Join Date: Apr 2006
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I can see both sides. I've known at least two boats that behaved perfectly at the dock--but overheated after 1/2 hour of engine time in the water. A sea trial would turn that up, a survey, even an engine survey, wouldn't. So I think a sea trial is important, but to expect a buyer to hold a deal open for four months...Nah, that's just too much.
Maybe to hold some specific escrow terms open, against specific problems after launch, is not unreasonable. Otherwise, I'd find a way to get the boat in the water within a month. If this winter warms up again the way it has been...it could actually be nice sailing weather.
Makes buying a boat that's on the hard, stacked back in a yard, more of a risk. Maybe if you approach the seller and say "I've got specific concerns about...Why don't you take a couple of days and get back to me with what you think would be a reasonable way to deal with these?"
Or, perhaps not buy the boat now, not tie the seller up, but offer the seller a reasonable sum to give you the right of first refusal on the boat. That is, agree you'll do a regular buy in April or May if the boat is still unsold, and that if a buyer comes up before then, you have bought the right to meet his offer and buy the boat at that time instead. (And in any case, they keep the deposit you've paid for that right of refusal.)