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Old 19-08-2015, 03:09   #1
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SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Let it be known, San Francisco and the Bay Area really sux when it comes to boat parts and service!

If I would have tried to restored my boat here in the Bay Area, I would have given up. It is so hard to find even the simplest items here. It seems everything I want here is not in stock or just plane not available. I have to order everything on line or special order it thru the local marine supply. This is a list of just a few items I've had to order, which in the Seattle area I could have bought right off the shelf in, no more then, two different marine supplies.

5/8" SS wire thimbles
Interlux Brightsides yellow paint
#8 X 5/8" FH Philips SS wood screws
90 degree NMEA 2000 fitting
7/16" Crosby anchor shackles
Nautical chart of Hawaii
West system catalyst #207
#8 screw buss bars

I actually had better luck at a second-hand consignment store, the Blue Pelican.

And marine grade wood can only be found in bulk. You have to buy a whole plank and pay to have it cut, or cut it yourself. Nothing is precut. And there is only one place, in Berkley, to get it.

And the yards here will drag you across the coals. If you don't buy the paint from their store, at their high prices, they will charge you extra on your final yard bill.

So sailers beware.
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Old 19-08-2015, 09:22   #2
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Have to agree Del. San Diego is much better. You might find the items you are looking for in Alameda.
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Old 19-08-2015, 09:32   #3
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Yeah! Alameda is the best but even Svendsen's is lacking inventory. Their shelves have lots of empty spots. Most of their inventory it to support the yard work.
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:40   #4
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Fisheries Supply in Seattle is my go to place. Shipping would be a hassle/cost. But their inventory is wide (recreational and commercial boats). Prices are just about as good as anywhere. It does suck when you can't get routine parts easily. West Marine is not much help these days. But I am used to going to three or four stores or online to get a lot of stuff. Just the nature of the beast.
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:57   #5
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Yeah, it really is lame. I've spent the last 37 years sailing here trying to find a left handed dimwit dwarf bowling pin for my forestay backstay and can't seem to find one, even in WM. Who woulda thunk things are so third world?

OK, OK, now I'll take a Steady Hand approach:

This is meant in all fairness and in a helpful manner.

How long were you looking?

Where did you look?

Did you find anything online that you couldn't find here? That is, did you exhaust all your avenues for locating resources?

Did you talk to any local sailors during your searches?

Did you try, for example, wood shops instead of marine stores for those wood screws?

Are you aware that nautical charts can be provided on-demand, most are no longer stocked?

Did you try electrical shops for buss bars?

I have found that just about everything I need I can find here. And you're right, Blue Pelican, which happens to be right in my own marina, is a fine resource. I'm somewhat confused - you found it there, so why the beef?

In many cases, asking first helps.

Welcome to The Bay Area.
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Old 19-08-2015, 12:05   #6
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Fisheries Supply in Seattle is my go to place. Shipping would be a hassle/cost. But their inventory is wide (recreational and commercial boats). Prices are just about as good as anywhere. It does suck when you can't get routine parts easily. West Marine is not much help these days. But I am used to going to three or four stores or online to get a lot of stuff. Just the nature of the beast.
Fisheries supply was one of my main sources. I've spent $1000's there and I do miss it. I recently ordered a pump diaphragm from them b/c it cost more to order it from a local supplier.

Harbor Marine up in Everett was my other go to place. Most everything plumbing and below the waterline was off the shelf, there.
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Old 19-08-2015, 12:17   #7
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Let it be known, San Francisco and the Bay Area really sux when it comes to boat parts and service!

snip...
Well, this is because we're always out sailing!!

I have to agree that after spending the first 6 months with my boat in San Diego, and then a couple of weeks in Santa Barbara (which I found very difficult to get anything done), I think the San Francisco Bay area is somewhere in between. But ask around next time you get frustrated....ya never know what kinds of secret stashes or obscure mom/pop shops we could tell you about.
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Old 19-08-2015, 12:44   #8
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Yeah, it really is lame. I've spent the last 37 years sailing here trying to find a left handed dimwit dwarf bowling pin for my forestay backstay and can't seem to find one, even in WM. Who woulda thunk things are so third world?

OK, OK, now I'll take a Steady Hand approach:

This is meant in all fairness and in a helpful manner.

How long were you looking?
many ,many phone calls, if I could get someone comfindent on the phone. And to drive would take 3/4 to 1-1/2 hours just to get to to the Alameda/waterfront areas, and then back.

