I do a lot of my boat supply shopping online. Sometimes the orders are large but often I just need something small. As was the case the other night when I went looking for a nylon replacement vent for my fuel tank. Now when placing a small order online, it drives me nuts to get to checkout only to discover an exorbitant shipping fee. This is what happened the other night. It seemed like site after site wanted $10 to ship this $4 part.

So I decided to do a comparison of shipping rates. I searched for the same item on a dozen or so large boating supply web sites. (If a site didn’t have the exact item, I chose a similarly priced one so I could still compare their shipping rates.)

What I found was  a range in shipping fees from free shipping (Overtons) to $16.18 from Go2 Marine ($11.18 shipping + a $5 small order handling fee).  And Go2 Marine might not have been the highest: While Boat Owners Warehouse stated on their shopping cart there would be an $8 handling fee, I never got the actual shipping cost as the site would not show it until I entered my credit card info first (somethingI declined to do).

One other thing I dislike when shopping online: having to gp through checkout before you can find out what the shipping fee is. Fortunately, many sites include a calculator that lets you see the estimated shipping as soon as you put an item in your cart. Just punch in a state and zip code. Others though make you fill out all of your personal information first. And Boat Owners Warehouse, unbelievably, also wanted my credit card number before it would quote a shipping fee.


Site Cost to Ship Cheapest Shipping Method Site Has Calculator? Notes
Overtons 0 UPS Ground Yes Free shipping. Did not carry the specific item.
IBoats 3.59 USPS First Class Yes
Discount Marine Supplies 5.99 USPS Priority Yes
Jamestown Distributors 6.00 USPS Priority Yes Did not carry the specific item.
Boaters World 6.95 USPS Priority Yes Did not carry the specific item.
Boat Owners Warehouse 8.00+Shipping No Did not get shipping method/cost as site would not reveal without first getting credit card info.
Boat Mania 9.30 UPS Ground Yes
Wholesale Marine 9.80 Fedex Ground No
West Marine 9.95 USPS Priority No Did not carry the specific item.
Boaters Marine Supply 9.95 UPS Ground No Did not carry the specific item.
JMS Online 10.91 UPS Ground Yes
BoatFix 12.01 UPS Ground Yes Did not carry the specific item.
Go2 Marine 16.18 UPS Ground Yes 11.18 for shipping plus $5 small order fee.