht capital of the world,   but lots of sailing talent in that area as well.  We are actually considering a move to there soon,  there are actually semi-affordable homes on the waterway w/ a dock, unlike the Gables down here in Miami-Dade.

I was just joking. My sister lives there. My whole family moved to Florida. Ft Myers, Tampa, Daytona and FL. I stayed in Maine. I find boating in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale a bit overwhelming, and you see some interesting things.

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13 hours ago, Expat Canuck said:

Nice!

I particularly like that their catalogue does not include the MOB device you have on your push pit! stern pulpit!

FIFY

I've never seen a preacher push anything. Other than salvation, that is.

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Many years ago I thought I'd get through a dry spell by working at the old West Marine in Palo Alto. I went in, and asked if they were hiring. Sure!...I came back a day or two later and had an interview with the manager. Everything went Fine!  He sat me down with the mandated West Marine Company "application test".

There was not ONE SINGLE QUESTION about boats. I mean...."which side of the boat is "port"?".....nope. Nothing...not one. There were some questions about making change, actually.

But the question.."Is it ever OK to steal from the store?" was presented at least a dozen times, worded in various ways.  A couple of those ways were barely re-worded repetitions of the question. If they'd asked me that once or twice, then...fine. I get the point.  But it wasn't once or twice, it was over and over again. I mean, of the maybe 100 questions, about 15 of them were variations on "will you steal from the store?",

I stopped taking the "test" about 3/4 of the way through, went to the managers office, told him I was disgusted and offended that I was subjected to the companies assumptions that I would steal them blind, and I didn't want the job any more.....and I never went back into that store again.

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My favourite question on one of those test is "Have you ever told a lie?"

Unfortunately there were only boxes for yes or no.  I wanted to answer,  not apart from this one!

Just what answer did they want?

Yes,  means you are a liar.

No,  means you are a bigger liar!

 

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7 hours ago, TUBBY said:

My favourite question on one of those test is "Have you ever told a lie?"

Unfortunately there were only boxes for yes or no.  I wanted to answer,  not apart from this one!

Just what answer did they want?

Yes,  means you are a liar.

No,  means you are a bigger liar!

 

Reminds me of the old joke:  "I never tell the truth."

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On 8/8/2020 at 1:27 AM, Somebody Else said:

FIFY

I've never seen a preacher push anything. Other than salvation, that is.

And to give generously to the collection du jour.

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12 hours ago, Alan H said:

Many years ago I thought I'd get through a dry spell by working at the old West Marine in Palo Alto. I went in, and asked if they were hiring. Sure!...I came back a day or two later and had an interview with the manager. Everything went Fine!  He sat me down with the mandated West Marine Company "application test".

There was not ONE SINGLE QUESTION about boats. I mean...."which side of the boat is "port"?".....nope. Nothing...not one. There were some questions about making change, actually.

But the question.."Is it ever OK to steal from the store?" was presented at least a dozen times, worded in various ways.  A couple of those ways were barely re-worded repetitions of the question. If they'd asked me that once or twice, then...fine. I get the point.  But it wasn't once or twice, it was over and over again. I mean, of the maybe 100 questions, about 15 of them were variations on "will you steal from the store?",

I stopped taking the "test" about 3/4 of the way through, went to the managers office, told him I was disgusted and offended that I was subjected to the companies assumptions that I would steal them blind, and I didn't want the job any more.....and I never went back into that store again.

West Marine is just like any other retailer...shrink is their biggest money waster.  I worked there for about a year in college.  I was one of very few who actually knew anything about boats.

To the OP, I ordered some odds and ends a month ago and only and have only received half my order. 

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After retiring from St. Pete Yacht Club I applied at the local West Marine. Interviewed with the lady manager and a guy whom I'd seen there for quite a while. 

Not many boating questions. Reading from a form she asked, "What is a grunion?" Surpressing a smile, I said that a grunion is a small fish that swarms a California beach. If you mean gudgeon, it is .........

Never heard back. One of the employees told me privately that the manager was saying I was "over qualified." Doesn't take much, I guess.

 

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while I bitch and moan about them, and more often than not buy stuff from Defender, or nowadays drive the hour-plus to Svendsens across on the other Side of SF Bay, I still hope they stay in business.

