When I mentioned "sailing characteristics", I didn't mean that the surveyor should point them out, I meant that YOU, the prospective buyer should observe the sailing characteristics, and determine if they meet your desires and intentions.
Sure, we all sit around and opine on the sailing characteristics of a particular boat, but there's nothing like sailing the boat to see what it's really like.
And this is what I was driving at in my OP for this thread. As a new sailor, the subtleties of sailing characteristics will be lost on me due to having a few points of comparison, so unless there is something glaring a new sailor is not likely to notice it. But as others have rightly pointed out, the trial is valuable still for a number of reasons.