Buying Marine Parts: Do’s and Don’ts

Marine equipment plays a vital role in getting you home safely after a fishing or crabbing expedition. But what if you’ve never purchased this kind of thing before? What criteria should you use for determining the good products from the bad? Here are a few general do’s and don’ts when buying marine parts.

Do: Know What You Need

Anchor chains aren’t the same as dock lines. Alternators, inverters and indicators all serve completely different purposes. If you don’t know what you need from a marine supply store, you’re that much more likely to buy something extraneous or unnecessary.

Don’t: Rely Too Much on Brand Names

While it’s fine to use brands as a jumping-off point for your first order of marine parts, it isn’t something that you’ll want to do regularly. Look at products and not logos. You never know when you’ll find better construction or increased longevity from a competitor.

Do: Consider Your Specs

This is especially important if you’re buying replacement marine parts for an existing boat. What shapes and sizes do you need? What power limitations are present? What will fit?

Don’t: Bog Down Your Boat

Between pools, grills, dishwashers and entertainment centers, there are a lot of extras that you can install on your vessel. Don’t get carried away with little luxuries. The bulk of your attention should be on the functionality of your boat, not the bells and whistles that you attach later.

Do: Create a Budget

When shopping for marine parts, it’s important to remember that the parts themselves won’t be your only expense. You’ll also be responsible for things like delivery and assembly, and if you aren’t a DIY expert, you might need to pay for future maintenance as well. Keep all of these expenses in mind as you draft a budget.

Don’t: Forget the Warranty

All manufacturers should offer some kind of warranty with their products. Even if it’s just a grace period that allows you to return the item without consequence, you should always ask for some kind of safety net before you pull out your checkbook.

When you’re in the middle of the ocean with nothing to help you but what’s already on the boat, you’ll be glad that you took the time to consider your purchase of marine parts. Being too careful is always better than not being careful enough!


  1. Boats are specialized, So what you buy should be largely determined by how you will enjoy the water. Take the time to do your research. Just as you wouldn’t buy an off road vehicle to commute on a highway. it’s important to find the right boat to fit your activities, tastes and the needs of your crew.

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