Monday, March 22, 2010

RV vs Marine

"One if by land, two if by sea" -- a quote definitely apropos when referencing the cost disparity between like items purchased at an RV store and a Boat store.  My brother-in-law deciphered the "BOAT" acronym as follows:  Break Out Another Thousand.  That salt air and water does wonders for just about anything laying around for long periods of time.  Of course, everything you purchase for a boat that's metal will have to be coated with chrome or cast from stainless steel.  I'm not surprised about that.

But, come on.  Look at this reading light.

That, right there, is ninety-nine smackers, for chrissakes.   Good thing it's not a hundred, because then for sure I wouldn't entertain a lighting upgrade.  Do boat owners just spend all day at the yacht club with sweaters draped over their shoulders, counting their money?   

What's a "festoon?"  It sounds like a ceremonial gown made of colorful gauzy linen you'd wear at an Afghan wedding.

But, I will say this.  Some of the stuff you'd find at the boat store is rugged and well constructed.

That's an old fashioned pull switch - "out" for on and "in" for off.  How rad would that be for all of my switching needs in the Roving Home?   I can see a whole column of them on the wall of the galley. 

All joking aside, this is why you want to shop at the boat store for much of the infrastructure needs of your landlocked motor coach.   

I haven't seen one of these at Camping World.

These are pre-crimped with connectors, in various gauges and lengths.  Very handy if you don't have the means to properly prepare your own wire.  You need good solid connections for your solar and battery set up, or the whole thing is worthless. 

Now, a little bit about decor and cosmetics.  Here's something  I definitely have not seen in an RV store.

Flush Mounted Cabinet Pulls. 

You just push the center button in, and it pops out, unlocking the door.  Then it becomes a pull knob. 

$40.00 at the boat store, $10.95 online

That stuff is all resin!  No Glass!  I've never seen that at Camping World.

I've already got this cool 12volt socket on my list.  It will go nicely in the kitchen above the counter.  RV stores only carry versions in plastic.  Not so decor friendly if you ask me.


I dig those switches.  Very smooth.

And, some very nice flush-mount finger pulls -- sleek.

Got rope?

How 'bout a pulley?  They have a whole wall of them in every shape and size imaginable.

I guess the moral of the story is that the boating world has a lot of very useful and interesting stuff, so if you're in the market for a product that you just can't seem to find in your local RV store, don't underestimate the power of West Marine, or any boating store, for that matter.  I think, too, that boaters have to have a genuine working knowledge of all of the components in their rig, because they ain't callin' AAA for a tow to their nearest shop if something goes wrong.  I've found that marine suppliers generally have better quality equipment, and for some reason more interesting designs of various components. 

But as much as I like supporting my local brick and mortar establishment, I'm going to have to confess that at $10.00 a pop via the internet, I can outfit my whole interior with cool knobs for a fourth of the cost at my local boating store.  Sorry, West Marine, you got great ideas, but I'm going to have to do my shopping, virtually. 


  1. Those cabinet pulls are pretty cool!
    (And there's nothing wrong with getting inspiration locally, and then shopping online. I do it all the time) As you said, we're all on a budget.

  2. Hi Jessica,

    Those pulls have been around in Europe for quite some time. Manufacturers are just now getting around to showing them on doors here in the U.S. They are super cool, aren't they? Truth be known, I wouldn't have discovered them without the net. Oh, how did we ever get by?

  3. Good points Rob, We love the marine supply stores here. They have way cooler stuff than most RV places for sure! The push button flush cabinet door pulls are similar to the ones in Roadtreks. They operate the same way, just the back side is a little different. They are really sweet though.

    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

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