The only bad thing about West Marine is that they didn't seem to have a copy of the Annapolis Guide to Seamanship. But they had 30 copies of Chapman's, so it's all good. A particularly nice feature of West Marine is the rigging center. Not only can you arrange to pay $30 for a splice, but you can talk to the rigger and get some advice. For example, he'll probably tell you what fid you should buy, what whipping line, and what kind of whipping needle you should use, and why you would be crazy to pay $30 for a splice. In fact, the rigging guy seems more interested in having more people around who know what rigging is and how to do it than in making a lot of money for West Marine. This is nice, because it means that you stay in the store longer,buy the line, and don't bug them for labor.
The chart center is good, but they really ought to expand it into a navigation section. I couldn't find sextants or handheld marine compasses. I know they're there somewhere, but the whole store i