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27 minutes ago, Alan H said:

while I bitch and moan about them, and more often than not buy stuff from Defender, or nowadays drive the hour-plus to Svendsens across on the other Side of SF Bay, I still hope they stay in business.

Same, but it's up to the folks who fish. Us sailors are a side biz.

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Today I replaced my bilge pump and needed the ultra low profile bilge pump that Rule offers. Figured I could pick up some stuff that WM stocks in bulk (think cleaners, hose clamps) and pick up the pump too if they had it. Their shelves were mostly empty and while they had the pump I needed it was FORTY DOLLARS more than the chandlery literally around the corner. I’m not going to WM as a first stop anymore. Shop your local chandleries while they’re still around to keep them around. WM has had my business for 20 years and just lost it. $75 vs $115 for the exact same item. What a fucking joke. 

Fawcett’s may not be downtown anymore, but their shelves are full. They have at least one former APS employee who knows all the one design and rigging stuff. They told me at my last visit they are going to be doing a massive renovation and expansion soon. Annapolis sailors, take note. 

As for the foulies I need desperately, I guess I’ll wait for the boat show. Both stores’ selection suck and I’m not ordering $500-1000 worth of gear online without knowing if it fits. Not everyone wants either Gill or HH.

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Yes,  Fawcett's was great for my recent haul out.  Everything I needed and smart people. 

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21 minutes ago, Alaris said:

 Their shelves were mostly empty and while they had the pump I needed it was FORTY DOLLARS more than the chandlery literally around the corner. I’m not going to WM as a first stop anymore. Shop your local chandleries while they’re still around to keep them around. WM has had my business for 20 years and just lost it. $75 vs $115 for the exact same item. What a fucking joke. 

I never let this happen to me because of the following. I go into West Marine, scan the barcode of the item I want into the Amazon app to get the Amazon price, and they match it on the spot. See this from their website:

Price Match Guarantee

If you find a lower price on an identical product at a local retail store, West Marine will match that price within 30 days of purchase.

We will price match:

  • Local Stores within 50 miles
  • Amazon, direct from Amazon only
  • Sale and regular prices before shipping, handling and/or sales tax charges
  • Retail prices for wholesale Customers

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Just now, SF Woody Sailor said:

I never let this happen to me because of the following. I go into West Marine, scan the barcode of the item I want into the Amazon app to get the Amazon price, and they match it on the spot. See this from their website:

Price Match Guarantee

If you find a lower price on an identical product at a local retail store, West Marine will match that price within 30 days of purchase.

We will price match:

  • Local Stores within 50 miles
  • Amazon, direct from Amazon only
  • Sale and regular prices before shipping, handling and/or sales tax charges
  • Retail prices for wholesale Customers

I know, I know. I just was so frustrated with the empty shelves and the price gouging that I left. It may have had something to do with the heat! 

In the end, I’d rather give the business to Fawcett’s. Somehow they have kept their shelves full. And they don’t have half their store devoted to hideous “lifestyle” clothing. It’s a few hundred yards away. I should have gone there first anyway.

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1 minute ago, Alaris said:

I know, I know. I just was so frustrated with the empty shelves and the price gouging that I left. It may have had something to do with the heat! 

In the end, I’d rather give the business to Fawcett’s. Somehow they have kept their shelves full. And they don’t have half their store devoted to hideous “lifestyle” clothing. It’s a few hundred yards away. I should have gone there first anyway.

You are lucky you have the alternative. I have a local vendor I use for rigging, blocks, etc. But when I need a can of Pettit or a fender or something WM is the only game in town.

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On 8/12/2020 at 6:28 PM, SF Woody Sailor said:

You are lucky you have the alternative. I have a local vendor I use for rigging, blocks, etc. But when I need a can of Pettit or a fender or something WM is the only game in town.

Twenty years ago, it wasn't like this.  Al's Marine in Redwood City was a great place to go, down here. Sure, he was 15% more expensive, but you could ask Al a question and he knew his shit. More than once, he steered me to a less expensive product that would do a better job at what I was doing.  But Al got old and retired and most of the other small chandleries have closed, except in Richmond, and Svendsens.  Responsibility for at least some of that slaughter lies at West Marine's doorstep, for steeply undercutting everybody for ten years and seducing us all.  Some of the responsibility lies with us...for being seduced.  Now that there's no other competition left but Svendsens...or drive to Richmond, the stock drops and the prices climb.

