Curious Customs: Setting Price Before Setting Sail?
That is customary with boats under a broker. It saves them and the owner from taking people for joyrides (the owner generally has to be aboard).
Private sellers vary. When selling my last boat, I refused to take people for rides. If they don''t know the boat, they are not going to put a contract on it anyway. I relented only once. These folks spent two hours looking at the boat, swore they were serious and demanded I take them for a ride before they made any offer. Well... I took them out, we cruised for quite a while and they loved the boat. Got back to the dock and they said they would think about it. They made me a low ball offer a week later. I sold the boat to someone else who came in at my price and knew the boat.
NEVER again would I take anyone out without a signed contract and earnest money. And... this is why many people use and will continue to use brokers.
Just my $0.02.
best of luck.
By the way, I think the 350 is extensively reviewd in the "Practical Guide to Boat Buying" by the folks from Practical Sailor. You can also purchase the individual review from their web site.