I have noticed that ever since West Marine became a huge nation-wide store, and started marketing their own branded products, their quality of both product and service have declined significantly, to the point that I will not purchase any West Marine Brand products anymore. Even their Port Supply arm has lost their competitive edge. I now purchase most of my gear and products from places such as: Hamilton Marine and Jamestown Distributors. I have found that their retail prices generally beat Port Supply's wholesale prices
I am so sick of my local West Marine. Everytime I go in their crappy store in Winter Haven, FL nobody can answer my questions... Not unless somebody calls the guy who used to manage the store, who they all have on speed dial evidently for when their current manager is not there.
Of course forget about the current manager, he doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground, can't answer a technical question to save his life and would rather talk to you till you can't breathe anymore about anything BUT what you just asked about...
Why do these places skimp on employees? I could do better talking boats with wal-mart employees. I'm a "port supply" customer, and am taking my business to Defender- I get better pricing at their retail price than I do for West Marine's "wholesale" price.