Saturday, January 29, 2011

Now it's time for you and me...

Fatty Goodlander (the only guy I know who can compete with me for the Mr Cheapseats trophy) has an important article in the new "All At Sea" (Feb.2011) that is pretty much on target... Sadly, the new issue is not available on the website yet so most of you will have to wait a bit to read it.

Fatty mainly seems to be upset over the price we as cruisers seem to be paying for various services, non-services, and the fact that today the cruising sailor is considered as something of a cash cow. He also points out that "we" are a very big part of the problem because we allow it to happen and pay...

I know I often rant on the subject of overly high prices for second rate goods and services which is SOP in the marine industry but, in hindsight, I maybe have not made it clear enough that we as consumers have a lot of power. If we do not exercise this power a lot of those high prices and inferior products are really as much our fault as the greedheads who are selling crappy goods at silly prices.

Of course, folks in the marine trades who sell a bit of stainless steel made in India for a few pennies and sold to you at your local chandler for a too large chunk of your paycheck might have a different view on things as they are just trying to make a profit... The question really should be what exactly is a fair profit?

That "We Can Do It" dude in the White House thinks the answer to various problems is for the American worker and business to get more competitive and that will bring jobs and suchlike back and hey presto we will be all fine and dandy. But, the thing is, to be competitive with workers making a couple of dollars a day would mean that American workers would have to work for the same sort of wages and in the same sort of conditions one would expect to get in someplace like Mumbai... Now, there's a scary thought if you do the math!

That said, big business is not going to want a decrease in profits so prices will remain as high or higher which would leave folks who make things even worse off.


On the other hand, there are any number of new small boutique "maker" businesses arriving on the scene that give some hope that there is an alternative to the same old same marketplace and here at Boat Bits we are going to be putting a lot of effort into helping them connect to those folks cruising, getting ready to cruise, and building or refitting. So if you know of someone designing, making or otherwise serving the cruising sailor with well done, fairly (real world) priced, and sustainable products or services, we'd really like to hear about them.

More than time to put that cash cow thing behind us!

So it goes...

Listening to Jefferson Airplane