We often relate to sailboat hardware the way we relate to car parts. Need a part? Order it. It will be here in a day or two. But the sailing business is not the automotive industry. The largest names in sailing are run like small, family owned businesses, not like big corporations.
Unlike the highly automated auto industry, a sailboat and its hardware is still made by hand in small quantities. A "production run" of parts for a 15 year old boat may be as few as two or three parts. Many parts are purchased from subcontractors who are often very small companies with only a handful of employees.
The parts are made by highly skilled craftsmen. Look at the welding on a stainless steel part for example. The quality of workmanship is often on the level of industrial art. Skilled craftsmen of this caliber are not hired in the spring and fired in the fall. Yet the sailing market is very seasonal. Demand for products increases in the spring much faster than the capacity to produce them.
We have a stock of these parts in the spring. However, as the season progresses, we will occasionally run out of stock before the manufacturer is able to supply more. Order in fall and winter for fastest delivery.