Many people aren't going to want to take you out for a sea trial unless they have a tentative sale...this cuts down on the lookee lous... Taking a boat out for even a short sale requires a fair bit of time for the broker and the owner, and getting the weather to cooperate makes it even more difficult.
If you don't know how well a given make/model boat sails, then getting a ride on one is probably a priority for you. If the boat is still being made, talking to the factory or a dealer about getting a check sail is a good possibility. But don't expect a broker or an owner to take you out without a deposit down and a tentative offer on the table.
When I was looking to buy a boat, I did just that... went to the factory and asked if I could go out on a test sail. Not only did I get a chance to test sail a Telstar 28, but I was able to sit down with Tony Smith, the designer of the boat and talk with him about for over four hours.
That all makes sense. I'm educating myself as much as I can on various boats. I'll look for opportunities to learn more about my choices.
And just to clarify. I'm more than willing to put down an offer, contingent on sea trials...I was just stuck on paying for a surveyor and wind up hating how the boat sails.
Last edited by blackjenner; 02-22-2010 at 01:33 PM.