 

It's more complicated than that. There was no "online shopping"   in 1997.  At least locally, the cost of living here has driven a whole lot of people out of sailing, so the market isn't here.   But still....

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On 8/12/2020 at 6:21 PM, SF Woody Sailor said:

I never let this happen to me because of the following. I go into West Marine, scan the barcode of the item I want into the Amazon app to get the Amazon price, and they match it on the spot. See this from their website:

Price Match Guarantee

If you find a lower price on an identical product at a local retail store, West Marine will match that price within 30 days of purchase.

We will price match:

  • Local Stores within 50 miles
  • Amazon, direct from Amazon only
  • Sale and regular prices before shipping, handling and/or sales tax charges
  • Retail prices for wholesale Customers

The point is that you have to ask. $40 is a significant difference in a $115 pump. I had that happen on a car insurance renewal from AAA. Premium was way higher than before. Cold called to get the exact same policy and it was significantly lower. Never been back.

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Yes Alan, we are aware things were different 20 years ago, back in the day, etc. No Shit!  20 years ago you could walk across the sailboats in Lake St. Clair on a summer saturday ie many hundreds of boats for a weekly local weekend buoy race... lol

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I shudder to think what it would cost to run my boat at retail - think of ANY WAY you can to get a Port Supply account. You might get about $1 off electronics, but the average hardware bits, paint, and so on can be 1/3 off or more.

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21 hours ago, Alan H said:

Twenty years ago, it wasn't like this.  Al's Marine in Redwood City was a great place to go, down here. Sure, he was 15% more expensive, but you could ask Al a question and he knew his shit. More than once, he steered me to a less expensive product that would do a better job at what I was doing.  But Al got old and retired and most of the other small chandleries have closed, except in Richmond, and Svendsens.  Responsibility for at least some of that slaughter lies at West Marine's doorstep, for steeply undercutting everybody for ten years and seducing us all.  Some of the responsibility lies with us...for being seduced.  Now that there's no other competition left but Svendsens...or drive to Richmond, the stock drops and the prices climb.

 

It's more complicated than that. There was no "online shopping"   in 1997.  At least locally, the cost of living here has driven a whole lot of people out of sailing, so the market isn't here.   But still....

This is why buying from Amazon is a bad idea. It's like West Marine, but on a massive scale.

We're lucky here to have Fisheries Supply. A big part of their business is mail order. Check out their website.

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1 minute ago, Russell Brown said:

We're lucky here to have Fisheries Supply. A big part of their business is mail order. Check out their website.

+1.

One or two day delivery, and free shipping for orders over $99. They are also great for locating hard-to-find parts.

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53 minutes ago, Tom Keffer said:

They are also great for locating hard-to-find parts.

Yeah, they special ordered some Ronstan sheaves for me to save me from replacing $250 Genoa cars.  Sheaves were shipped from Australia.

I live a 15 minute bike ride away but still mostly buy from them via mail (especially now with Covid-19).  

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On 8/15/2020 at 7:53 AM, Russell Brown said:

This is why buying from Amazon is a bad idea. It's like West Marine, but on a massive scale.

We're lucky here to have Fisheries Supply. A big part of their business is mail order. Check out their website.

I do everything I can to NOT buy from Amazon.com, and I recently bought flares from Fisheries Supply.

Jeff Bezos is rich enough.  However, the Mrs. is all over  "Prime". **sighing**

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Ordered 2 items online at West Marine. First finally shipped after 3 weeks. The other item hasn’t shipped yet. 

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On 8/17/2020 at 10:25 PM, Alan H said:

I do everything I can to NOT buy from Amazon

+1

Yep, its eBay or no way a lot of the time for me.

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3 minutes ago, OPAL said:

+1

Yep, its eBay or no way a lot of the time for me.

Isn't eBay becoming Ali-baba East?Not sure that's any better.

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22 hours ago, Training Wheels said:

Ordered 2 items online at West Marine. First finally shipped after 3 weeks. The other item hasn’t shipped yet. 

