I recently needed to get a VHF antenna for the Islander and, as I had to buy a VHF antenna a few years ago for So It Goes, I expected to find one for between $40 to $50 dollars. The fact that most of the antennas I considered this time around were more like $90 to $130 dollars, for want of a better word, poleaxed me.
Now, I have been known as someone who keeps an eagle eye on the costs involved in building, repairing, and cruising boats so the fact that I was shocked at a 100% or more rise in prices on antennas I find somewhat, shall we say… troubling.
Then there’s paint. All of a sudden, I find my old standby paints (Rust-Oleum Topside and Protective Enamel Aluminum paint) are not selling for $16 or $12 dollars per quart anymore but are now priced at $48 and $38 which is just insane. Of course, there are still places where you can buy the paints much cheaper but they will either not ship to the USVI or, if they are willing to ship, charge so much for shipping that it winds up being even more expensive than what I can buy on island.
I could go on but it’s depressing and I’m sure you all have your own stories of insane price gouging so you already know what I’m talking about. That brings us to what we should be talking about which is just how we can sort out affordable needful materials and resources we all need to use for our various and sundry VolksCruisers.
How do we cut costs without being forced to use crap materials and products? Is it possible to avoid the absurd profit margins and insane markups that is now the norm for the marine trades?
Or, maybe we should just all forget about life aboard and take up some other lifestyle choice?
So, if you find all this a subject of interest, I’ll need some help. Otherwise it’s just a guy on a boat ranting that everything costs too much and screaming for people to stay off his lawn sort of thing.
It’s more than time to get to doing.
More on the subject if you want to hear it…