You arn't likely to have an offer accepted that is contingent on a sea trial. As SD ssays the purpose of a sea trial is to confirm the proper operation of equipment that cannot be verified on land. It is definitely not to test sailing qualities.
Sellers and brokers don't want to be giving free rides...you need to do your own homework to filter and find boats that sail as you prefer. If you have a good broker, he/she can help a lot in that regard, then try to find other owners and maybe somewhere along the road you cnan hitch a ride. But it is mostly word-of-mouth reputation buyers need to rely on...most brands have fairly well-established and widely recognized sailing characteristics...ask some experienced hands and you'll find surprisingly common perspectives.
When you make an offer, there is nothing tentative about it, you are legally commiting yourself. You can make the sale contingent on a survey satisfactory to you, which requires you to put money into the game. Usually only a holdback amount is contingent on the results of a sea trial.
The first thing to do in buying a boat is to cleary define what you want in a boat, especially whether you want a racer, daysailer, coastal cruiser or blue-water, and thern only look at boats' whose PO used in the manner you want to use yours...that will save you a lot of money.
Certified...in several regards...
Last edited by sailingfool; 02-22-2010 at 03:31 PM.