I finally got the rest of my order, 5 weeks after placing the order.  It was just some gloves and shackles.

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18 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Isn't eBay becoming Ali-baba East?Not sure that's any better.

Very little east in anything i bought in the last year. End of the day, buyer gets to decide who or where he wants to deal with. I like that.

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18 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Isn't eBay becoming Ali-baba East?Not sure that's any better.

Ebay actually has pretty good buyer protection to the point the sellers can easily be ripped off. You still have to watch out, the guy selling new radars for $200 with a 1 month zero feedback membership is probably not legit :rolleyes: Amazon is actually worse now, you REALLY need to make sure you know who you are dealing with!

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At this point, I basically avoid most 3rd party sellers on Amazon.

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Fisheries Supply is fine, but they are pretty  expensive unless you have access to an account that does some volume. 

SeaMar is just across the bridge and often quite a bit cheaper. They sell to the Marine trades, so they have a similarly high 'floor' of quality. But unlike West, and often Fisheries, they don't just sell the most expensive version of everything. For instance with epoxy - I recall Fisheries only carries West Systems and Silver Tip, and they had a pretty limited selection of matt/roving, which they want you to buy in whole sheets/rolls. SeaMar carries silvertip, but also a cheaper industrial brand, and a better cloth selection which they'll cut.

They also have a much better selection of actual hardware - like in fittings they have bronze, stainless, (I think also galvanized?) and schedule 80 PVC, from 1/2" to 3". Fisheries has a much narrower selection, mostly only in bronze.

They also have an extensive section of hydraulic and diesel engine parts. Don't think Fisheries has any.

Sailing specific stuff is the one place Fisheries shines, though, for sure - SeaMar won't have a cheek block and 200' of unobtanium no-stretch polyfilament supr-braid and a hand-rubbed bronze oarlock of the English Rowing Launch Style. 

And of course, if you want to pay $120 for  teak salt shaker, Fisheries is the spot.

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Seattle Marine is great if you're local but their website is, uh, clunky. Fisheries seems better set up for ecommerce.

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West Marine and Defender are pretty much all that is left for retail in my area.  I try to buy at least some stuff at my local WM every year, if for no other reason than I want them to stay in business.  Sometimes, you just need a part/thing/tube/jug, etc.  Like most of you, I've had mixed success finding expert help at the store.  Recently, it's been a little better.  Not good, but better.  

WM pricing is a total crapshoot.  There have been times when WM has a competitive price, and time when they are way high out of the ballpark.  Example:  a few years ago I needed a replacement tiller.  Defender price: $74.  WM price: $115.  Exact same item.  But, when I went to buy a battery charger this spring, WM had the best price on the web, beating Defender and a couple of other places I checked.  Go figure. 

And my kids still buy me WM gift certificates, so I'm still ordering stuff from them regardless.  Of course, when the kids were little, I was really paying for the gift certificates myself; but now that they're adults, they really are gifts!  So do I really care that the pelican hook I just got from WM using the gift certificate was about 15% pricier than Defender?  Nope.  It was really a gift!

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

Seattle Marine is great if you're local but their website is, uh, clunky. Fisheries seems better set up for ecommerce.

True. Personally though, I feel like customer service is worth as much as the ease of navigating the site sometimes, and I've had good experiences with SeaMar on that. Again, not so much fisheries - both in person and over the phone it seems like a crapshoot whether you get someone helpful or just mind-bendingly slow/unhelpful. Maybe that way everywhere though, and my experience just reflects my luck.

On the customer service front it's also worth noting that Defender has definitely won my online business, too, to the point where I won't even look at Amazon or other boat sites. Last time I was on the hard they bumped my shipping to second day (on a twenty pound package!) for free when I mentioned I was on a yard schedule, on top of being knowledgeable and easy to get ahold of.

 

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5 hours ago, IStream said:

At this point, I basically avoid most 3rd party sellers on Amazon.

Stupid question.   Why?   

Thanks in advance.

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I’ve had no problem finding anything I need at Defender. I also emailed a special hardware order directly to Holt Allen in England. Boom! I got a reply in less than 20 minutes. Shipped same day. Ten days later it’s on my doorstep in the US.

 

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I ordered some Lewmar stuff from Sound Boatworks. Going on 5 weeks now, still nothing. The said Lewmar is unresponsive.

