The top names in wet weather gear are available from www.wetweathergear.com.au
for substantially less than the recommended retail price. Musto jackets are selling for $320 less than RRP with a Henri Lloyd offshore jacket reduced from $655 to $395. There’s also a great range of kit from Gill, SLAM, Line 7, Burke and Ronstan. The site doesn’t just sell wet weather gear: there are sailing DVDs, shoes, casual gear, safety equipment and much more.
A specials section of a website has a limited range of items at even further reduced prices. You can pick up some great bargains from discontinued lines or excess stock. At the moment a limited number of last season’s Henri Lloyd offshore jackets and trousers are available at a substantial discount. There are also Ronstan fleeces and Burke sports boat shoes at a good price.
And it’s not just equipment and accessories for keel boats or offshore sailing. The site has a range of dinghy products including Racing Line classic long sleeve rash vest and Kevlar reinforced trapeze harness.
Andrew Neilson started the website about five years ago when he realised that the market for online shopping was huge, and was likely to increase. Nowadays he ships orders all over Australia and also has a steady stream of international orders. He says the great thing about the website is the speed at which new stock can be advertised.
‘The advantage of the web site is that there are new products on there all the time. It reflects the market trends immediately as opposed to printed media which has a bit of a time lag. We find that we can put stuff up immediately which we find that customers like.’
‘We can change our focus on things as seasons change. Over the summer season we get a lot of orders for casual wear and there’s always a peak in December with the big offshore races for wet weather gear and accessories.’
Most of their sales are from wet weather gear and ‘the big brand names, Musto and Henri Lloyd are quite popular. There’s quite a bit of Gill wet weather gear going through the system.’
Deliveries are usually prompt with most items received within three days of ordering. The store has a co-operative arrangement with their many suppliers so ‘if we don’t have it in stock we can send it from one of their offices.’ It’s an arrangement that has proved beneficial to customers who need new gear as a result of a last minute invitation to go racing or cruising.
Another advantage of the site is that you can compare the features of the leading brands without walking all over town to do so. It’s a more objective, considered process than having a super salesperson pushing a particular brand at you. Each of the major players has a fairly extensive range of products advertised, so you can check colour, sizing, design features and price just by clicking your mouse.
Online shopping is particularly useful if you live in regional Australia or outside of the capital cities.
‘We’ve been sending items all around Australia to some obscure places a long, long away from water, but obviously they have a demand for wet weather gear and accessories.’
Another handy feature of the wet weather gear site is that Neilson and his team are happy to discuss discounts for bulk orders. With major events like the Meridien Airlie Beach Race Week and Audi Hamilton Island Race Weeks coming up, it makes sense for crews to get together and buy new gear as a team. Not only is it cheaper to buy as a group, but matching gear makes the boat look smart. Many suppliers offer personalised embroidery on their wet weather gear, which would be a good option for racing crews.
A number of manufacturers are recognising the market for women’s or unisex gear and so the site offers some of this stock. Ladies: no more looking like a clown or a school crossing lollipop man in a man’s oversized wet weather gear.
‘More women seem to be taking to the sport so there is higher demand for a woman’s fit, both in jackets and trousers. And certainly some of the suppliers are catering towards that particularly in the upper market…. There’s a lot of good middle layer and casual gear that they’re still comfortable coming into the bar with, and they look quite smart. There’s an increasing demand for that sort of thing.’
The market has become quite technical with clothing becoming very advanced to meet the needs of the sailor. Quick dry thermal garments with excellent wicking properties, long sleeved UV garments, shorts that dry quickly and suit après sailing and hi tech middle layers all help to make sailing enjoyable for everyone from the weekend sailor to the Olympic champions.
Neilson says that they receive a number of international orders from parents wanting to buy wet weather gear for their children who are visiting Australia and doing some sailing while they’re here. Obviously a full set of wet weather gear and safety equipment is not likely to fit in most young travellers’ backpacks.
‘We sometimes get orders placed with people from the UK and the United States buying their children gifts. And wet weather gear and safety equipment if they’re in Australia doing offshore races.’
The site offers secure e-commerce and accepts Visa and MasterCard and domestic and international prices are listed. Direct deposit details can also be made available.
‘Credit cards are through a high level encryption service and we’ve never had a problem with any electronic ordering. If people aren’t comfortable with that we also have a fax order form. So if they want to print that out and fax it to us, we’re happy to handle it that way as well.’ www.wetweathergear.com.au
is the online shopping site of Power Drive Marine which is a chandlery store that has been operating for over 19 years, so you have the reassurance of purchasing from a well established business.
‘We have a store in Geelong and in Williamstown in Melbourne. We provide full chandlery services in both stores: its parts and accessories for power boats and yachts.’
Power Drive Marine Pty Ltd
11 Yarra St, Geelong, Victoria 3221 Australia