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Old 13-06-2007, 17:47   #1
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Florida Poll

Posted on the SSCA board by Jack Tyler

Any actions taken by the State of Florida to be 'cruising boat friendly' will in part need to rest on Florida understanding that there is a significant level of cruising taking place in Florida waters. One of the primary departments chartered to gather info and consider approaches in support of boating needs in Florida is Florida's Fish & Wildlife. And currently, their view seems to be that we represent a very small level of use.

They are now conducting an on-line survey to measure the kinds of use boaters make of Florida waters. You'll find it at Florida Boater Panel -- Websurveyor It took me 4 minutes to complete; they invite us to specifically reference 'cruising' use.

As the SSCA continues to push feedback at FF&W (and other FL agencies) from a cruising perspective, and as we prepare to make an innovative proposal to address berthing needs by cruising boats - for both out of state and in-state vessels - it's going to be very helpful if the very organization we have to address (FW&W) sees our usage level represented in their survey.

Please pass the word on the docks and in the anchorages...and thanks for your support.

Florida Boater Panel -- Websurveyor

Jack
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Old 14-06-2007, 05:37   #2
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Chuck (or Jack from the Florida Boater Panel);

I filled out the very detailed survey and then eargerly printed out the "$20 discount" coupon offered by West Marine as a reward for participating in the survey.

Ack! The coupon has an expiration date of May 31, 2007. Well, phooey! I had planed on making a fairly large purchase at West Marine today. I'll show the coupon to the clerk and see if they will honor it. Stay tuned.
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Old 14-06-2007, 11:35   #3
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Didn't know about the Worst Marine coupon. Posted this so those that do cruise the waters of Floriduh or plan to in the future might have a bit of a voice when it comes to legislating boating practices.
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Old 15-06-2007, 04:50   #4
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Expired coupon up-date;

I took the coupon to my local West Marine store and they honored it. All of my pyro's had expired and had to be replaced, I had to get a new Reed's Almanac, a new air horn, etc. There were (there always are) some odds and ends that needed to be purchased. I exceeded their $100 minimum and the West Marine store manager took $20 off my total purchase. No hassle. No sweat.

There is a lot of West Marine "bashing" on the various boating forums mainly related to West's higher prices. Folks forget that the purpose of a retailer in a market economy is to provide "time and place convenience." In exchange for "time and place convenience" people should expect to pay a higher price and the retailer should be allowed to make a profit.

I have found West Marine very liberal in their coupon policy and their exchange policy regarding defective or failed items. In short, I'm very glad there is a West Marine store convenient to my home port. I like 'em.

Just my two cents.
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Old 19-08-2007, 09:03   #5
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There is a lot of West Marine "bashing" on the various boating forums mainly related to West's higher prices. Folks forget that the purpose of a retailer in a market economy is to provide "time and place convenience." In exchange for "time and place convenience" people should expect to pay a higher price and the retailer should be allowed to make a profit.

wal mart is everywhere and i don't have to pay a month's pension to buy compound and wax and Woody's to make my POS look good!
they are HUGE and have an emmense buying power(WM) this is much like walmart. though WM's prices are not what i consider competitive. they figure boat owners are rich, and don't care to pay these sometimes ridiculous prices to get what they want.
just my humble opinion...
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Old 19-08-2007, 19:41   #6
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Okay - I filled it out. Thanks for letting us know about this site, it is really important for FL to understand the mutual benefits gained by being boater-friendly.

Bearphish - keep in mind that comparing West Marine to WalMart just doesn't work. Yes, they are both in retail, and West Marine is the biggest in the "Marine Store" category, but WalMart is just ginormous. They serve a much bigger demographic. I am fairly sure that manufacturers like Woody Wax, would dump West Marine in a heartbeat if offered the opportunity to sell through WalMart.
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Old 19-08-2007, 21:22   #7
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fair enough tabby, but i know west marine has a little more profit margin than your average ship's store, i 've worked in refit and been cut countless deals that put WM's prices to shame. this is not just because i was a nice guy...it was a yard courtesy. the margin is huge anyway. if they would just come down on the little basic stuff that we all know should'nt cost as much, such as zincs and stainless hardware(all the upkeep stuff that we have to purchase), it may keep us coming back for the things we don't really need. although a coupon for a good cause is definetly a step in the right direction...
i may contact you soon about some ins. tabby

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Old 19-08-2007, 21:36   #8
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Hope it does some good

Did not take too long.

My coupons are for Nov 07 should help with the standing rigging
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Old 20-08-2007, 01:07   #9
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Wal-Mart sales ($351,139 Million) are over 5,000 times those of West Marine ($682.4 million). Not much comparison between the world’s largest corporation, & the largest recreational marine retailer.

