Let me share with you what works from a Marine
Vendor point of view.
First, where most people go wrong is they plan their dream, start a blog, and then start contacting gear
manufacturers painting a rosy dream image of thousands of blog followers and eyes seeing and reading about them and seeing your product. Then you go visit their site and there are two weeks worth of posts and the writing. And lets be honest here, not everyone is a writer and knows how to post about the sailing/cruising lifestyle in a way that anyone would want to read! The next step for your email
is either the spam folder or if I'm feeling in a chatty mood (translated to not wanting to do real work or boat projects) I will politely send back a "thanks but no thanks email".
So that is the wrong way to go about gear
discounts from a vendor.
Here is the right way.
for a few years building up a blog following of a few thousand page views per day (less than 1000 and it's just your family
and friends reading your blog...sorry) Lean how to write. Learn how to tell a good story. Learn how to take and post good photos. Then once you have build something of VALUE (eyes on a page) you then contact the marine vendors with a link to your successful blog and Google
analytics page showing your blog traffic for the last year or so. Then what can you expect to get from said marine vendor? A few hundred dollars off, or the unit at dealer cost. So do the quick math here and see all the work that it would take to build up your blog and following and for what....you save a few hundred dollars on a water
maker? This is the reality vs the dream/myth of "get someone to sponsor you".
Yes you can do it and at our cruising height with about 2000 page views per day on our blog, we made about $200/mo in Google
click ads from people visiting our site. Sure that bought a few more tacos, but if you add up the hours I spent writing and posting
on the blog, ha ha ha, I was making $0.17 per hour!
So even if someone WOULD sponsor you what do you get? The same thing the Vendor would get in all honesty, not that much.