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21 hours ago, Hukilau said:

West Marine and Defender are pretty much all that is left for retail in my area.  I try to buy at least some stuff at my local WM every year, if for no other reason than I want them to stay in business.  Sometimes, you just need a part/thing/tube/jug, etc.  Like most of you, I've had mixed success finding expert help at the store.  Recently, it's been a little better.  Not good, but better.  

WM pricing is a total crapshoot.  There have been times when WM has a competitive price, and time when they are way high out of the ballpark.  Example:  a few years ago I needed a replacement tiller.  Defender price: $74.  WM price: $115.  Exact same item.  But, when I went to buy a battery charger this spring, WM had the best price on the web, beating Defender and a couple of other places I checked.  Go figure. 

And my kids still buy me WM gift certificates, so I'm still ordering stuff from them regardless.  Of course, when the kids were little, I was really paying for the gift certificates myself; but now that they're adults, they really are gifts!  So do I really care that the pelican hook I just got from WM using the gift certificate was about 15% pricier than Defender?  Nope.  It was really a gift!

Keep in mind WM does price match. I needed a charger in a hurry, expressed disappointment in store about how they were $20 more expensive than amazon - just had to show them my amazon account - I would assume they will match Defender as well. You just have to ask.

My experience was at WM Lousville TX. Although I am a cheap bastard, I dont haggle over a dollar here or there. I also left my wallet at the store and they called me after checking my id and found my business cards. Guy who found it wasnt there when I got back, but I did leave a $20 tip as thanks. Saved me 2 hrs driving + gas etc, because they called me early enough.

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Every time one of these West Marine bashing thread comes around, I'm very grateful the we still have Fisheries Supply in Seattle, especially as it is less than a mile from my dock.

 

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bought some plastic cleats or my dock from local WM - all they had in the store, but needed 5 more. Can't ship to the store says the website. Mail order only. 2 week delivery anticipation. That was 2 months ago. Was in last weekend. They were back in stock.

Go figger.

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On 8/25/2020 at 8:08 AM, IStream said:

At this point, I basically avoid most 3rd party sellers on Amazon.

I believe Amazon should be required to state where an item ships from.

Drop-shipping from China means you wait until the container is full, then wait for it to transit the Pacific at 13 knots.

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4 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

I believe Amazon should be required to state where an item ships from.

Drop-shipping from China means you wait until the container is full, then wait for it to transit the Pacific at 13 knots.

You usually can see the expected arrival time. If it is something like 2 weeks it can easily be 1 week or 6 :rolleyes:

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On 8/11/2020 at 7:53 AM, sailwriter said:

After retiring from St. Pete Yacht Club I applied at the local West Marine. Interviewed with the lady manager and a guy whom I'd seen there for quite a while. 

Not many boating questions. Reading from a form she asked, "What is a grunion?" Surpressing a smile, I said that a grunion is a small fish that swarms a California beach. If you mean gudgeon, it is .........

Never heard back. One of the employees told me privately that the manager was saying I was "over qualified." Doesn't take much, I guess.

 

 
 
 
gudg·eon1
/ˈɡəjən/
See definitions in:
 
 
Fish
 
 
noun
  1. 1.
    a small edible European freshwater fish, often used as bait by anglers.

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Probably well known, but if not, joining the RBAW for $25 a year sets you up with a decent discount at Fisheries Supply. Also, pulling up the Fisheries website with your discount when time, place, or inventory issues puts you at West Marine works for a good price match. Used to be crazy convenient at the Shilshole West Marine.

 

I was impressed that the West Marine store in Anacortes seemed to have one Rocna in stock in apparently every size, which worked out perfectly for me last month.

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Fisheries club discounts were really good 5 years ago. Now it’s normally around 5%. Still nice to have but not the 20% that I used to often see. 

I know a lot of people were abusing it for a while and it went downhill. 

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Alex, how were the accounts being abused at Fisheries?  Buying stuff for friends?  You'd think any greater volume would be appreciated.  The NW Multihull Club gets a discount for our $60 membership. 

I was always impressed with the owner.  In the early 80's I was a faceless Lightning racer at the Shilshole dry storage where he kept an Etchells.  I simply introduced myself at the hoist one Thursday night and he set me up with a nice discount to refit my old boat.  I shop there when I can.

