Seeing red: what to do with a store credit?!

Auckland Harbour Bridge
Auckland Harbour Bridge

Shopping is not my favourite hobby and yet it seems to be taking up a lot of our time at the moment. We’ve started ‘provisioning’ (stocking up on food for the voyage, more on that soon), and we’ve also become regulars in the marine chandleries in the Auckland area. They’re mostly located within a 10 minute walk of Westhaven and Beaumont and the popular ones are as close to that corner as possible. A yacht refitter quickly realizes that a purchased item will not necessarily end its life on the yacht – and if lucky can recycle an unwanted item back to the shop, not into the yacht’s spares locker.  During Illusion‘s refit, various items purchased with good intentions have turned out to not quite fit the need when compared more closely with the matching parts already on board. A couple of examples below illustrate this while giving a little insight into the exciting (?!) challenges of refitting:

  • We had a 500 ml can of epoxy barrier paint, intended for the touch-ups needed before we repainted the hard anti-fouling paint. That small can seemed absurd after deciding to sand the hull much further down and do a complete recoat of the epoxy barrier.  It was a very expensive decision, but, after 18 years, seemed like the wise one. So instead of 1/2 a liter, we bought 60 liters and had Ashley, the yard manager, spray it on for us. (Spraying is faster and easier to get a consistent, thick coat. We’re doing a signal, or initial, coat of “red” – others here in the yard use more flowery terms: “pink” and “rose” are the nicest and only ones I’ll mention here – followed by two coats of black.)  Our little $60 can went back to the store; one of those Auckland chandleries that only gives a store credit. Red hullWhat to buy now?! That decision was easy: we were looking for replacement lifelines and decided to go with Kevlar/Spectra rather than stainless.  Sailors Corner has, by far, the best price on 25+ meter purchases of line; I’d already spent many hundreds on 150+ meters of new running rigging there.  So this was a good decision. I didn’t mention that this little can was already mostly purchased using a store credit for something else we bought.  ‘Recycling’ at its best!
  • The day I arrived in Auckland (six weeks ago!), I bought paint, thinner for that paint, rollers, trays, paint mixer, etc. for the painting job. But having decided to let Ashley spray our antifouling, rather than me rolling it on as I’d done for previous haul-outs, my initial purchase of 16 liters of paint was now superfluous and they needed to be returned. I bought them at Burnsco Marine, the shop that we now use for most of our purchases.  They have good prices, and also allow cash/credit-back for returned items… but we didn’t know that is only if it’s within 30 days. So now, after spending several thousand dollars on other things at their stores (in Auckland & Albany), I find that they will take the paint back (thankfully!), but I can only get a store credit… almost $1000.

Red hullWe’ve just about finished the refit, so there aren’t many more things Illusion needs.  I just spent 20 minutes perusing their online catalogue to see if I can find a good way to spend $1000 when I don’t really need anything and don’t really want to spend $1000!  Perhaps a 1kW generator?  Additional interior lights?  Plumbing?  Pumps?  More solar panels? Maybe another starter battery for $230?  Feels like I’m playing a weird version of Settlers of Catan, or Monopoly…

Really hoping that soon we can stop shopping and start sailing!

Painting job

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