Where did you look?
all over the Bay Area and even Sacramento

Did you find anything online that you couldn't find here? That is, did you exhaust all your avenues for locating resources?
as above I had to order most of what I needed. And wood, one can not order 8' strips or paneling and get it shipped to resididents. Once I called West Marine in Concord asking about 5/16" anchor chain. I dove there after they said they had it. I got there and they said "sorry I made a mistake!

Did you talk to any local sailors during your searches?
I hardly know anyone here, the marinas I've been at are basically ghost towns.

Did you try, for example, wood shops instead of marine stores for those wood screws? The Bay Area wood suppliers are geared up for home improvement, not marine. I had the best luck at lowe's for fasteners.

Are you aware that nautical charts can be provided on-demand, most are no longer stocked?
Again Fisheries Supply use to have that stuff in stock.

Did you try electrical shops for buss bars?
they were not marine grade.

I have found that just about everything I need I can find here. And you're right, Blue Pelican, which happens to be right in my own marina, is a fine resource. I'm somewhat confused - you found it there, so why the beef?
Only a couple items that I wasn't looking for at the time, just happen to be there.

In many cases, asking first helps.

Welcome to The Bay Area.
Thanks, but I'll be leaving soon
I really don't think the Bay Area is boater friendly. SF seems to be more in to social events. And the weather is one extreme or the other with few real nice days in between.
As a boater, I really liked the Seattle area and the cold and wet was fine in my youth but it was time to leave in these older years.
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Old 19-08-2015, 13:09   #9
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

SF turned its back on the waterfront years ago. Sorry you had such a bad experience. A WM went in near South Beach, only lasted a few years. There are no marine stores left in SF proper.

Fasteners? Paganos Hardware in Alameda has the very best assortment of ss fasteners short of McMaster Carr. It's many of our skippers' favorite marine store! I go there before WM.

The Outboard Motor Shop in Oakland has a lot of material, too.

Unfortunately, stocking stuff seems to have gone out with the dodo bird, in marine as well as almost everything else in life.

Thanks to this internet thingy for that!

If there's anything else you need before you leave, let us know. Like gamayun said, maybe we can help.

Good luck.
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Old 19-08-2015, 13:32   #10
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

I have no idea where Port Supply is but they always seemed to have the stuff next day.
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Old 19-08-2015, 13:43   #11
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

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I have no idea where Port Supply is but they always seemed to have the stuff next day.
"Port Supply" is the wholesale arm of West Marine generally serving only tradesmen working in the industry.
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Old 19-08-2015, 13:47   #12
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

Haven't been in the Alameda area for five years but used to be able to find most everything at Svendsons, Paganos, even West Marine. Between the three places could usually get what I needed but did put a few miles on the Bike Friday riding around between them to find stuff in stock. Svendsons chandlery was going through a bit of turmoil back in '10. Seems like they had an almost 100% turnover in staff that year. Did that carry forward into poor inventory control??

When I had to come back to the Bay to do repairs on my Transom after the first aborted sail to Kona, ended up in Sausalito. Seems the boat workers there used Svendsons as their prime source even though it was across the Bay. Believe Svendsons sent a truck over with orders on a regular basis. Guess looking farther afield than Alameda probably won't solve the problem.

Living at the end of the world, have gotten used to nothing be in stock. It it wasn't for flat rate postage from USPO, it would be pretty grim to do boat work here. There are two chandleries here so fasteners and stuff that's also power boat related can be found, at least. Didn't know there were lumber yards that would sell boards cut to spec. unless it was random width 6' minimum length.
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Old 19-08-2015, 13:58   #13
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

For rigging you have to go to Svendsons rigging shop across the lane from the store. Only place in town for rigging.
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Old 19-08-2015, 14:02   #14
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

I'm surprised you couldn't find the West Epoxy 207 hardener. Every West Marine store I've been to, even the small ones, had all the epoxies on the shelf.

Regardless, I feel no sympathy. I live in Florida and have to drive two hours just to get to a West Marine or any kind of marine store at all. If they don't sell it at Home Depot or Ace Hardware I have to order it. The UPS guy knows me well. I've ordered so much from Defender they're going to put my photo up on the wall.

Even if you're having trouble getting boat stuff, SF is a very cool town. You could broke down in some third world rat hole looking for parts and not even have a nice place to go out to dinner.
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Old 19-08-2015, 14:18   #15
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Re: SF is Unbelievably Lame!!!!

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For rigging you have to go to Svendsons rigging shop across the lane from the store. Only place in town for rigging.
I'm sure the 5 or 6 other rigging shops in the Bay area would not agree with you.
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