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On 8/27/2020 at 10:57 PM, Somebody Else said:

I believe Amazon should be required to state where an item ships from.

 

I talked to a support person at the big A and asked how do I tell where a product is manufactured? They said, it is not required by Amazon.

I said, Please tell Jeff Bezos, he has made enough money and he should care about his customers a bit more.

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West Marine just denied me a price match with Fisheries with my logged in discount, and did Fisheries regular pricing instead. Hyper vigilant West Marine manager who can’t see past his nose.
 

Too bad Fisheries is being penny wise and pound foolish by limiting hours and being pickup only for Sundays.

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On 8/29/2020 at 9:17 AM, eric1207 said:

Alex, how were the accounts being abused at Fisheries?  Buying stuff for friends? 

This was 5+ years ago when it wasn’t tied to a personal account.  You’d check out and say “I’m a member of X club”.  I guess everyone started doing it, and then they started asking for club IDs and finally tied club pricing into personal accounts.

I agree that it’s a good store and I do most of my shopping there.  I’m a member of 4 clubs that get me discounts, but they don’t stack :)  

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Tested West Marine again on the Fisheries discounted price today with a different cashier. Still denied. I guess it is probably my fault since I mentioned it earlier in a thread with West Marine in the title. Impossible that West Marine wouldn’t read this thread. Guess they wanted to fire me as a customer.

 

Was only over a $1 discount this time, but I left the merchandise at the counter and went to Fisheries instead. I will now do everything I can to avoid West Marine. I suggest you support your local retailer, which thankfully for Seattle folks is Fisheries.

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I actually ordered new foul weather gear trousers direct from Gill, North America.  It was  product line that none of the big retailers deigned to carry.

I so so so wish Svendsens in Alameda was closer, but it's over an hours drive.

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In San Diego WM is my third option. The locally owned chandlery business is SD Marine Exchange which also happens to own the admittedly cruising oriented Pacific Marine Supply/Downwind Marine which is my first choice and even stocks a fair inventory of racing hardware. Not only are the prices competitive with WM, the people know their stuff and Downwind will order it if they don't have it and get it to you wherever you happen to be cruising, be it Tonga, the Marquesas or just up the coast in San Pedro. WM is strictly an apparel company. If you can't find it on the shelf yourself, give it up. The staff is friendly but clueless.

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On 8/30/2020 at 4:02 PM, Steve Lavigne said:

West Marine just denied me a price match with Fisheries with my logged in discount, and did Fisheries regular pricing instead. Hyper vigilant West Marine manager who can’t see past his nose.
 

Too bad Fisheries is being penny wise and pound foolish by limiting hours and being pickup only for Sundays.

Fisheries is a blessing for the PNW region.  

As a side note for Shilshole tenants, Seaview Boatyard has a decent little shop that has a fair bit of boat repair and maintenance items that they sell retail.  May cost a bit more (haven't checked), but saves you from driving to West Marine and gets you back on your project quicker.  

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39 minutes ago, kinardly said:

In San Diego WM is my third option. The locally owned chandlery business is SD Marine Exchange which also happens to own the admittedly cruising oriented Pacific Marine Supply/Downwind Marine which is my first choice and even stocks a fair inventory of racing hardware. Not only are the prices competitive with WM, the people know their stuff and Downwind will order it if they don't have it and get it to you wherever you happen to be cruising, be it Tonga, the Marquesas or just up the coast in San Pedro. WM is strictly an apparel company. If you can't find it on the shelf yourself, give it up. The staff is friendly but clueless.

Not only that, but WM blocks access from international hotels. Apparently guests at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands hotel are unworthy of WM. Good to know that if I'm sailing internationally, WM does not want my business at all. 

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7 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

Overseas commerce is fraught with fraud.

It's been used to dodge import taxes and other fees.

Probably more a matter of West Marine being too lazy to comply with the EU GPDR, which is related to those cookie notices you get on most websites, among other things.

 


 

West Marine does not ship any products, perform services or conduct any business in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

https://www.westmarine.com/CustomerService/International-Shopping

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I have been selling Marine Hardware for 33 years. In all that time there has been one constant when dealing with boat owners..... avoiding state sales taxes by planning their purchases accordingly. 
 

