Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-09-2003, 16:18   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Gladwin Mi.
Posts: 148
Cheap ! A legend in it's own time!

As I stand alone,here , squalling my outlandish " YAWP" to the universrse, I wonder why ??
1. Why do normal, inconsequential items cost an arm and a leg if'in ya put " MARINE USE" on 'em ? I checked out a site for LED masthead lights, they wanted about 300 dollars for an all around anchor light. I searched on the internet, and found out that LEDs cost around 50 cents APIECE ! Add a resistor or two and yur maybe up ta 8 - 10 bucks a throw for a mast head light. What gives. I'll burn my hands a little, smell some rosin core solder, and think about what I'm doing for about 275 bucks !
2. Anchor chain. West Marine sells galvanized anchor chain for about 2 1/2 --- 3 bucks a foot. On other places on the internet it goes for a buck--- buck and a half a foot ! Makes me wonder !!!
3. Have we become so lazy , so rich, that we have become a group of people that thinking and doing is too much trouble ! Sailors, to me, seem to be the ultimate thinkers . Power boaters just shove a throttle forward and turn the wheel this-way-and-that ! A "SAILOR" has to think !!
The only question I'm really asking, I guess, is why has the do-it-youirself mentality so deserted the sailing crowd that normally intelligent people accept being monetarily raped and kiss the kazoo's of people that do it to them? GAD people. If your here, you are interested ina LOT more than shoving money at people that took an hour or two to LEARN something that is just as easy for you to learn !!
Gordmay, JeffH,Gisle, and the man who can buy anything, Irwinsailor. I'm curious folks, has standing back and applauding others cleverness gottin' to be such a pasttime that we will shortchange ourselves and our intellect to be a desciple of the " Instant Gratification" crowd no matter what the cost ? It seems to me a sad state that would condone such anti self sufficiency.
Hey. I get concerned...
John- and every place should have a john or two !
__________________

__________________
29cascadefixer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-09-2003, 19:51   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Exclamation Marine quality

I've seen this complaint many times on other forums. This is what seperates the sailors from the weekend worriors. With the anchor chain, your on the right track. You can buy almost anything you see in a marine supply without going to the marine supply. Certain stuff will only sell through dealers because the time and effort aren't worth the $.50 profit. They will not ship without a minimum purchase. Recently I just purchased 100 SS philip head 5/16" X 2" long. The marine store wanted $2.17 ea. I got them for $.37 ea. through a fastener distribitor. Just had to wait a week to get'm. If you surf the net you can find a lot of the stuff at a little lower price, but not much. Hardwares and fasteners you can save a bunch. But, for the special fittings and trinkets your going to pay. Myself, I'm a toolmaker and Maintenance Machinist with a little machine shop in my garage so I save thousands. But I feel sorry for those white coller types that don't know the differance between a 10 mm and a 3/8" bolt. These are the guys that buy the towboat services every year, rightfully so.
So just shop around before you make that Big purchase. And remember, yachting USE TO BE a weathly man's past time back when vessels were hand laid plank for plank, every fastener spotted and generations of ship building went into every joint!
__________________

__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-09-2003, 23:57   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Man-O-live!

I must have been half a sleep when I typed me last. There are so many misspelled words.............I hope I don’t pilot on a night watch this way.
__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2003, 04:45   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
29CascadeFixer:

I’m not quite certain how to respond to your posting; but I’ll try to address your very emotional complaint:

