Honolulu Star Bulletin 01/11/03)
By Ray Pendleton
Are you like many other boaters I know in Hawai`i who get frustrated trying to find a good selection and low prices on boating and fishing gear?
If so, have I got a Web site for you. It's so good, in fact, that if you don't have Internet access, I'd recommend finding a way to get on-line, even if it's at the library, through a friend, or on Web TV.
The site can be found at http://www.BoatersWorld.com and although it has been around since 1999, I only recently heard about it from a friend and just wish someone had told me sooner.
In the vernacular of computer techies, the site is extremely user-friendly. It loads quickly and is a breeze to navigate.
The home page offers a huge selection of options to click on, beginning with the latest "hot products," and followed by a list of "bestsellers" and "featured brands."
If you're shopping for a specific item or brand name, there is a search engine included that only requires you to fill in a word or two to pull up what's available and at what price.
For example, type in Garmin GPS, click the "go" button, and a list of all Garmin Global Positioning System units and their prices will pop up on your screen.
Or, you can browse a list of 20 general headings from Anchoring/Docking to Water Sports. If you want to check out BoatersWorld.com's whole line of, say, marine electronics, you just click on that heading to scan its full inventory.
Placing an order is similar to most on-line shopping outlets, but there is a different twist for paying for your purchase. A valid credit card is the usual method of payment, but if you'd like to write a check and mail it, that's OK, too. Just expect the arrival of your purchase to be a little delayed.
Another difference at BoatersWorld.com is that it charges no sales tax in most states -- including Hawai`i -- and it will ship all orders of over $100 and under 20 pounds for free.
And, BoatersWorld.com is much more than just a place for on-line shopping. It has hot links to "Fishing Only" and "Boating Only" partner sites that offer related editorial information.
"Keeping your tackle in top fighting condition" and a story about the new VHF radios with digital selective calling are examples of recent articles that have appeared on these sites.
In the Boating Only section, there are also interactive forums for discussing cruising, repairs and maintenance, and equipment.
The Fishing Only section presents tips on such diverse subjects as what to look for when selecting a new reel and the psychology of fishing.
Another linked partner is an ebay marketplace site for marine equipment.
Items ranging from Penn reels to depth finders can be bid on and often purchased at huge discounts.
All in all, the only thing I think anyone can object to with the BoatersWorld.com web site is the amount of time boaters and anglers will find they are spending on-line.
There is so much to see and do there, it's like being a kid in a candy shop.
You'll want to have a taste of everything.
HoloHolo Hawai`i Ocean Sports News