Saving money on accessories and other stuff for your boat

I wanted a wooden floor on the cockpit. I could have had one made of teak. The dollar store had one foot square solid wood tiles on a plastic base for $2 each. Total cost $24, saving a couple of hundred dollars.

My cockpit lights are rechargeable solar lights from the dollar store, amount saved $20 each.

I needed glasses, plates, cups, pots and pans for the galley. I went to our "Value Village" store that sells used items and donates money to a charity. They all cost less than $20 and I saved a fortune.

I also made a list of gifts people could buy me in certain price ranges and distributed it before Christmas. That also saved me several hundred dollars

I bought used 12V fans and an alcohol stove from sellers on craigslist. I found a great deal on my boat there too, saving thousands of dollars!

Even things such as insurance can be cheaper if you look around. Many insurers want a current marine survey, so ask if the former owner has one and it can save you $500 or more. You may be able to save some money if you don't have any propane on board too! Propane is heavier than air and tends to congregate in bilges where it can explode when it comes in contact with flame or a spark.

Before you buy, ask for a complete inventory of the boat. The more safety and 'must have' equipment on the list, the less you have to buy. I got 8 personal floatation devices, two anchors a chain rode and line, a swim ladder, flares and a flare gun, a barometer, ship's bell, an air horn, and so much more because I asked for the inventory and put these items on the Offer to Purchase. My sellers were buying a larger boat and could have taken all those items with them. Total savings for asking for an inventory was just under $1,000.

There are other ways to save too. If you have enough property and local laws allow, you can store your own boat if you have a trailer. Some people day sail boats so you only pay docking fees while the boat is in the water. After all the ideas I listed, think about extra ways you can save money.

Kijiji and craiglist have saved me thousands of dollars. You may be aware that some people who respond are trying to pull scams. Always buy close to home and don't accept cheques and you'll have no problems. When I need something for my boat I follow this process:

Check craigslist and kijiji daily for a month or so

In the spring many yacht clubs have yard sales. Often they are not advertised outside of the club, so ask or check their websites

Find a picture of the item you want and post a wanted ad on the internet

Ask everyone you know

If all else buy it on sale at retail

How to Buy Stuff Cheap

Someone once described sailing as like standing fully clothed in a cold shower while tearing up $100 bills.

A trip to a chandlery will confirm that. Anything for a boat is double the price. Now that said, some things need to be because they are better made, water resistant or heavier duty. That said, here is a list of things I have purchased for my boat that are not marine specific

Instead of a chart plotter, I bought a GPS. Not every GPS will work as a chart plotter but my Garmin allows me to switch to "off road" and for less than $100, I can purchase a SD card with nautical charts with a 3D option. Savings: $600.