In America, we know them as a “marine store”, but the more official term (and used more often by international sailors) is a chandlery. Boaters get to know, love, or sometimes hate, these places that provide essential needed items to keep our boats running smoothly or to fix inevitable broken equipment. It is sometimes a challenge to find a good chandlery as you are sailing in remote islands, but every good sailor will eagerly look over the available wares when he finds himself near a store.
Our preparations for this trip have required quite a few trips (unfortunately for our wallets) to both local and online chandleries. My favorite two are West Marine (because they have stores in most popular boating regions in the US as well as an online catalog), and also Defender (who also have an online catalog, good pricing, and great customer service).
West Marine staffers were very helpful when we purchased our new chain and anchor, and in helping us find many unusual items either in their store, online, or in some cases sending us to other stores over the course of the last several months.
I’ve used Defender many times over the past 10 years or so, and they have always been a pleasure to work with. They often have sales related to boat shows, so you can often get better prices on expensive items if you time yourself right. When we bought one large item this summer, I noticed a week later they had it on sale for $100 less. They not only offered us a store credit, but even offered to pay us a refund on the difference in price. That kind of service buys a lot of customer loyalty!