I deal with shipping overseas and all the problems and the  increasing amounts of staff time that happens many times after the sale and how that part of the business has increased over the decades. Marine hardware, except for clothing and electronics are far from a production item and are really “custom made parts” and not large volume production items. SourcIng raw material can be interesting without having to make a min order that lasts ten years worth of production.

I can understand where West Marine is coming from looking over their list of countries that they do not ship too. The cost of staff time alone can make a under $500.00 export order a break even or a loss many times. As staff time costs go up along with the cost of the parts themselves you really are trying to break eve and get an owner the repair parts they need more as a public relations service. Many times I have had an order for a $10.00 repair part that by the time it is delivered  has $300.00 plus in shipping charges to many out of the way places. I am now seeing more countries just take the invoice that goes with an order and charge that amount as import taxes. Less staff time on their end.

West’s closing of their Canadian outlets came as no surprise, as I have had easier times shipping repair parts into the middle of Africa then across the border into Canada. 
 

Just my two cents worth.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Professor Fate said:

I have been selling Marine Hardware for 33 years. In all that time there has been one constant when dealing with boat owners..... avoiding state sales taxes by planning their purchases accordingly. 
 

I deal with shipping overseas and all the problems and the  increasing amounts of staff time that happens many times after the sale and how that part of the business has increased over the decades. Marine hardware, except for clothing and electronics are far from a production item and are really “custom made parts” and not large volume production items. SourcIng raw material can be interesting without having to make a min order that lasts ten years worth of production.

I can understand where West Marine is coming from looking over their list of countries that they do not ship too. The cost of staff time alone can make a under $500.00 export order a break even or a loss many times. As staff time costs go up along with the cost of the parts themselves you really are trying to break eve and get an owner the repair parts they need more as a public relations service. Many times I have had an order for a $10.00 repair part that by the time it is delivered  has $300.00 plus in shipping charges to many out of the way places. I am now seeing more countries just take the invoice that goes with an order and charge that amount as import taxes. Less staff time on their end.

West’s closing of their Canadian outlets came as no surprise, as I have had easier times shipping repair parts into the middle of Africa then across the border into Canada. 
 

Just my two cents worth.

 

 

Our local WM store could not compete with the local chandler and other local marine suppliers.  Their pricing strategy was to simply convert their US prices into CAD and put the price sticker on the part.  We were all surprised it lasted as long as it did.  

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This is an unpopular opinion on this site, but always been very happy with the selection and knowledge of the two larger WM here. Sure, you can save a few bucks on some items by ordering online, but then my repair weekend is shot. Or I can drive over and buy it right  now and finish the job. I guess it depends on how you value your time.

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5 hours ago, Salona said:

This is an unpopular opinion on this site, but always been very happy with the selection and knowledge of the two larger WM here. Sure, you can save a few bucks on some items by ordering online, but then my repair weekend is shot. Or I can drive over and buy it right  now and finish the job. I guess it depends on how you value your time.

The marine-focused Ace hardware a few blocks from the WM by my boat has significantly lower prices and nearly comparable selection of actual sailing oriented gear. The owner, who often works the register, is usually happy to special order any sailing hardware that he doesn't stock. Early in the plague, when everything was shut down, he was able to get me some 10' genoa tracks. Everyone else quoted a shipping fee that exceeded the cost of the tracks due to the excessive size.

Over the last six months of boat work, I've placed a handful of online orders but I've probably averaged more than one local purchase per week over the same period.

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11 hours ago, Salona said:

This is an unpopular opinion on this site, but always been very happy with the selection and knowledge of the two larger WM here. Sure, you can save a few bucks on some items by ordering online, but then my repair weekend is shot. Or I can drive over and buy it right  now and finish the job. I guess it depends on how you value your time.

I've found the flagship stores (and those with rig shops in them) have a few staff with a higher degree of product knowledge than your average store. 

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16 hours ago, Salona said:

This is an unpopular opinion on this site, but always been very happy with the selection and knowledge of the two larger WM here. Sure, you can save a few bucks on some items by ordering online, but then my repair weekend is shot. Or I can drive over and buy it right  now and finish the job. I guess it depends on how you value your time.

