Owning a boat, for the most part, is an enjoyable experience. Like any machine, things break, especially on vessels. The pounding, vibration, exposure, and harsh environments they are subject to can wear parts down at a rapid rate. Finding quality replacement parts can be a challenge in your area.
One of the biggest obstacles you will face is finding a reputable dealer or store that stocks quality parts for the boat’s particular make. While you shouldn’t have to drive extreme distances to find a supplier, it may be a bit lengthy.
Steps To Finding Quality Boat Parts
Follow these steps to ensure the new replacement parts will have a long lifespan by avoiding low-quality purchases.
-Go onto the internet, search in your area for boat parts stores, and compile a list.
-Visit each one of these stores’ websites to determine if they offer the parts needed for your make boat.
Call the stores before you make the trip and ask these key questions-
- Do you sell the particular part I am looking for?
- Do you have the part in stock?
- If it’s not currently in-store, how long will it take to receive it?
- Inquire about the replacement’s quality by asking if it’s built by the boat maker or an aftermarket replacement?
- Determine the cost and compare it to other suppliers in your area.
Some of the more trusted brands that are found nationwide include MarineMax and West Marine. These stores house a large number of parts.
West Marine has a good selection of accessories and generic parts for boats such as bilge pumps, plumbing, and electrical components. They typically will not have a specific part to a particular boat brand and likely will not order it in.
On the other hand, MarineMax holds a robust inventory of parts for most engine and boat manufacturers. MarineMax stores are located throughout the United States, so you are likely to find a location near you.
In addition to the stores having a significant amount of quality parts, they are an authorized dealer for-
- Boston Whaler
- Sea Ray
If you’re not in luck finding what you need from a local MarineMax, its time to dig deeper. Lakes and coastal regions are lined with boat dealerships offering a wide range of makes and models. An authorized dealer matching your vessel should not be far to be found.
Finding Boat Parts at Local Shops
Local dealerships will establish a more personalized relationship in hopes of retaining you as a customer for an upgrade down the road. More often than not, these stores will have the genuine part you need on hand when you need it. The parts manager will be familiar with all of the components associated with the vessel and select the right replacement and often suggest tricks and maintenance strategies to both install and better maintain the new part.
Many small mom and pop shops will undoubtedly be found in your region. While they are incredibly knowledgeable, they will be unlikely to have what you need, especially in a pinch. More often than not, they will be able to special order the quality item, but the question is how long will it take, prime boating months are in short supply. The mom and pop shops need the local support, call ahead, and see if they have what you want before heading elsewhere.
The task of finding high-quality parts may seem more daunting than it appears. More often than not, someone in town will have exactly what you need when you need it. Online ordering is also an option, but it’s better to put your hands on it, match it up, and know it’s of the same quality level. When you’re in a jam, what you need will more than likely be found in your backyard.