West Marine reported first quarter 2007 net losses of $11.2 million, only slightly better than the previous year quarter, in which the company lost $11.9 million.
Going into 2007, West Marine closed 28 stores across the country.
Goto:
West Marine Reports First Quarter 2007 Operating Results. | Business solutions from AllBusiness.com
and:
West Marine reports 6.3 per cent lower sales for Q2, but net income rose 42 per cent

From the Fortune “Global 500": Fortune 500 Companies, Global Edition 2007 - World's Largest Companies
1. Wal-Mart Stores
2. Exxon Mobil
3. Royal Dutch Shell
4. BP
5. General Motors
6. Toyota Motor
7. Chevron
8. DaimlerChrysler
9. ConocoPhillips
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Old 20-08-2007, 06:50   #10
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alright,alright.. i get the whole West Marine is not as big as walmart thing, i guess i was trying to make the point that west is the "wal-mart" of ships stores, in MY opinion, and therefore SHOULD be able to pass on the value of their buying power. i don't know why i was able to get such good deals on supplies and refit equipment from a "podunk" yard store that is still in business to this day, in West Palm Beach of all inflated places, and pay 1 1/2 times as much for some things at West.
all of this is just opinion, and certainly didn't mean to go so far off the thread here. i sometimes feel i have to VENT my occasional West frustration... apologies for getting off base here, chuck!
your sauce is on the way tomorrow, gord.
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Old 27-08-2007, 00:54   #11
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Comparators

You're right, Bearphish, West Marine *could* pass on some of those savings. They've chosen not to. (Oh, and Gord, 500x, not 5000x.)

WestMarine does not have the economic clout to force lower prices that Walmart has, however it has an enviable market position which beats Sam Walton all hollow: it has no equivalent market competitor. Where I am located there are quite literally dozens of small-time chandleries, and all appear to be barely surviving primarily through the good graces of Fisheries Supply in Seattle. But I'm blessed to be in the PNW where there is still a fishing fleet, however degraded, and very active commercial repair and maintenance yards. Still they cannot long compete with an international chain of boatiques sucking up all the industry like a krill factory boat.

I like well-lit stores with nicely stocked shelves where I can easily and quickly find what I'm looking for as much as the next boater, but not more than I like being able to cruise longer/farther because I have money left over after getting the boat maintenance done.
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Old 05-09-2007, 16:03   #12
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Worst Marine

I rarely buy from Worst Marine any more. They chased me away with high prices years ago. I found out my local Chandlery could beat most of their prices and I would gladly pay more to have someone who actually knew something about boat maintenance wait on me instead of "would be" cruisers and kids in West Marine.

West Marine was a predictable business failure. They used all their cash from going public to wildly expand and they bought up all their competitors and then needed cash to keep them going (most of the stores I have been in--about 10 on my trip down West Coast and up East Coast--seem overstaffed with folks who seem to have marginal knowledge--, but they failed to focus on a value proposition for their customers and just focused on their bean counting---a common problem in US business. I used to buy from Randy Repass in Mountain View when West Marine was West Coast Ropes (no kidding) and was in a tin warehouse. Randy made a lot of money, but the investors got screwed.

Almost everyone has better prices at this point. It is a shame that it did not work.
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Old 14-11-2007, 21:35   #13
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Uh....having first hand knowledge of WM...I can tell you that they could make drastic cuts in their prices and still make a profit. Ask any employee about their "employee discount".....its "righteous"....and makes the shelf prices look totally usurious.

Since they bought BoatUS....and eliminated their primary competition....they have jacked up their prices substantially....

Heck....I can buy Trinidad bottom paint for $30 a gallon less than WM....at a Marina store.... go figure? Its called "greed"....under the guise of charging what the market will bear. They effectively lose millions of $$ in sales to on-line sellers and others because their prices are exorbitant. Convenience? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on what you are buying.
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Old 15-11-2007, 04:25   #14
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I thought this thread was about the current anti-cruising attitude in Florida . . .
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Old 15-11-2007, 05:59   #15
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Some people love to bash WM.... and jumps on it at every opportunity.. just give an opening.

No one is forced at gun point to use any supplier... WM main draw is the upscale locations they are located in... often in major shopping centers. Personally I prefer those located where boats are but far more trailerable boats out their than wet ones, and WM fits their needs for convenience. They also often have better qualified sales associates than some other "national" sources but generally still less than the local marina chandlery.

As far as Florida goes... I don't know of many locations outside the keys that think boating is a source of effective income for local businesses or governments. The perception is that what does exist are out of state registered boats that pay no Florida Taxes to support the state expenditure. With the greatly increasing property tax and insurance rates in Florida... do not expect any significant state sponsored marine facilities improvements in the near term... ain't gona happen and FF&W does not have the funds or influence to get them approved. If improvements are made they will have to come from business capital investments for the next few years or decades.
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