1. Inconsequential things that cost an arm and a leg ...

A. I almost never buy inconsequential things, at any price. If it’s of no consequence, I don’t need or want it.
B. The tag “Marine” implies certain valuable qualities (ie: A portable ‘marine’ generator must have a spill proof fuel system; a strong & corrosion resistant silicone bronze screw is ‘marine’, whereas a weak brass screw is not ...) . These marine qualities are mostly costly, but may have a corresponding benefit (ie: corrosion resistant fastening); hence are valuable.
C. It’s true, some things, labeled ‘marine’, are merely marketing ploys - and may be safely substituted (ie: marine dinnerware ...). This should be one important thrust of this thread - where can I safely & legitimately save money?
D. “Marine” stores often charge more for the same or similar items, that I can buy cheaper elsewhere. This is often true. The only chandlery in Thunder Bay just went out of business. The local sailing community was in the habit of buying significant items (cheaper) elsewhere, and merely getting convenience items (that we needed in a hurry) locally. Now that the chandlery is gone, so too is our convenience (there is NO local ‘marine’ supply). When I was in the wholesale distribution business (Electrical), we called this practice “strip and shop”. The shopper would ‘strip’ us of our expertise, availability, service, and etc. - then shop us on price.
E. “White” LED’s do NOT cost $0.50 ANYWHERE, and the better marine LED lights have no resistors - the circuits and construction are much more complex than you imply. I agree that a $300 light bulb is AWFULLY expensive, and I wouldn’t buy one at that price. I do have a Davis Mega-Mini light, which cost about $35 (still expensive, but worth it).
I’d be very interested in seeing what you can “home brew” as an alternative DIY LED anchor light.

2. Anchor chain...

A. I use “Transportation” Grade 7 anchor chain. It’s cheaper than conventional Grade 3 or H.T. Grade 4, and stronger too (better & cheaper - seems almost an oxymoron).
This is an excellent example of cost-saving through innovation.
B. Galvanized anchor chain is a waste of money, in my opinion. The zinc wears off too fast in use.
C. I have used Stainless Steel anchor chain. About 6 Ft. of S/S at the anchor, prevents rust stains at the bow (anchor deployed on bow rollers). This is an expensive luxury.

3. Rich & thoughtless ...

A. Some of may be in the habit of throwing money at our problems (not just marine), and all of us appreciate “instant gratification” (to a greater or lesser extent). The psychologists and economists spend a great deal of time & energy differentiating the differences between “Wants” and “Needs”. Each of us should astutely calculate our own balance sheet of cost - benefit ratios.
On another Forum, I defended my ownership of an R/O watermaker on a 29' sailboat, in the Bahamas (where daily water is available), by indicating that it was my luxury. I was, upon thoughtful consideration, willing to pay the very high price (monetary & energy) for that (admitted) luxury.
B. I wonder if a specific discussion energized your stated concern, or are you merely venting some undefined frustration?
C. You say that “every place should have a John or two”. I think that more than 1 head, on any but the largest boats, is truly a wasteful luxury. OMO
Or did I misunderstand you?

Delmarrey makes some good points (some similar to what I WANTED to say, but don’t know how - it’s tough being only semi-literate).

And finally, I’ll restate a couple of questions I alway ask myself:
- If you don’t have the time or money to do it right in the first place, where will you get the time or money to fix it later?
- If it’s not worth doing it right, why bother doing it at all?

Respectfully,
Gord
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2003, 06:57   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Jeff H's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Boat: Farr 11.6 (AKA Farr 38) Synergy
Posts: 543
Images: 13
I am not sure that I even get the thrust of this thread. In my experience, most experienced 'cruisers' are quite ingenious at finding great deals on products that are fairly priced and I am not sure that you are not preaching to the chior here.

In my own case, I purchased a 20 year old boat that had been raced hard and had its cruising systems ignored. I have slowly been bringing her back to shape on a shoestring budget. I think that most of us do many of the cost savings items that you suggest. I purchased my galvanized anchor chain from a wholesale commercial supplier to the building trades using the same ACCO part number as the marine suppliers, which saved some money but not as much as you suggest. So called marine grade chain, has heavier galvanizing than plated chain and is precision sized to work on a windlass. That means that even at wholesale it is a higher priced product. I find that I get 15 or more years out of marine grade galv. chain vs 5 or 6 out of the non-marine stuff and I can count on the marine stuff where as the non-marine looks pretty funky after a couple years. I buy fastenings at Chesapeake Marine Fasteners which has a bigger sellection and is roughly half of the cost of WEST and often higher grade materials. And so on.

