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post #9 of Old 03-22-2002
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Curious Customs: Setting Price Before Setting Sail?

Most brokers, at least in our area (Great Lakes) are [pretty knowledgeable and straight people. I would think that you could discuss with them your concerns and what your looking for (sailing wise) and should get a pretty good answer. If your a racer, find a broker who knows racing. If you don''t know one ask around.
The owner should also be able to give you an idea as to how his boat sails. If he is serious about selling the boat he is not going to lie, you''ll find out at the sea trial and they will have just wasted everyone''s time. If the owner is not experienced enough to answer your questions the broker should know and advise you. Personally I have never bought a boat where I have not talked with the owner extensively. I know that is not the case in many purchases. I don''t usually low ball, put a bid in for what I think is fair and have never had a problem with the PO.
This board has e-mail lists for almost every major boat.
On our Morgan list there are always prospective buyers asking questions about sailing characteristics as well as structure maintenance etc. The list participants usually love their boats but still give you straight answers. They are your best source of information. If you''ve narrowed the list to five, you should be able to get a good idea pretty easily.
Sailnet had an article just in the past few weeks concerning what happens or what should happen at a sea trial. I was enlighten. It sure did not happen at any of my trials. But in all cases I had a good broker who new what I wanted and new the boat I was buying. So I ended up with a great boats for me and my first mate. We have never taken a surveyor on a sea trial, but did have it surveyed before we did the trial.

There is also nothing wrong with taking a sea trial and backing out of the deal. If you are a serious buyer you will not be wasting anyone''s time. If you become a looker, tryer and never a buyer you will be known quite fast in your area.
Making it plain what you are looking for, what you expect and how you plan on completing the purchase will make everyone comfortable you are not wasting time. It is also acceptable to put down a deposit, do the sea trial with just you and the broker, then have the survey and require another sea trial with him on board. Just make your intentions clear and you''ll have no problems and when you are done you will feel comfortable with the entire process.
Good Luck,

Valdare is offline  
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