Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Sea Trial Only After Sales Contract?
For any production boat, you can always research their general sailing qualities. A good naval architect could probably describe them, just by looking at the drawings. The finer points are adjustable, by rigging tensions and sail selection, not to mention trim. The finer points can not be assessed in a sea trial and as several have mentioned, you can't possibly have multiple conditions anyway.
I think it took me two full seasons with my current boat to really understand what makes her tick in all conditions. At first, I thought she was real trouble sailing deep downwind. I almost bought a new sail for it. After a bit, I've now got the nuance down. If I had tried to assess that in a sea trial alone, I wonder if I would have questioned the purchase, rather than give it time to work it out.
In the standard marine purchase contract, the buyer holds all the cards. You must give a down payment to show good faith, but can walk for any reason whatsoever. I've walked when I just didn't like the quantity of little squawks, even though the seller would fix them all. But, you must actually have good faith. It's a small community and you don't want the reputation of being a tire kicker that never buys.
Its hard to assess from afar whether your broker is all that good or whether they are just being careful with their time. If you don't buy, they don't eat.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.