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Old 01-11-2012, 16:52   #61
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

same stuff different packaging..lol
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Old 01-11-2012, 17:13   #62
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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same stuff different packaging..lol
Not always. Not by a long shot.

Must be careful.

There is a thread about that somewhere.
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Old 01-11-2012, 17:48   #63
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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Not always. Not by a long shot.

Must be careful.

There is a thread about that somewhere.
I don't know about that. All the "reputable" dealers still sell copper electrical wire that isn't tinned. They sell the same crimp wire connectors that you can buy at any hardware or automotive store. The only difference is the price.

Yes, you are right, you have to be careful, but not only about what you are buying but also where you are buying it from. A chandlery is no guarantee that you are getting the best value for your money.
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Old 01-11-2012, 17:50   #64
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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One technique I have learned through much trial and error is to stop, think, and ponder. ...
I always get that wrong! I usually stop thinking, and pound! Get a bigger hammer!

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Old 01-11-2012, 18:00   #65
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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I don't know about that. All the "reputable" dealers still sell copper electrical wire that isn't tinned. They sell the same crimp wire connectors that you can buy at any hardware or automotive store. The only difference is the price.

Yes, you are right, you have to be careful, but not only about what you are buying but also where you are buying it from. A chandlery is no guarantee that you are getting the best value for your money.
I think you're paying for the convenience of having everything you need in one place, and assurance (but not guarantee) that the part is the right one for the application. The white fire extinguisher might be the same as the red one, but then it might not be.

Given all the weird galvanic and grounding effects that go on in a boat, I can see that people would want to buy wiring in the Marine store, even if they are 90% sure the same wire is available at Ace Hardware. Being close to the marina and providing "experts" in boating and boat equipment saves travel expense and (hopefully) reduces the costs of trial and error.

Maybe everyone doesn't need that assurance and convenience, but some people I'm sure are willing to pay the price to get it.

There are a lot of engineers in this group with surprising knowledge of metallurgy, electronics, circuitry, physics, hydrodynamics, etc... I have a vision of myself in the future posting a lot of stupid questions before I start making repairs - even questions I THINK I already know the answer to!
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:06   #66
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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Not always. Not by a long shot.

Must be careful.

There is a thread about that somewhere.
Sorry, this was easier than editing.

I just picked up some 3/16 1x19 304 SS wire today (made in the US) from a local supplier. $0.60/foot. West Marine forwards you to ALPS wire rope for the same thing. $2.79/foot plus shipping.

Correct me if I'm wrong but all 3/16 304 SS is to be made to the same spec. We're not talking a few cents difference here.

I'm not arguing the point but there has to be some reason.
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:09   #67
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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Sorry, this was easier than editing.

I just picked up some 3/16 1x19 304 SS wire today (made in the US) from a local supplier. $0.60/foot. West Marine forwards you to ALPS wire rope for the same thing. $2.79/foot plus shipping.

Correct me if I'm wrong but all 3/16 304 SS is to be made to the same spec. We're not talking a few cents difference here.

I'm not arguing the point but there has to be some reason.
The reason is that Joe Motorboater doesn't know what 3/15 1x19 304 SS wire is. All he knows is that it's the wire that makes his beer cooler work.
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:10   #68
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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The reason is that Joe Motorboater doesn't know what 3/15 1x19 304 SS wire is. All he knows is that it's the wire that makes his beer cooler work.
No it doesn't. It keeps his mast in the air. Of course, Joe wouldn't have one of those.
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:13   #69
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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No it doesn't. It keeps his mast in the air. Of course, Joe wouldn't have one of those.
Oops, I guess you all now know my RL identity
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:16   #70
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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Oops, I guess you all now know my RL identity
Quite alright.
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:22   #71
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

