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otaga05 01-19-2007 11:04 AM

Sea Trials

Cruisingdad 01-19-2007 11:33 AM

Well, I am sure others will likely dissagree with me... but I have to side with the broker. In my opinion, Sea Trials are a joke and really nothing more than show. I worked with a broker some years ago that told me that in 20+ years in the business he had NEVER had an buyer walk away from a deal on a sea trial. The critical piece (and negotiating piece) is the survey. That is where the deals fall apart.

If I was the seller, I would not accept your offer. If the sea trial is critical to you, walk away from the deal and wait until you can sail it. If you think a sea trial is going to magically expose a boats problems... well, it better be a really long sea trial.

Again, others may dissagree. Just my opinion.

- CD

Cruisingdad 01-19-2007 11:34 AM

PS - If you cannot even sail the boat or get on it for months... why buy it now anyway?... unless it is an awesome deal. What is the boat?

mstern 01-19-2007 11:50 AM

I agree with Dad, although I don't think there is any harm in asking the seller if he would agree to your conditions. If he says no, then I think Dad's analysis is spot on: walk away if the sea trial is crucial to you.

Zanshin 01-19-2007 12:03 PM

I think the sea trial is a good idea for a one-off design boat or something homebuilt - where a fundamental flaw might exist in the handling or seaworthiness of the vessel. But those types of problems will already have been found in a production boat and the sea trial should never really expose a problem that a professional surveyor has missed.

sailingfool 01-19-2007 12:23 PM

Sea Trials
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You can negotiate for anything, but the broker is advising what most sellers would expect - sale contingent on a survey (satisfactory to you alone, no explanation necessary to terminate the sale), the sea trial only serves to confirm the proper operation of gear that can't be tested prior, plus receipt of all stuff. HOWEVER, I assume that you have not contracted this broker yourself, so remember that he/she actually represents the seller here, so take ALL advice with a grain of salt. Be sure to also have an engine survey.

Then again, I'd be comfortable to agree to a sea trail contingency on my 36...

camaraderie 01-19-2007 01:11 PM

You want to do a sea trial before you part with all your money. Major things can go wrong in a sea trial that can't be found on the hard...engine problems, auto pilot, instruments etc. You may not want to walk away if any of this is found, but you don't want to be left holding the bag either!
My suggestion would be to write the contract with the balance due after survey but with a "holdback" amount designed to cover major cost issues placed in escrow until the sea trial and closing.

k1vsk 01-19-2007 01:28 PM

I think we all know that surveys are not any guarantee that all defects will be identified not that the sea trail would point out any latent problems either. I guess I'd put it another way - Don't give up the position you are in as the potential buyer the seller doesn't want to lose - one way to stay in control of the negotiation is to offer a refundable deposit pending sea trial WITH the stipulation the buyer can continue to market the boat.

Giulietta 01-19-2007 02:00 PM

It really depends on the boat and how it looks and how old it is.. you can see if its needed or not, can't you?? If you can't shouldn't be buying a boat on your own.

(not applicable to racers as they can look good and be 2 years old and be more worn then a Kazakstan stripper).

I hate the sail tests, I had a boat for sale in 2003, and was an attractive boat, too.

Once it went up for sail, I had a list of people wanting to buy it, just because I was offering a test sail.....I did go out with some, but soon I was refusing it...I hate what we call "smellers" they come in for the free ride...

sailingdog 01-19-2007 02:07 PM


Originally Posted by Giulietta
Once it went up for sail, I had a list of people wanting to buy it, just because I was offering a test sail.....I did go out with some, but soon I was refusing it...I hate what we call "smellers" they come in for the free ride...

That's why a sea trial should be one of the last things done in a contract...and not done without a deposit of good faith money and offer signed. Otherwise, you end up giving a lot of people free boat rides.

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