So on Friday I headed on over to my local Laser dealer to buy a new vang key to replace the one I broke on Thursday. This little bit of bent metal looks like it should cost about 40 cents, but thanks to the miracles of offshore outsourcing, integrated global supply chain efficiencies, and the huge economies of scale in serving the mass market of millions of Laser sailors around the world ... it was actually $8.20.
This was not a surprise. It's to be expected if you sail Lasers.
In line with the Tillerman Laser Spare Parts Inventory Building and Replenishment Policy (as discussed yesterday) I decided I might as well buy two vang keys. One for the boat; one for the toolbox. Better safe than sorry. Now I have a spare one in case I suffer another vang key breakage one day. You never know. So far I've broken a total of one in 30 years so it could happen again. (If I am still sailing Lasers at age 92.)
Total bill $16.40. Ka-Ching!
Then I spotted a pair of sailing gloves just like my favorite ones that are wearing out. As these are basically the same as gardening gloves that sell in their millions for two bucks a pair, these were a real bargain. Only $5.99.
Total bill $22.39. Ka-Ching!
Oh look, they've got some of those SEA waist-lock hiking pants. I've been meaning to buy some of those to replace my current hiking pants that are falling to bits. Thanks to the high technology Airprene construction, not to mention the Mauser bonded panels, Tatex knee pads, Velcro waist lock with elastic back support, non-flex fiberglass battens... and probably the weak dollar, they were only $189. Still you need to be comfortable when sailing.
Total bill $211.39. Ka-Ching!
Oh, and see what else they have. Some of those cool Zhik PFDs that are totally illegal if the SIs say you have to wear a US Coastguard approved PFD but all the cool kids wear them and it won't catch on the boom like my legal PFD. I have to have one. Thanks to the ultimate coolness of the Zhik brand it's a snip at $119.
Total bill $330.39. Ka-Ching!
Add on sales tax and we are talking over $350. Ka-Ching!
And I only went in for a 40 cent vang key.
But it's good to support your local Laser dealer... I think.