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What things do you check during a sea trial?

Off the top of my head:
Winches work smoothly
Engine does not overheat after running hard.
Gages all work?

What else to you have?
 

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i have mentioned this in other threads. as a retired diesel mechanic, one of the first things i do is take off the oil filler cap. if it has water dripping from it the engine has water in the crankcase. this is because water evaporates and then condenses in the valve covers. it will show up here even if there is not enough to look milky on the dipstick. other things to look for have been posted on other threads at sailnet. i don't remember which ones , but perhaps cam can help out on this.
What does water in the crankcase mean in dollars? Cracked head, bad gasket or either.
One is more expensive than the other. Can you tell?
 

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It is doubtfully than someone would allow you to charter their boat if they were not already in the business. Insurance, paperwork etc.
Unlikely to get the boat without the owner and maybe less likely with the owner. What owner would want to put themselves through that.
 

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surveyor comes back and says, there's nothing really wrong with it, but there's alot of mileage on it, and I've seen this same model in better condition for the same price. In fact, there's one in a marina 20 miles away from here that's much nicer. I surveyed that boat but the deal fell through and I know she's still available.
Try dealing with that scenario if you've already signed the standard Yacht Broker's form. If you want to get out, say goodbye to your security deposit.
I know you are an attorney but you obviously don't know about an immutable law of boating.
Never under any circumstances will anyone tell you about another boat nicer and cheaper than the one you are looking at until you sign the contract. When the survey is done does not matter. the law states very clearly that you have to sign the contract before you can be told of the better deal.

A corollary to that law is that if you weasel out of the deal the "other boat" will be a dog and you will not want it. When you come back to buy the first boat it will have sold for less than the contract that you broke.

Even the best of attorneys can not evade immutable laws of the sea.:)
 

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For me this was a no-brainer and after the successful survey I committed, paid the deposit, then went to SF to complete, and pack up the boat for transport.
I made a good friend of the PO, and my boat arrives tomorrow!
Just curious did you pay list. If no how was the matter of price worked out. I assume you guys came to verbal agreement before you sent in the surveyor.

If so, in better times, if the owner happed to be around when the survey was done and figured out the boat surveyed well there would be reason he could not sell the boat to someone else the next day.
With a verbal agreement he knows your highest number and is free to beat it.

In this market maybe not much of a risk though.
 

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Personally I would love it if someone wanted to survey my boat before putting in an offer. In fact the more they spent looking at my boat the better. Now when they put in an offer that is less than list I can ask to see a copy of the survey, since that is the basis of the reduced amount.
I now have all this time with a recent survey paid by someone else to attempt to sell it to someone else. If my contract avoider and I come to a verbal agreement on the price before that is even better. I now have a floor price I can try to beat.

The fact of the matter is that even if a contract is signed many brokers will still show a boat just in case the deal falls through. I would be interested in hearing from any brokers what percentage of deals fall through. I'll bet it is at least 10%.

I suspect our new lawyer friend is looking for a very limited edition boat so he has to search a large area. After he does everything he can by phone, spending the $500 makes sense. The advantage of not signing a contract is he doesn't have to worry about getting his 5,000 deposit back. If he looses the boat, not likely in this market, oh well.
For those of us who are looking more locally and maybe not spending as much on a boat the contract first approach might work better or at least will not matter much.

There are three risks:
  1. Getting your money back from the deposit (It should be a no brainier but you never know. Brokers I have talked to say that they return deposits for what they consider trivial reasons all the time because they don't want the hassle of forcing a sale on an unhappy customer.)
  2. Finding a better deal after you have a contract
  3. Loosing the deal you have because you don't have a contract
Frankly all three are possible but unlikely.
Folks will do what causes them the least worry.

The bottom line is that that no matter how careful you are buying the boat is just the first of hundreds of decisions you will make to manage risk.

I would find it interesting if our lawyer would read a standard contract and report back to us (no charge of course). I always understood that the contract was binding on the seller. They could not sell the boat I had a contract on even if they were offered more money. The contract was binding on me the buyer in theory only as all I had to do was find something that was not exactly as specified in the listing or found on the survey and I could walk.

I believe the reason why brokers and sellers like the contract is purely physiological not legal. Buyers are 10 times more skittish than sellers and the act of signing a contract and putting down money shows they are serious and emotionally commits them.
Has anyone ever heard of someone not being allowed to walk away from a boat sales contract. I have not. I'm sure some salesman are tougher than others. It's like the federal penalty for ripping of the tag on your mattress.
(Yes I know it does not apply to the end user)
 

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Based on a recent post I wonder if it is worth the trouble to hoist a tape measure up to the top of the mast to measure how tall it is. I have heard of people cutting the mast down a few inches to eliminate damage.
 

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Many buyers would prefer a dollar adjustment to the price of the boat rather than having the seller do repairs. The seller may be tempted to do the repairs the cheapest possible way while the buyer may want to upgrade a little while doing repairs.
 

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Sure enough, the keel was loose, and the bottom would move about ¼" from side to side. Not a lot, but enough to kill the deal.
How did they determine that the keel was loose.
 
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