Building Logs

A Blatant Plug!

Posted by Paul

Every now and then an opportunity presents itself. I am grateful that I have had many of them. Many of you will already know that although I am an amateur boat builder, my build has led me to start a business in the marine industry importing boat hatches, and whilst I have resisted the temptation (so far!) to have advertising sponsorship for this blog I do have a link to my own business at the bottom of each page, and I am sure you will agree I don’t use this blog as a money making vehicle or even to push my webstore. However, I have to tell you all about a great opportunity that came my way and how some other of you may benefit from it.

One of the most asked questions I get is how much will the boat cost. And I answer it pretty much the same way each time, it depends. It depends very much on what you want in your boat. For example, just the choice of auxiliary power can change the budget by as much as $40000. 2 outboards will cost about $12000, 2 inboard diesels about double that ($25000) and 2 electric motors and the battery bank and genset about double again, so from $12000 to $52000 for the same boat with different propulsion.

It also very much depends on the bargains you can get along the way. I have already told of how I got $8000 of winches for $2400 ($1800 for 5 brand new Hutton winches worth $6000 and $600 to repair a $2400 windlass) or how I made my own tanks instead of bought them. And of course my hatches and portlights will be at cost! Well another bargain has fallen into my lap, well not fallen, I continually seek them out and I found one. A bargain so huge I told Terry, my friend building an Easy and he bought one too, which prompted me to ask the supplier if they had any more and if they had an Australian representative or agent and if not if I can be their local agent (much the same way I got into the hatch importing business). They did not have a local agent so I am setting up my business to help them sell stock here, make a little money myself and bring the same bargains to anyone else interested with a local contact, me, if they are not as game to send money overseas. I will be selling at the same price they do so there is no disadvantage in buying from me and I make a commission on the sale and I can make some extra money if I buy stock and resell it locally or if I organize the shipping in bulk (many peoples orders ship at the same time to me instead of each shipping separately and the customers save on freight too) so everybody wins except high margin local retailers.

First a little background. I have been a fan of Raymarine’s E series plotters for some time. The reason is that I don’t have a lot of money and thought I could get myself a small size plotter with a tiny screen because I could not afford a bigger one, and the E series was one of few that could send the video out to another non plotter screen, and I would direct the image to my LCD TV screen which would be very near the helm meaning I would have a big screen plotter/radar at a fraction of the price. Then I was confronted with the issue of where to put a radome down the track when I could afford radar. With rotating masts I could not mount it up the mast because they rotate and change their orientation to the boat (there are very complicated and expensive gyro solutions but why add complexity). So I am going to have mini masts on the stern of each hull, one for a wind gen and one for the radome, but was concerned that the taller the mini mast the more flexible they would become with the weight and volume of a radome at the top but the shorter the mini mast the closer to head level the radome would be, and radiation becomes a problem (short term they give nasty headaches, who knows what damage they are doing long term).

Then I heard about Navico’s broadband radar (Simrad, Lowrance and Northstar are 3 of Navico’s many brands, which also include Navman, Eagle and B&G). Its radomes give off 1/20000 the radiation of a standard radar, less radiation than a mobile phone and they market themselves as the worlds only huggable radar. Ok that got me wanting a Navico chart plotter/radar, but as it turned out, only their top of the range multi function units offered video out and they have big screens anyway, that negate the need for video out. The M series Northstar units don’t have video out, but they do take the broadband radar and the larger screen models are a lot cheaper than the Raymarine gear so I have been searching for a good deal on Northstar for some time. And it didn’t stop me searching for the top end units in case I found one cheap or just to dream about what I would buy if I could afford it, and wouldn’t you know it, I found one so cheap, at first I thought it was an internet scam. So I rang them in the US and not only are they not scammers, I have struck up a business relationship with them to sell Marine electronics in Australia. So I have a challenge for readers, go and get quotes for whatever item you want for your boat, no matter the item or the brand, if it is a world brand in marine electronics we can get them, then let me know the best price and lets see if I cant save you some money. And I am not talking $20 or $50, if you cant save hundreds then it isn’t worth the effort. Seriously!

Terry and I bought Northstar 8000i 15″ inch touch screen multi function units, that retailed in Australia last year for nearly $10000 for $2500. 25% of the retail price!! Brand new with full manufacturers international warranty. Now I am not saying that bargains like this will be available all the time, but they have some 8000i units left so if you want one email me now ( or and I will get you one for as long as stock lasts. And if this unit is not for you they have nearly all brands, new (nothing is second hand or factory reconditioned) all with manufacturers warranty. I don’t have my webstore ( set up for marine electronics yet so I have my original purchase listed on eBay and will replace it as soon as it sells but if they run out before it sells I will withdraw it from sale (it really is so good a deal that I doubt that a deal as good as this will ever come up again so I don’t want to miss out by selling my one and not being able to replace it). If you are tempted to buy one from me via eBay, use buy it now and email me and I will reduce the price back to $2500 for you.

OK, shameless plug over, back to my build. But please let me try to help you save some money if you need anything in marine electronics or hatches and portlights.

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