The story of Topaz Rival

Sailing adventures of one man and his dog. Please feel free to leave a comment!

The marine industry is nuts

It's not often I think of packing it all in, swallowing the anchor and retiring to a peaceful life ashore. But today was one of those times. While putting the mainsail up yesterday, we had to slot the sliding wheeled runners holding the sail into a groove on the mast. To get them in, there is a wider section which unscrews so you can feed them in one at a time. But these screws are tiny and are almost designed to fall out and drop down the mast - which is exactly what they did. Not a problem we thought we could just pop to Screwfix - or more likely Marine Superstore to get marine grade stainless steel replacements. No chance. They have a special smooth section at the top of the barrel on the simple M5 bolt and so can only come from Selden, the makers of the mast. At Marine Superstore you can buy 4 marine grade bolts (plus nuts and washers) for the princely some of £2.60 while at Screwfix you can get 50 simple stainless bolts for £3.29. But the super dooper Selden bolts are - wait for it - £7.42 (US$9.70) each!! Just how is it possible to justify these prices apart from the fact that they know know you have no alternative and are holding you to ransom? Reduces one to using bad language questioning the birth of those running the Swedish multi-national. Must be mad to own a boat...


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