It’s the middle of July and I’ve got three boys eager to strap on their water skis and cut some big waves into the wake behind our boat this weekend. But their high hopes for fun have run aground. Why? We’re missing one small part needed to fix the engine.
My mechanic gave me the good news first. “It’s the manifold,” he said, wiping the grease off his hands. “Simple job.” The problem, he added sheepishly, was that the part needed to fix the engine was nowhere to be found. “It’s back-ordered,” he said, then added the heart-sinking clincher, “indefinitely.”
Supply-chain snafus have plagued the world economy since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago. What does that even mean? National lockdowns during Covid have slowed or halted trade globally, causing shortages of a vast range of goods from electronics to lumber to furniture to clothing.
Oh, and replacement parts for small engines are officially MIA.
Not that I haven’t tried! I’ve spent hours online digging up clues like the Sherlock Holmes of Spare Parts. In an online forum for boat owners, I plugged into the underground rumor mill. One source said boxes of boat parts are sitting in the trailers of 18-wheelers parked behind a warehouse; there aren’t enough drivers to deliver the boxes to stores. Another source said the parts are afloat on a freighter in the Indian Ocean.
Some creative boat owners are championing a do-it-yourself fix, welding replacement parts from items scrounged at a junkyard. Then there are a few highly suspect sites selling what seem to be counterfeit parts so pricey they ought to be gold-plated.
Sure, there are alternatives for me and the boys: a hike, a fishing pole, a game of rummy. And while this inconvenience pales against the widespread suffering caused by Covid, still, it is frustrating.
The impact of snarls in the supply chain has been felt throughout the economy and it has hit the furniture business particularly hard. Millions of homeowners are waiting months to take delivery of necessities for the home such as beds, dining tables, and chairs.
At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we can’t fix your boat, but we do have plenty of solutions for your home. Our furniture inventory is expansive and constantly changing. Though we may not have exactly what you might have wanted to order, we have so many options for you that might be even more suitable – and for far less money and angst than new furniture.
So shop our website or visit one or all of our three stores in Hanover, Plymouth, and Natick. You’ll find more than you ever imagined, I promise.