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Discussion Starter #1
We are about to accept a counter-offer on a 1987 C&C 38'MKIII, but the boat is in the northeast and at the back of the yard, so won't be put into the water for several more weeks. If we do an inspection on the hard and don't have a sea trial, what might we miss from not having done a sea trial? Are there any other ways we can evaluate those parts of the boat that would have been evaluated by sea trial?


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Catamarans are the best
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you may miss everything.. what if the boat has a funky hull or keel and always pulls to one side or something in the drive line is out of balance and doesn't show up until the prop is spinning at speed? Maybe she leaks.
 

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Agreed, under no circumstances should you buy a boat without a sea trial. Make it a contingency to your contract, which must be satisfied at your sole discretion and removed prior to closing.

If you read enough threads here, you will discover the total brain loss that occurs when some come within 15 feet of a sailboat. Don't be an idiot.

There are enough cheerleaders for sailing on this listserv who will encourage you to make the same stupid mistakes they made because they love sailing.

Do not do any of the following:

Buy a boat without a survey
Buy a boat without a sea trial
Buy a boat without insurance
Trust the seller and/or broker
Allow yourself to be led around by the nose by the seller and/or broker
Think there is one perfect boat for you
Think you are getting some grand bargain
Think you have to act quickly
 

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Hey,

Assuming you have a competent surveyor, and the on land part of the survey goes well, you are probably OK. I would definitely run the engine on land (use hose and bucket, etc.) and let the engine run long enough to get up to temperature. You can also test that the transmission will go into forward and reverse (spray water on the cutless bearing).

What you can't test is performance under power - does the engine make proper power without smoking, run at high RPM without overheating, and drive the boat at hull speed (or close to it).

Good luck,
Barry
 

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I'd agree with making the deal ultimately subject to an eventual sea trial.. maybe put a substantial good faith deposit in escrow but don't close until the boat's wet. Performance is unlikely to be an issue, however all those other things mentioned (alignments, leaks, and actual operation of all the gear, sails, and machinery) can't be fully tested on the hard.
 
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ja I still havent sailed my boat... almost though...oh well heres hoping!

I did dive the boat and do a massive inspection however fully knowing I was buying a project boat...

if it werent a project boat...I would never buy a boat without a sea trial for all the above mentioned reasons...
 

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I wouldn't worry about it, If you can't simply look at a boat and tell how she sails you aren't ready to buy. Get a great survey and you are good. Now get her floating and go for a sail
 

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Do not do any of the following:

Buy a boat without a survey
Buy a boat without a sea trial
Buy a boat without insurance
Trust the seller and/or broker
Allow yourself to be led around by the nose by the seller and/or broker
Think there is one perfect boat for you
Think you are getting some grand bargain
Think you have to act quickly
That's a really good list, particularly the last three items. However, I've been through three purchases and have yet to conduct a sea trial. It's not that I didn't think it was important, but rather that the situations did not allow it and (here is the important part) my offer price reflected this. I discounted what I was willing to pay because sea trials were not practical.

In some ways not sea trialing made me more diligent in the inspection. For example, instead of hoisting all the sails to inspect them myself, I had them all sent to a sail loft for professional inspection/evaluation.

Finally, for many potential buyers the sea trial is the time you fall in love and break the last three rules in the above list. It might be best to have your surveyor sea trial the boat while you stay at home.

So of all the items in the above list, the "must sea trial" is the rule I'm most willing to break.
 

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I'd do as Faster suggested. If you're worried about someone else coming in and undercutting you, put down a good faith deposit and make payment contingent on the survey and sea trial in a few weeks. There's also no real point in doing the survey if the boat can't go in the water, IMHO. You (and more importantly, your surveyor) won't see any below-waterline leaks. until that happens.
 

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You want a trial to test things only testable underway - propulsion, steering, some electronics
 

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Sounds like the OP has passed before, with a guilty conscience. It's russian roulette.

You may not get a contract fully contingent on a subjective sea trial. If you can specify the quantitative issues that you would want to test at sea, such as: leaking, motor run up, rigging, etc, that would be fair.
 

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Some contract provisions are useful to flush out the dishonest seller or the scammer.

When I present myself as a buyer, I am willing to show my qualifications and my genuine interest, backed by the investment I am willing to make in evaluating the purchase.

I expect a seller to prove his or her legitimacy upfront. If a seller is not willing to allow me to test the boat with a sea trial on the grounds that I shouldn't have the right to reject the boat for some unanticipated condition apparent during the sea trial, I do not want to do business with that person. Exactly what is that seller trying to hide?
 

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unless its disclosed...

for example a lot of boats are sold as projects...eve on the hard for a bargain price...if knowleadgeable the buyer wont have any issues with that as its a given stuff will pop up

however for a boat in the water...or ready to dump in(like a boat on the hard for the winter or in dry dock in mexico) if the seller isnt willing to sea trial at as a part of the deal there is something to watch out for...

like james says...there are plenty of fish in the sea...there are more boat out there where you can do more due dilligence and investigate issues more deeply
 

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Just wondering: the OP said "counter offer." That means, I think, that he offered a price already and the seller is coming back with another number. So, if he already put in one offer and said nothing about "contingent upon a successful sea trial" how does it reflect on the potential buyer if he's changing the terms at this stage?
 

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.. how does it reflect on the potential buyer if he's changing the terms at this stage?
If the contract terms permit renegotiation, great; if not, this person probably should not be transacting business without some professional assistance.

Too many posters come on Sailnet after they have already made some mistake and they are seeking reaffirmation for their poor judgment and bad choices. When they don't receive universal approval for their foolish mistakes, then they bail, never to be heard from again, or refuse to participate with any follow-up responses which would prove to be embarassing to them.
 

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I've learned that I am a horrible judge of the condition of sails when they have not been hoisted. I would not buy a boat I could not have surveyed in and out of the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just to clarify... We made an offer that was contingent on a survey and satisfactory sea trial. The seller countered by upping the price but also removing the sea trial contingency. He's quite adamant that while he's owner the boat's not going in the water - because it will cost him money. We're thinking of paying for possibly moving a couple boats to get his boat in the water. Not sure if he'll accept this, but I think that would be a reasonable offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Too many posters come on Sailnet after they have already made some mistake and they are seeking reaffirmation for their poor judgment and bad choices. When they don't receive universal approval for their foolish mistakes, then they bail, never to be heard from again, or refuse to participate with any follow-up responses which would prove to be embarassing to them.
I'm sorry to hear you've seen people not following up. I've found SailNet to be incredibly useful! I've been raving about it to my colleagues. Thanks for all the input!
 

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Just to clarify... We made an offer that was contingent on a survey and satisfactory sea trial. The seller countered by upping the price but also removing the sea trial contingency. He's quite adamant that while he's owner the boat's not going in the water - because it will cost him money. We're thinking of paying for possibly moving a couple boats to get his boat in the water. Not sure if he'll accept this, but I think that would be a reasonable offer.
Tell the owner, that is a major red flag that something is wrong with the boat. The owner has no choice, but to allow a seatrial. However, the expense of doing so, is usually the buyers.
 
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My saber 28 was on the hard for a little over a year. Dropped it in the water and a sea **** had a little leak, so I knew I was going to have to fix that. Put it in gear and the PSS dripless shaft seal sprayed water everywhere. Collar was corroded and set screws were rounded out. Had to cut the shaft out. Not deal breakers but I was able to adjust the purchase price accordingly.

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