Vintage / antique marine salvage hardware, $10.

Everything 'boats' and 'boating' is expensive! The more you know about the parts and pieces you're going to see, the more likely you'll profit. The trickle-down effect tells us that used marine hardware - from places like marine salvage yards - is costly too. So, used or new, boat parts can serve up some startling profits... if you know what you're looking at!

If you're serious about selling on eBay as a business, you must learn how to spot boat-related parts and equipment, whether for contemporary boats, or for vintage applications like this old piece. One thing I regularly stress here at Auctionbandits is that you don't always have to know exactly what an item is, as long as you can get a fairly good idea about it and can nail down who may be looking for it.

Although this Gallery entry is about vintage boat parts, I cannot overemphasize the importance of becoming at least a little familiar with new and used parts for contemporary boats. For example, rigging equipment for sailboats is a very expensive area. The various pulleys, windlasses and other items used on a modern sailboat cost a fortune! Just check out some of the websites that cater to sailboat owners, and your eyes will pop out when you see the incredible prices people are actually paying for some of this stuff. And the best part is that this stuff is actually out there waiting for you to come and get it! Anyway, back to our wheel before I get too far off topic!

I found this old wheel at a garage sale being held inside a large warehouse full of old boat equipment (which is a very powerful clue to its origins.) The second indicator this wheel is very likely from a boat is its brass construction. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc in roughly an 80-to-20 ratio (although there are many variations on this general formula to fit specific requirements.)

One of the nice things about brass is its general resistance to corrosion. Back in the days before we had the corrosion resistant steel alloys we take for granted today, brass was the closest thing to 'stainless' that we had. This is why we see all those old brass nautical components like propellers, screws, fittings, portholes and the like. They didn't tend to rust to pieces after a short time exposed to salt air or salt water.

Now, did the buyer put this wheel back onto a boat? I asked the winning bidder what he planned to use it for, and he said it was going into his den. He didn't even know what particular application this wheel originally had!

It's never a bad idea to take every possible opportunity to exercise your mind and make it work a bit, and there are plenty of opportunities to do that in this business. The more accustomed you become to doing that, the more you'll find yourself doing it naturally and without even realizing it. This wheel sold on eBay for $89.

Photo of vintage marine boat hardware