The Annapolis WM is about as sailor-friendly as they get and bonus - not too far from Fawcett's - so what one is out of the other probably has. The one here on the island has friendly kids from the island working the store that in the past would get whatever you needed shipped in. Like I said, every day they have less stuff and apparently no plans to get any more of it.

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Last week I was looking for some Performance Epoxy bottom paint. Prices were all over the map. Tried boatplicity.com because they were far cheaper than any place else I could find, even Defender, my usual mail order paint store for stuff I cannot buy from Fisheries. Ordered Thursday, arrived today, Monday. Fresh batch (if I interpreted the mfg stamp correctly) and in perfect shape. Never bought anything from them before, never heard of them before, but in these covid times, so far, so good.

 

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we are a repair shop whose primary business is taking  care of sailboats and whatever else interests us. 
 

Once in a while my best option is to order from Port Supply aka West Marine Pro

We try to stock everything we might use in the next three months or are certain we will use sometime.

We have what the locals call the super secret store which is basically the part of our stockroom where new stuff sits on some shelving I bought when a local West Marine store closed. 
We stock spools of line covering most commonly used lines on boats up to about 35 feet and items like Harken 150 cleats ( new and rebuilt) that  sailors need “today” to make the boat work. 
 

As we do not have somebody there for set store hours, we can charge less but it is often difficult to do business with us because we are down at a marina rigging, launching, or hauling....

or maybe we just left to go have a long lunch with a favorite customer. ( the person who buys us lunch is a favorite customer) 

It is a three hour round trip to West Marine and evening Amazon means at least tomorrow.   Stopping at our place risks an hour going over “that damned freaky wind shift that allowed Jerkface to win last week.”

or we may spend half an hour helping the person figure out why the hardware he wanted to buy was the wrong damned stuff and way more expensive than something that will actually work. 
 

Sometimes we call the trusted expert At my favorite supplier and have him explain what we ought to order. It shows up the next day. 

We also have various leftover parts from about 50 dead sailboats we have taken to the dump. I just can’t bring myself to throw away a functioning  Doohickey that was once a state of the art very expensive Christmas addition to some old sailor’s toy collection. 
    
 

We tend to sell something every day. 
It  is a VERY good thing our business model treats money from the store as totally unexpected  funds. 

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West Marine was bought by a private equity firm about 3 years ago. They’ve gone through like three CEOs in three years and they have probably taken out a ton of cost and that’s one of the reasons we are experiencing such difficulty getting products from them. I still buy from them sometimes because they are an American company and would prefer to buy from an American company. And they will price match. But this year when I talked to their customer service about why my $1K dinghy took a month to ship they said they are having difficulty getting people to come to work with Covid. Perhaps they cut costs enough so it’s not worth it for the people to work there. Credit to them, the employees I have dealt with do their best to help.

(Full disclosure, I hate the private equity model and had a business I was running bought out from under me and it was a bad experience. PE, while it has a place, has done more to destroy American businesses and move jobs overseas than just about any other force.)

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What was the name of WM's competitor that closed down 10 years or so ago, it was Boaters World or something like that right? I seem to remember it catered mostly to powerboaters and the similar lifestyle. Why did they ever close down?

 

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18 minutes ago, RImike said:

What was the name of WM's competitor that closed down 10 years or so ago, it was Boaters World or something like that right? I seem to remember it catered mostly to powerboaters and the similar lifestyle. Why did they ever close down?

 

Boater’s World, owned by Ritz Camera, was mostly for powerboaters. A majority of their stores closed when Ritz went bankrupt. 

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On 9/21/2020 at 12:12 AM, apophenia said:

The marine-focused Ace hardware a few blocks from the WM by my boat has significantly lower prices and nearly comparable selection of actual sailing oriented gear. The owner, who often works the register, is usually happy to special order any sailing hardware that he doesn't stock. Early in the plague, when everything was shut down, he was able to get me some 10' genoa tracks. Everyone else quoted a shipping fee that exceeded the cost of the tracks due to the excessive size.

Over the last six months of boat work, I've placed a handful of online orders but I've probably averaged more than one local purchase per week over the same period.

That's Whale Point Ace over in Richmond, CA, right? Great place and a great business.

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