I have not found a source of inexpensive marine electrical components (except McMasters Carr on the wire but I have not needed all that much wire yet) I would not try to get by with something that is not properly tinned for marine use. For years I sailed boats with bad wiring and there is nothing worse than not being able to count on your running lights or instruments not working.

I do belive in good quality equipment. Bad stuff can get you killed or maimed. I have been aboard boats when blocks exploded including a case where the pieces tore through a crewmate's shin and calf, and another where the running line pitched a crew mate across the boat and almost over the side. I have cracked ribs when an reel winch (these should be illegal) got away from me and the handle came up under my rib cage. A boat and its gear are merely tools, and it is important to have the right tool. As a friend of mine used to say, "Only a genius can do good work with bad tools and a genius wouldn't."

There are items like the LED anchor lights that I would not try to mess with a home made device. I do not have the expertise to produce one that would be reliable and when I can buy a West Marine one for $36.99, my time to research, buy the parts and put this together is worth a lot more than that.

Time and our health are the most valuable things that we have. As the Scotch (or Welsh) say, "You are dead for a long time". I can probably do anything that needs to be done on my boat, but contract out certain tasks that I don't enjoy and frankly prefer to use my time in better ways.

I do see a lot of newbies, who either don't understand what is at stake and so go cheesy with cost saving ideas that bite them in the butt later. I also see newbie's who feel that they must throw money at every problem. (Every couple weeks or so, I receive an email from someone that starts off reading something like, "I have just taken my first sailing lessons, and want to sail around the world. I am about to buy my first boat. Would you please tell my what 40 to 50 footer I should buy." Many want to buy new boats and will go on at length about the gear that they want on board. Many are grosely under budgeted. Almost none take my advice to buy a smaller, simplier, used boat to learn to sail and maintain a boat before buying their ultimate dream boat.) Perhaps that is who this should be directed at, but most of those people lack the experience to tell what is a unreasonable cost savings and what is throwing money at the problem.

Respectfully,
Jeff
__________________
Jeff H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2003, 13:56   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Gladwin Mi.
Posts: 148
Thumbs up Thank you for your responses,Gentlemen.

As I contemplated the situation with my boat and am trying to work within a tight budget ( under bugeted- sounds right Jeff ), the frustration set in and hence, a venting tirade. Next time I will go out and kick the d**n thing. Anyhoo, the LEDS I found at a site WERE less than a dollar apiece. Seems that a half dozen would set up an anchor light. Kick the voltage down with a resistor. But shoot, if West sells 'em for 36 bucks,maybe the fooling around ain't worth it. But in the catalogue I have I couldn't find 'em for that price.
As far as chain goes, I , in my ranting mode, neglected to mention that I wanted it for a mooring. I'm going to use a set-up that folks here told me about. It's in Chapmans- a three anchor set-up with chain rode. Anchors set at 120 degrees to each other. I can use this in a harbor where they don't like mooring blocks or mushroom anchors because of dredging concerns. All the ground tackle costs less than one seasons dockage . If I build a dinghy this winter, I'm all set.
__________________
29cascadefixer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2003, 07:43   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Steenbergen, Netherlands
Posts: 13
Don't worry, you are not alone. We have a decent income but still need to do most jobs ourselves as on our boat (Nicholson 48) things get pretty large and therefore simply too expensive if you have to hire others to do the work.

Jobs recently completed (and I assure you, we are decent DIY-ers but certainly no professional craftmen)

replaced the teak lais decks with Marinedeck (cork and artificial resin planking

repainted the hull (Double Coat by The IJssel, Dutch brand)

replaced all seacocks(here we did get som prefessional help to get the old ones out, as our tools are toys in pro eyes really)

replaced all windows

replaced the perspex of our Canpa hatches (3 pcs)

made new sail covers (with help of my sister-in-law who is skilled at the sewing machine)

installed central heating (Kabola diesel water heater, convecting radiators, heat exchanger in engine room and hot air outlets in all cabins as to force ventilation and avoid condensation

replaced galley worktop and sink

replaced all water taps with thermastatic controlled ones (saves a lot of water when showering)

replaced most running rigging including the splicing of braided rope.

and, of course a large number of minor jobs.

