Monday, October 6, 2014

Bacon - not just for breakfast...

Back in August, on a beautiful, windy Saturday afternoon, my son Dylan and I were sailing along on a father-son weekend getaway. We were in the middle of the Chesapeake bay, tacking our way to the next night's destination when disaster struck. As I was setting the Genoa on the next tack, the sheet slipped out of my hand and in its flailing, it popped the winch handle overboard. Later on, my son admitted to me that he has never heard me say THOSE words before. <grin>  I guess he now knows what cursing like a sailor means...

Luckily, September Song came with a decent inventory of spares (courtesy of the PO) and I was able to go below and pull out the spare winch handle. However, it was a shorter handle and did not provide me with the same amount of leverage that the lost handle did. It made managing the 150% Genoa on windy days a little difficult, especially for the first mate. I started pricing replacement handles and after I saw how much new ones cost, I decided that it would be an off-season purchase. Or maybe I would ask Santa for one.

I had my eye on the Lewmar One-Touch handles but was put off by the $100+ MSRP. I have known about Bacon Sails in Annapolis, mainly for their used sail inventory but I had never spent any time in the store shopping in their consignment area. I had some spare cash and a free morning recently on a Saturday and I decided to stop by and see what they had in the way of used (previously loved) winch handles. To my surprise, I found exactly what I was looking for, laying right on top of a giant bin of winch handles: a 10" One-touch, Power Grip winch handle for $31! SCORE! Priced new at $102 on Amazon.

As I was wandering around the rest of the store, I found a wealth of used hardware, electronics, lines, canvas, railings, stanchions, spars, shackles, winches, etc. I just couldn't believe my eyes. Below are a few pictures. If you get the chance to visit, make sure you ask to see the back room. There is some amazing stuff back there!
GPS, anyone? There are stacks of used electronics!

Found my winch handle in the blue bin
 To the left you can see all of the previously loved electronics. I found a few items that really weren't that old for half the price of new. Below is the aisle where I found the winch handle - right there in the blue bin!
They have some winches...

All kinds of canvas items!

How about an anchor?


On the left you can see they have an extensive inventory of used winches. Some of them quite nice. Sorry, I did not see any wenches...

Here you can see they have shelves full of canvas items. Dodgers, biminis, sail covers, you name it...

They also have an entire section of used anchors for sale. some are well worn, others look hardly used.

A few spars!

 Along the wall in the back room is a complete collection of spars. Booms, whisker poles, spinnaker poles... you name it, they probably have one for sale. I'm pretty sure I had a big grin on my face when I walked out of there with my treasure. I will definitely be back!

The other great thing about Bacon is their used sail inventory. They have a comprehensive list of pretty much every production sailboat made in the last 40 years with all of the vital measurements. On their web site, or in the store, you can tell them what kind of boat you have and what type of sail you're looking for. Their used sail consignment registry will pop up a list of all the used sails they have on hand that will fit your boat. Check it out at Bacon's web site.

Now I realize that not all sailors are as fortunate as I, to live less than 30 minutes away from Annapolis, MD, where you can find just about any sailing part or service that you desire. For the rest of you, here is a link to a comprehensive list of sailing related consignment shops all over. Do yourself a favor and visit one soon. You'll be amazed - and you just might score a used part for a fraction of new like I did.

The exhaustive list of consignment shops from all over

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