There are certain things you have to buy marine--bottom paint for example. Though even there you can certainly shop around and save $hundreds on a bottom job. But many, many things can be purchased at a hardware store, WalMart, or an auto parts store, and you will be getting the same quality, and often the exact same product, but with a different label. For example, there is absolutely no difference between the starting batteries you can buy anywhere--I'm talking starting batteries, not deep cycle. Chances are the ones in the marine store are made by the same company and are identical to the ones you can buy at the discount store, only half the price. I buy mine at WalMart because they are everywhere, and they have a great return policy. As I said earlier, the Sam's Club golf cart batteries are exactly the same brand as the ones sold at West Marine. They are identical, except for the price and the label. Some things are different, but seem to perform just as well, like WalMart brand 2-stroke oil. Half the price of the fancy marine brands, yet seems to perform just as well in my decades of use. Marine stuff varies greatly in price too. You can download every official NOAA chart for free, and you can download a free PC program like OpenCpn, or you can purchase a dedicated marine chart plotter for a lot of $$ and then pay more for the charts, and then keep paying when the stuff breaks down or becomes outdated. You makes your choice, but IMHO you don't gain any functional difference there, except for some bells and whistles.
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:31   #72
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
I think you're paying for the convenience of having everything you need in one place, and assurance (but not guarantee) that the part is the right one for the application. The white fire extinguisher might be the same as the red one, but then it might not be.

Given all the weird galvanic and grounding effects that go on in a boat, I can see that people would want to buy wiring in the Marine store, even if they are 90% sure the same wire is available at Ace Hardware. Being close to the marina and providing "experts" in boating and boat equipment saves travel expense and (hopefully) reduces the costs of trial and error.

Maybe everyone doesn't need that assurance and convenience, but some people I'm sure are willing to pay the price to get it.

There are a lot of engineers in this group with surprising knowledge of metallurgy, electronics, circuitry, physics, hydrodynamics, etc... I have a vision of myself in the future posting a lot of stupid questions before I start making repairs - even questions I THINK I already know the answer to!
The problem with this is that if you don't know your application and what is required, you will always be at the mercy of "the experts". We live in the most incredible information deluge that the world has ever seen.

This is a plus and a minus. The plus is that most of the world's information is at your fingertips. The minus is that most of the world's information is at your fingertips. You need to know how to sort.
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Old 01-11-2012, 19:24   #73
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

bottom paint by comex(mexico) works just as well as bottom paint for 100 dollars per gallon more from petit.
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Old 01-11-2012, 20:02   #74
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

Not sure it matters ... despite always trying to keep our maintenance costs low for our almost 30 year old Passport 37 sloop, there always seems to be something. One of the best things we did to keep maintenance costs low was LEAVE the US. When we're here, we "need" our old leaky canvas replaced, when we were in 3rd world countries where it couldn't be replaced easily, we merely added more whatever -- one year even Thompson's Waterseal because that was all we could get -- and lived with the leaks. Out cruising we spent much less on maintenance, not necessarily because things were cheaper, although sometimes they were, but because we were willing to compromise. Now that we're back in SW Florida, maintenance costs are astronomical -- year one, a new dodger & bimini, year two all kinds of stuff -- and now, beginning of year three, new bottom paint (last time we hauled was Panama in 2008 and we used Sea Hawk Islands 44 bottom paint -- which has lasted well until now in 2012) but we'll pay more here for lousy paint than we did in Panama for paint that lasts. My latest soapbox is that the paint we used in Panama is legal in the US for boats over 235 feet, but not for my 37 footer ... guess more paint with tin is better for the environment than us little boats... OK, too much vino, need to quit the soapbox. My advice -- go cruising. If nothing else, it's a whole lot more FUN!
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Old 01-11-2012, 21:06   #75
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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I always wonder about this sort of thing.

. The galvanized chain used for between poles in a playground is the same as the one you use for your anchor ( just 3x the price).

Everyone seems to say,"Oh yeah. It's marine. Small audience, big R&D." and that may be true for refrigerators and watermakers, but anchor chain, propane stoves, ballcock valves, etc. Really?
Well, Frank, while I agree with some of your examples and those posted by others as well, let's not get carried away here! The chain that is garlanded along park pathways is NOT the same as proper anchor chain, the propane stoves for RV's (I think this is what you refer to here) don't have thermocouple shutoff valves for when the flame blows out, the ballcock valves may well be common brass instead of bronze and so on.

One really needs to be knowledgeable before substituting non-marine items into a marine environment, for very bad results can be around the corner.

Cheers,

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