The greates advantage: when something breaks down, at least you know how it's been installed.

I know there are many people, at least in Europe, who do most of their maintenance themselves.

And yes: chandlers are a rip-off. We have successfully exchanged them for camping shops for some items (not all, I must admit)

One of the next things to come: replacing the broken down generator. There is NO WAY i'm going to pay a rediculous 10.000 Euros (= somewhat over $10.000) for a genny that I can buy at 1200 Euros (yes, diesel, and yes, electric start, but I'll have to do the silenceing myself, so what...)...See? You're not alone.

When we polish the boat, we use automitive wax (turtle) because we refuse to buy a marinewax because it says so on the container.....

cheers
__________________
Peter aboard SV Heerenleed, Steenbergen, Netherlands
www.heerenleed.tk
heerenleed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2003, 11:10   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Jeff H's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Boat: Farr 11.6 (AKA Farr 38) Synergy
Posts: 543
Images: 13
Actually marine waxes are often a good deal in that they are quite close in price to non-marine but are generally formulated for higher UV shielding and have formulations that are designed not to yellow when exposed to salt water. I used automotive products for several years before switching back to marine products in disgust. The marine products will go almost two years compared to the automotive that I was doing every 9 or so months. I used a lot more automotive product waxing 2 1/2 times more frequentlly which made the stuff a real bargain. I had also been using Starbright products which does not seem to hold up as well as Maguires and is harder to apply from a dinghy. I am a big fan of Maguire's products.

Jeff
__________________
Jeff H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2003, 22:40   #9
Registered User
 
Troubledour's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ohio River, USA
Posts: 150
Images: 1
Costs

The same applies to aircraft related stuff, ridiculous costs but usually high quality. At least the aviation industry has the excuse of certification standards & fairly low volume (compared to other industries).

Even so, quite a bit of what you'll need for the average aircraft or boat can be had from Home Depot, cheap.

Troubledour
__________________
Troubledour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2003, 07:27   #10
Registered User
 
Sonosailor's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada in the summer and fall; Caribbean in winter and spring aboard Cat Tales.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 (and a H-21 SE)
Posts: 547
Images: 8
Valuable Rant!

Thanks, Cascadefixer, for this thread. As someone who may be closer to the "whitecollar" fool who doesn't know his bolt threads, I find the stuff here more useful than most of the other threads.

Interesting points of view regarding watermakers. I have been debating their use, and got an opinion from a friend with a 48 footer. He says that the Caribbean cost of water might not yet be so high that the watermaker makes financial sense (but getting closer), but he hosts lots of company aboard; and he suggests adding to the equation the risks being taken each time you travel through a crowded anchorage of big shiny boats to tie up to a busy but poorly maintained dock, annoying everybody who is waiting for fuel when you only need water.

One accident might pay for the watermaker.

I tend to agree with the DIY option providing the owner with knowledge that can be used later for maintenance. Even if you have the money, you can't very well afford to fly an expert to the middle of the ocean for every little thing.
__________________
Sonosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2005, 11:28   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
Sales Figures

The “Boating Industry” magazine’s “Market Data Book 2005" reports the marine industry’s 2004 performance numbers (sales, profits, etc).

