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  #11  
Old 01-19-2007
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That is why my opinion is that a test sail is just for show. It is not as if you are going to be going out for a 5 hour cruise. It is a short run of the motor and raising the sails. At least, that has been my experience. Maybe some of you have made this into an all day expedition?? (Now I know what I have been doing wrong!! Did the seller bring beer??)
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2007
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What do you expect to learn from the sea trial?

I have bought 3 boats, sold 1 (and am trying to sell another). The first one (Catalian 22) was bought when it was sitting on a trailer in the guys driveway. I test ran the motor, looked the boat over and bought it. It was great. Those boats are simple enough that I was confident to purchase it without a survey.

Second boat was a Newport 28. Bigger, more complicated (diesel inboard, marine head, pressure water, etc.). I had the boat surveyed and that included a sea trial. The purpose of the sea trial was to make sure the engine ran propery and would not over heat, that the transmission worked, the stuffing box was OK, and that sort of stuff. IMHO the sea trial was part of the survey.

How do you plan on doing a survey if you can't put the boat in the water? Is there another way to test the engine, and transmission? If so, everything else can be tested on land.

I agree with the broker in that once the boat is surveyed, there is no point for a sea trial, especially if this is a standard boat that has not been modified.

Barry
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
That is why my opinion is that a test sail is just for show. It is not as if you are going to be going out for a 5 hour cruise. It is a short run of the motor and raising the sails. At least, that has been my experience. Maybe some of you have made this into an all day expedition?? (Now I know what I have been doing wrong!! Did the seller bring beer??)
CD, even for a 5 to 15 minute ride, people would come and "stay" by asking questions...you know....

Finally, I ended up selling to a guy that walked in, look around, looked at the engine, requested to see the main half way up the mast, (the boat was 2 years old), and left. Called same day, next day paid by bank transfer!!
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2007
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Barry,

You cannot do a survey without running the engine. However, you need an ENGINE survey outside of the normal survey if you want anything that is really insightful. I don't really know too many surveyors that know all that much about engines... and they will tell you so.

Thus, my comment about buying without a sea trial assumes a full and thorough survey. But hoping on the boat running the engine to get it out of the channel, raising the sails and turning around... now what is that for?? I realize many surveyors use this time to "check" aspects of the engine or whatever... but I consider that part of a survey not a sea trial.

Again... this is just my opinion.

- CD
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Old 01-19-2007
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It's easy on an outboard, but can you even run an inboard when out of the water? I imagine there must be a way for mechanics to do it....
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You can with a saildrive!!!!! A tank, a scaffolding and a water hose!!

Done it!!!

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Old 01-19-2007
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I am on the fence on this one. It would take a stroke of luck for something to reveal itself on a seatrial that the a good surveypor did not find. Ifany system is barely functional with a bandaid holding it together, then maybe, but the surveyor should have caught it. As for sea trial to dtermine the way the boat sails... once agin luck since you are only seeing the boat in a narrow range of capabilities.
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as far as things showing up on sea-trial, not too much, really. But some things like bent shaft, prop, engine reliability (cooling/knocks/bangs/rattles) can come to light.

A decent sea-trial (at least an hour) will tell me how an owner treats the boat. Does he back away from the slip without letting the engine warm up? Does he bang her from reverse to forward? Does he haul the sails up with effort or does he yank on the halyards till they creak with stress? Is the gear stowed, or is stuff flailing all over? does he check the thru hulls? How does he sail the boat... with care, or, point it in a direction, let the boom slap from side to side, and the jib get fouled up in the rigging.

Things like this tell me more about how a boat was treated than a walk-thru.

Is one needed?... on a 30 ft for 20k, probably not, on a 40 ft for 100k, you bet.
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Old 01-19-2007
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If a boat is winterized and on the hard you cannot test some aspects of a boat, like does it float. A surveyor will not know if the thru hulls leak if it has be sitting high and dry for months. As mentioned earlier you need to run the engine for more than just 2 min. to truely test it and you can't do that until she is in the water. I would have no problem buying a boat in the winter with a good survey, but as Cam- mentioned, I would hold-back money to be paid at the time of a sea-trial if all checks out as the seller represented. Or, if you are braver just stipulte in the contract that any repair cost required to make boat functional (you have to define this) will be paid by seller (or split).
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2007
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The way I see it, this is more of a business issue than a sailing issue and you as the buyer are the man with the money. As they say, he who has the gold makes the rules. If you want a survey and a sea trial on the boat before closing then that is the way the deal will get done. The brokers opinion on this matter is irrelevant especially if he does not represent you.

However you must be prepared for the owner to say no, I think I'll pass on your offer at which point it becomes your decision as to whether you want the boat enough to forgoe the sea trial.

Compromises in the process are likely and holding moneys in escrow is one option but another that I as a buyer would prefer is to make an offer contingent upon survey and spring sea trial. Owner either accepts or says no. If you get a no then negotiate the offer to allow the owner to continue marketing the boat with a first right of refusal to you. If he finds another buyer, you then have X days to say yes I want it here is your money or no thanks. Either way you both win, you get your sea trial in the spring if it comes to that and the owner continues to market the boat all the while knowing he has a buyer in the spring. How likely is it he's going to sell the boat between now and April anyway?

Or if you're really patient, come back to him in April and make an offer pending survey and sea trial.
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