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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hippo Hardware of Marine Stuff: Sailor’s Exchange


Fitting Sailor’s Exchange entrance is graced with
a wooden figurehead
Sailor’s Exchange is kind of like a treasure hunt in a dump. Coming inside, you quickly get the sense you’ve entered a labrinth of the riduclous, the useful and the sublime.  Bargains are there for those lucky, observant, persistent and knowledgeable enough.  At this stage, I’m missing that last and not least quality, knowledgeable enough.  I bought nothing (this time); Wayne bought some electrical spares and latches for our settee cabinet doors.

For Pacific NW yachties who’ve frequented Bellingham’s Pacific NW Exchange (www.pacificmarineexchange.com), Sailor’s Exchange is less organized, 10x the size, and far quirkier.  For Pacific NW non-yachties, if you’ve had the pleasure of wandering Portland’s Hippo Hardware’s (www.HippoHardware.com) veritable historical archives in the form of architectural treasures and are curious about the underbelly of boating, Sailor’s Exchange is right up your alley.  Don’t go if you don’t like to get your hands dirty or if you expect an easily navigable inventory.
The store’s merchandise is often as robust as this sign.


The greeter… front….
 Still, I’m looking forward to checking out the Sailor’s Exchange a stone’s throw from our marina, in West Jacksonville Florida… with a shopping list (as well as my camera).

Though I wish Ft. Lauderdale’s Sailorman (www.SailorMan.com) were here; their secondhand selecton of books and charts were both affordable and useful.  They were willing to spend a good chunk of time suggesting starting fishing gear, tailored to my interest, budget and ability.  Best of all, Wayne was able to use their crimper to swedge a terminal onto a wire… which instantly resolved the issue of how to go from parts to completed project.  It was free to use.   Doesn’t get much more cruiser-friendly than that!




The greeter… back…
butt crack and all!
What are some of your favorite indie yachtie service and supply haunts, and why?
One of the more useful and straightforward merchandise areas.
Too overwhelmed to comparatively price shop it relative
to our needs at this time.
For that certain something, for those adept
at finding needles in haystacks.
This hammerhead was good denizen of the deep company
for the sailfish, marlin, dolphinfish, pirate plaque and other
sundry décor lurking overhead throughout the store.





Can anyone tell me what this is?  No, I don’t know! 

But wait, there’s more!  This stuff spills
out the back of the store.

Popeye the sailorman… there to check
you out at the register.

S---loads of props and not one of them fits our engine
(there were lots more than these).

Our newfound friends and fellow Pearson owners Allen and
Michelle of Incommunicado couldn't resist introducing us to
their favorite yachtie shopping haunt in St. Augustine.


There is some sense of order, though some of
what's in the back area is more of the same
stuff elsewhere in the store.