The Sailboat Manufacturer’s Report list some interesting statistics, for the U.S.A.:

2004 Sailboat Sales -&- Average Price
14,300 Units = $603,381,900 total sales - at $42,195 Average Unit Cost

2000 Sailboat Sales -&- Average Price
22,500 Units = $760,622,900 total sales = $33,805 Average Unit Cost

Sailboat Production Values (2004 USA):
Size - Est. Value - Units Sold
20' - 29' - $33,000 - 1,446 Units sold
30' - 35' - $133,000 - 866 Units
36' - 40' - $244,800 - 646 Units
41' - 45' - $414,700 - 424 Units
46' - 59' - $726,000 - 129 Units
60' Plus - $1,925,000 - 14 Units
5,006 Units Up to 11 Feet @ $2,200/ea, and 7,544 Units 12' - 19' @ $6,600/ea

In 2004, there were only about 1512 new sailboats (between 30 & 40 Feet) sold in the USA.

No wonder anything intended for a sailboat is expensive!!!
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2005, 13:05   #12
Registered User
 
Wahoo Sails's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Marathon, Florida
Boat: Cape Dory 28, "Night Wind"
Posts: 353
Images: 16
Having worked for chandleries for nearly seven years now, I have some real insights on the "marine quality" and cost issue. Some items labeled "marine grade" truly are ... much are simply automotive units repackaged and sold at a higher price ... the only way for the consumer to figure out which is which is to do their homework and consider each item closely.
The store I work in now (the Marine Trading Post) carries many of the same items as West Marine ... and although we're much more a "mom & pop's" sorta place, our prices are lower throughout the store .. in many cases much lower ... say 40%? When you consider that we make a reasonable profit on the item, at the price we're charging ... what does that say for West Marine?
Ever been tempted to buy one of those little electric oil change units? They go for about $20 .. look really cheap ... every one I have ever seen sold, in 7 years, has come back to the store as defective ... save yourself the effort. Want a little portable battery charger? That Schumacher unit that they sell at WM is pretty good ... but you can get the identical unit at Wal-Mart for less than 1/2 the price.
Buying in quantity helps too ... I never buy wire "by the foot", always by the roll. Stainless fasteners? Always by the box, never by the piece. Industrial supply houses can be a godsend too ... chain (as mentioned above) bearings, seals and many, many other items can be had at substantial savings.
As a last thought, the most difficult thing is determining where a savings can be made .. and where you have to bite the bullet and go for the expensive "marine grade" item. Daily I see people do foolish things, like using a cheap nylon through-hull below the waterline, because the didn't want to spend the money for a metal one. Some things can be done safely at a savings ... some cannot ... knowing the difference is often beyond the knowledge base of the consumer ... best they listen to others, or consult with people such as those on this forum.

L S/V Sew Good
Bob & Lynn
__________________
Wahoo Sails is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2005, 13:59   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,137
pirate Towboat service

Quote:
But I feel sorry for those white coller types that don't know the differance between a 10 mm and a 3/8" bolt. These are the guys that buy the towboat services every year, rightfully so.
Above quote from delmarrey.


I buy the towboat service every year. Started a few years ago when the boats I was travelling with ran aground three days in a row. Found out it usually costs around $600 or so for a tow. At $100 a year I figure it's a good deal and I have yet to use their services, luckily getting off on my own the couple of times I ran aground.

As for ACCO galvanized chain, I think WM charges that exorbitant amount because they don't really want to be bothered with it. You can order the exact same chain from chain suppliers for at least a dollar a foot less.

On anchor lights, I have one at the masthead but I rarely use it because of the draw. I use a homemade one made from automotive parts (GM sidelight socket and bulbs) set in a saltshaker. Draws less than 1/4 amp. I've also found that in tight anchorages a light a few feet above the deck is more easily seen by approaching boats than one way up at the masthead.
__________________

__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SELECTING LIGHTNING ARRESTORS for SHORE POWER GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 0 20-09-2003 04:51
Time Format Sonosailor Forum Tech Support & Site Help 0 17-09-2003 10:27
our time is near jim Meets & Greets 9 03-08-2003 23:36
Moving server - RIGHT TIME Gisle Forum News & Announcements 0 04-03-2003 07:43
Server time Skylark Forum Tech Support & Site Help 1 01-03-2003 11:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:46.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.