I wouldn't let my boat ride at anchor
with a home depot shackle. Now, cut one into a hasp and weld it onto a barn door for a padlock... sure! A cut off wheel
flies through them like butter, way easier than a piece of cold roll the same size...
Costco and Sams have great prices on motor oil
, particularly Rotella T by the case. Though on my boat and others it takes two funnels, one to fill up a quart bottle, and another for the engine!
Track down where the commercial
boats go for repairs
. You'll know it when you smell it... cigarette smoke, cosmoline and rubber. They'll have the best prices on rope
and chain, as well as filters, impellers, cutlass bearings... etc. Sadly they don't stock much for small engines, or at least it won't be be in stock. Some of them prefer to get a faxed order, but they all like a big list paid in cash!
Same places have 12 packs of the blue shop towels for less than the parts stores. Speaking of parts stores, a lot of parts places will haggle... NAPA in particular is pretty good about giving a better price if you ask for it... a little expensive, but they generally have one either in the back, or get it by the afternoon.
NAPA is also a place that has shrinking connectors and the boat grade electrical
stuff, often in stock. Ask for bulk pricing. A LOT cheaper than West even on port supply... though I haven't priced boat cable. NAPA's brand of specialty tools generally are shop quality, not fancy and not chromed... but hold a lot of them up beside a craftsman and they are stamped and packaged differently, but the same tool.
Around here... Advance auto runs cheaper than a lot of the mail order guys that I buy from on a lot of car parts... and have a hidden marine book that is paper only. Not half bad for tracking down strange and obscure parts... but its better to do that legwork well before you need them! They don't stock it, but can have it next day.
EBAY and thrift stores are good places to buy tools. Sears (Craftsman) has a life time warranty, find one of what you want even if its in pieces. Leatherman have 25 year warranties that work the same way.
You can make paper gaskets on machined parts with a ballpeen hammer. If the edge isn't chamfered, lay the paper over and start tapping lightly around the edges. About ten minutes and you'll have a paper gasket
. Some tight contours need a razorblade, but the ball peen does a better job. Cost = Time + A manilla envelope.
Parts stores stock various types of gasket
material, though its a little tricky to deal with as a gasket cut by hand doesn't have square sides... a little dab of sealer will do the trick. I like permetex #2 as a lot of times its easier to clean up than a gasket without...
Speaking of sealers, buy the biggest tube of Anti-seize, Dielectric grease, loctite, and anything else you use a little dab of for regular servicing. For double the cost, instead of getting enough to do the job once... you get 10 years worth. Read the weight on a lot of those tubes, less than an ounce... a 6 ounce tub is cheap
if you can find room for it! Fastener supply houses are the place to go... Half the cost of automotive places, a lot of them blend over to electrical
In a pinch 3M weather
(Gorilla Snot) works on home made gaskets, its a bummer to clean up... but is some of the most tenacious stuff on planet earth.
If you need a gigantic U-Bolt made, find a place that services big rigs. They bend up the ones that hold beds to trailer frames! Most have mild steel
on hand you may have to bring them the stainless if thats what you want.
Belts are best bought through belt suppliers. It takes some digging to find these guys, as they often do a lot of other things... ask a hydraulic shop where they are, they'll probably tell you they do them too. If you can't find a hydraulic shop ask the truck guys, or a sheet metal fab shop. You'll either need the belt you are replacing, or know the length and size. Once you have those two it'll cross with everything form ones made of cheese, to industrial drive belts that have more kevlar than a bullet proof vest. (Personally I like gates belts.)
Just remember that with most of the places above, your dealing with guys whose customers are more often than not... getting paid to stand in line. Be polite and shoot the breeze and they'll help you out on pricing and parts selection! The best thing you can do to save money
is to spend an afternoon driving through the industrial areas looking for "OPEN" signs and asking what they and their neighbors do.