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Old 24-02-2012, 10:45   #1
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New Chandlery - What Would You Buy ?

we're looking to open a chandlery/ marine store in a marina in the caribbean.so i would like to get some input from experienced cruisers and boaters, what do you need and expect to find in a store?
bolts,screws,filters.....
please give me some ideas what you all really need and would like to find on your travels.....
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:47   #2
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

Too broad a question. Look at Defender and West Marine catalogues.
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:48   #3
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

Everything I can think of that I've never been able to find would make no sense to stock as it would never sell except to the likes of me!!
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:51   #4
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
Too broad a question. Look at Defender and West Marine catalogues.
well.... done that of course already. as it will be a small shop and i cannot stock equipment for 4 million dollars like west marine i'm asking for the most common things you need when u on the way. sure there are lots of online stores, but sometimes its the little thing you need directly and there are hard to get in remote places.....
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:57   #5
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

dehydrated beer!
10 year anti fouling!
zero maintance batteries with guarenteed 20 year life!
flip flops that dont break.!
sailing caps that wont blow away!
solar powerd fridge freezer that requires no electricity!
small portable fission 240v generator!
self retriving anchors!
rum punch maker that only needs water added!

if you can supply any of the above will happily subscribe to your news letter lol!
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:05   #6
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

We are with Atoll, except for the dehydrated beer ! UGGG ! and add some elbow grease for us old guys LOL Just kiddin ! Bob and Connie
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:08   #7
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

- the ability to get orders in really quickly since your inventory will be really reduced
- typical stainless hardware (nuts/bolts/washers/wood screws)
- sealant (boat life caulk, other polysulfides)
- west systems epoxy with fillers
- jerry cans
- racor 500 filter elements
- delo oil
- spray bottles
- wet wipes
- paper towels
- laundry machines, or knowledge of where one is close by
- wifi
- bilge pumps. small electrical ones
- local charts / cruising guides / guide books
- do a lunch bbq thing once a week on friday afternoons. have everyone chip in a couple of bucks.
- aa / aaa batteries
- acetone / mineral spirits
- interlux brightsides
- typical hoses (fuel, discharge, etc)
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:33   #8
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

Like Rebel says, your ability to get parts and in a timely manner is going to be more important than the parts you stock. Where you open your store is important as well. Knowing how to treat the bush pilots is more important than the rest.
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:55   #9
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
- the ability to get orders in really quickly since your inventory will be really reduced
I would partner up with someone like West Marine, whether officially or unofficially (catalogue plus 10%, or whatever). and also be a secure delivery address for items ordered direct - for a fee of course . Give folks the usual delivery times (and any customs clearance info / charges that is needed) and any faster options.

Apart from that, it's how long is a piece of string . I would favour consumables rather than items that are enhancements / one off purchases. IMO also depends on the mix of the Marina's usual clientle - cruisers (passing through), charterers (10 days in the sun), liveaboards or absentee owners (apart from a few weeks a year).....all of these have differing needs and budgets (albeit of course a lot in common).

Quote:

- typical stainless hardware (nuts/bolts/washers/wood screws) - bought in bulk and sold loose or in own packets?
- sealant (boat life caulk, other polysulfides)
- west systems epoxy with fillers (or decant from own drum?)
- jerry cans
- racor 500 filter elements
- delo oil
- spray bottles
- wet wipes
- paper towels
- laundry machines, or knowledge of where one is close by (or arrange service washes, including ironing!)
- wifi (for sure and maybe some kit to go with that / enhance)
- bilge pumps. small electrical ones
- local charts / cruising guides / guide books
- do a lunch bbq thing once a week on friday afternoons. have everyone chip in a couple of bucks.
- aa / aaa batteries
- acetone / mineral spirits
- interlux brightsides
- typical hoses (fuel, discharge, etc)

Plus anything else people ask for consistently

Apart from that, sell.........conveniance.

Work up some deals with local suppliers / tradesmen - so you are the easy / first point of call. How you monetise that can vary and depends on what else is in easy reach.

Transport ashore - whatever works locally, bikes, motorcycles or cars. Or if the local shops are not in easy reach, organise a weekly(?) shopping run - don't have to drive yourself.

Food - if no supermarket in easy reach, then some of the basics milk / bread etc, plus icecream, ice - soft drinks and cool beer . Could even rent out Freezer space . or deliver to the boat (bought in from elsewhere as and when needed).

If you are open (and staffed) might as well try and flog everyone who walks in the door something - IMO doesn't have to be restricted to the traditional chandlery items of sailing only bits and bobs. Your targets are punters who have boats - but they also have non-boat related needs / wants....so the trick is to talk to folks (not just your customers) to find out what they want (and not just from a Chandlers), and snaffle what you can make money from - ideally from some other bugger doing the work . The answers will depend on locale, what other competition is nearby and the profile of the customers / boats.
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Old 24-02-2012, 11:58   #10
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

I would lean toward real maintenance items rather than a whole line of expensive blocks, weather gear">foul weather gear etc. ( I rarely saw my foulies south of the Bahamas!) Stuff like: Racor Filters, engine oil/fuel filters for the popular engines. Fresh water pumps fail alot. Fittings. Hose. Anchors to replace that one that got lost. Dingy oars for the same reason. Tinned wire. Diesel engine oil. Replacement impellors. GOOD shackles for anchors.
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Old 24-02-2012, 12:13   #11
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
- the ability to get orders in really quickly since your inventory will be really reduced ...
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, scubaman.

We might be able to be more specific, if we knew where you were opening shop.

Set up accounts (& working relationships) with marine wholesale distributors, like:

Lewis Marine Supply ➥ Lewis Marine Group
Land ’N’ Sea Distributing ➥ Land 'N' Sea Distributing, Inc.
Port Supply ➥ Port Supply: Wholesale supplier of marine products and boating accessories
Complete Yacht ServiceYacht service, Yacht Repair, Yacht Engines, Diesel Yacht Engines at Complete Yacht service.com
etc.

And prepare yourself to arrange for expedited deliveries (& customs clearance) from the USA to your location.
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Old 24-02-2012, 12:46   #12
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

And DOWNLOAD every Shop/Maintenance/Parts manual you can find.
Don't just save links (which often go dead). You will find 100's of links to manuals here on the CF.
Some (there's many more) are here ➥ Online SHOP MANUALS
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Old 24-02-2012, 12:47   #13
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

A lot depends on where you are going to locate. There are good stores in a few places: St Marten, Grenada, Antigua come to mind. There are two largish chains: Budget Marine and Island Water World. I think it would be hard to compete with them since they do have considerable buying power across their chain and the infrastructure to move stuff quickly from one place to another. I assume they are franchises, have you considered getting a franchise with one of them. I was more impressed with IWW, BM was much more expensive.
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Old 24-02-2012, 12:53   #14
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

Sorry, forgot to say what I would and have bought in the Caribbean. Zincs, Racor elements, oil filters, steering line for the Monitor, other pieces of line, sail repair stuff. Bought a windlass in St Maartin that was an incredibly good price - it is duty-free there (Dutch side).

Not clothing or knick-knacks. Brought lots of clothes and don't have room for more unnecessary stuff.
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Old 24-02-2012, 12:56   #15
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Re: new chandlery- what would you buy?

A selection of cordage, different kind of wire insulated and stainless, alternators, replacement or rewind service, refrigeration parts and repair for most popular units, spare parts for water makers. Hydraulic hose making machinery and parts. lights, a selection of cabinet hardware, hinges, latches etc...
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