Sunday, April 16, 2017

The 75%/25% rule...

The other day I bought a light and it got me thinking about the cost of things in general and how much money we can save if we just do the needful homework to become educated consumers.

So, here's a number...
75%
It happens to be the number which seems to keep popping up when I compare prices on marine products on a regular basis. So often, in fact, that I'm actually beginning to think that for a lot of "marine" products it's almost part of the equation or rule and, if it is, that means we can use it to our advantage.

Which brings us to another, albeit smaller, number...

25%

If I go to a marine store to buy some epoxy and a little glass cloth I'm always amazed at what passes for the "normal" price and recently, checking epoxy prices, I saw a quart and a half of resin/hardener was selling for $78.99 and a 30 inch by 30 inch square of glass cloth going for $18.37 which together adds up to $97 and change. To me this just  seems a whole lot nuts but, as I never buy epoxy or glass in such small amounts, I checked the prices from my normal purveyor of such things and found a quart and a half of epoxy including hardener was a whopping $39 and a yard  (36" x 50") of similar weight/quality went for $6.90 which adds up to $45.90 or less than half.

Of course, if you were to buy your epoxy or glass in greater quantities you'd spend a whole lot less bring you right up to the that 75% cheaper point. Get a little creative and check out what they have on sale and you , more than likely would surpass it.

The earlier mentioned tricolor/anchor/strobe I bought last week is another example. While I could have spent anywhere from $450 to $800 or so for one but with a couple hours of homework I was able to find a quality light better suited to my needs for $99 or a bit less than 25% of the cheapest light available from the local marine stores.

Another good example is screws, bolts, and nuts of the stainless variety. Do a little research and you'll find it's pretty easy to spend about 25% of the going rate for marine fasteners and that's not even having to buy in bulk. Bulk, of course makes things much cheaper.

Looking at the big picture, if you do your homework, you can pretty much depend on being able to buy the stuff you need for 75% less than you can get it from your local discount marine store. Sure there are exceptions but, generally speaking, for the most part, where you can't get stuff for less there is going to be a workaround if you're the least bit creative. But, more on that later...





Tuesday, January 17, 2017

a couple of links...

Yachting Monthly has a nice article online about a single handed trans-Atlantic voyage aboard a a 27-foot Sadler that is well worth the read...

Meanwhile, over on the HEO forum there's an interesting thread about a crew of three crossing the Atlantic in a 25-foot Sangria.

Under 30-feet works.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A quick note...

Sorry for the lag. I've been doing some boat projects, getting some new sails for "So It Goes", buying boat plans, and wrestling with the whole VolksCruiser concept in a consumerist world that simply does not seem to understand the idea of simplicity or living within one's means.

So, with a new set of sailboat plans on my desk that needs costing out and the continuing rebuild/tweaking of  "So It Goes", I'm finding that the cost issues of the whole VolksCruiser thing coming back into something akin to focus. Which, hopefully, will result in a lot more input to this blog.

Hopefully.

In the meantime, today's mantra is...

Don't Throw Money At It!


Monday, September 26, 2016

One reason I prefer cheap as they come boats part 1...

Dr House said something that anyone interested in buying a boat should adopt as their mantra...



Everybody lies!

Folks selling you a boat tend to lie.

Folks who have something to gain in your buying a boat tend to lie.

Even folks who are honest as the day is long tend to play fast and loose with matters of truth when involved in the sale of maritime craft.

With me so far?

Another point on the whole lying thing is that the more money involved in a boat the more lies in the mix so consider yourself warned.

I actually mention all of this because the other day someone asked my opinion on a given boat for sale and I pointed out that the boat seemed in way too good condition for the asking price and that he should look a little closer because there's always something wrong with a boat for sale... Always!

He responded by saying not to worry as he was having it surveyed...

Which is where I pointed out my theory that folks who have something to gain in your buying a boat tend to lie and unless you do some due diligence you may just find yourself screwed. Plus the fact that, over the years, I've crossed paths with a large number of marine surveyors and only one of them was actually honest. Which is not to say your surveyor is a bad guy but there may be any number of reasons that giving you a good survey on a bad boat is in his/her best interest and not yours.

For instance, one surveyor I know also happens to be married to a broker from a family of brokers and just about every survey he does tends to be brokered by a relation of some sort.Which, when you consider just how incestuous the marine trades are, is not very surprising at all.

Same goes for that mechanic or electrical guy you might have look at the subject of your desire who may (or may not) have connections of one sort or another that shout conflict of interest...

Just something to keep in mind...

$0.20 a pound...

So this morning I noticed a Morgan 27 for sale for $1400 or best offer and a couple of things came to mind...

First, that it was whole lot of boat for very little money and, secondly that it worked out to twenty cents a pound.

Let me repeat that...

$0.20 a pound!

Truth be told, there are very few 27-foot boats of the classic plastic variety that I'd rather find myself living aboard. Especially if you factor the $1400 price tag.

Being a small and simple boat anything that needs fixing or needful improvements/upgrades are going to fairly easy, affordable, and is not going to take lots of time. What's not to like?

Little boats, little problems!

As far as interiors go the Morgan, being quite beamy, has better than average livability and stowage. Which is kind of surprising as it was designed and marketed as more of a racer...

Bottom line is it's a great example of a volkscruiser.


Monday, September 5, 2016

A tour of a very nice cruising boat...

James Baldwin  (of Atom voyages fame) takes a tour of Dawn Treader an Allied Seawind 30 and finds a lot of good ideas...