So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Wrong store for the right things
Sometimes the best place to buy something is not in the proper specialty store. Back when I was in the Fire Service one of the officers had a plumbing business on the side. He pointed out that you could take a valve from a plumbing supply house, slap some red paint on it, and sell it for five times the price in the Fire catalog.
One of the worse places to shop for boating supplies is at a marine store. One example, they sell a bosun's chair for ascending the mast. It’s possible to get better and cheaper gear from mountaineering stores. If you have to get marine stuff look at places that sell to fishermen. Often they’ll have the same products for a lot less money. Other things like foul weather gear might not be as pretty, but will probably work better.
I’ve even found stuff for my boat while shopping in craft stores with my lovely wife.
The little solar panel on my sailboat has been working fine for years. That came out of the garden supply section. The price was right and it’s held up perfectly in the marine environment.
If you want to see a huge price difference, look at a marine alcohol one burner stove. Then check out alcohol stoves designed for backpacking. One year I was cooking on my Oday 19. It’s too small to cook inside the cabin so I cooked out in the cockpit. Since it was outside I could use a MSR hiking stove that ran off regular gasoline. I put a fitting on my fuel line for filling the stove tank. It worked out just fine.
My local hardware store has gotten used to me wandering around their store seemingly aimlessly. The manager asked me if he could help.
I told him, “No, I’m looking for the wrong parts for the right job.”
“Oh,” he said, “You’re an inventor.”
He left me alone after that. The hardware store is where I bought 90% of the parts I needed to convert diesel engines to run on waste vegetable oil. That was much much cheaper than the kits available out there.
A lot of money can be saved with a little creativity.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.