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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to get taken on a new boat. Dealer wants deposit and offer before that happens. Is that normal? This came up after a few days of emails and my initial email was about a test sail. He then responded he didn't read the email carefully. Understandable. But what if I wanna make a decision based on how it sails?
 

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Yes, a deposit is typical. It shows you are a serious buyer and not just looking for a free boat ride. Same goes when looking at used boats. Most sellers/brokers want a contract in hand with a deposit before allowing for a sea trial.
 

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If the boat is on the hard and the dealer needs to launch it, it may be reasonable to ask for the costs to launch the boat, but there is more to it than that. It may be reasonable for you to indicate serious interest by providing a deposit and offer?

The way we did it years ago was to take a good look at the boat and make an offer and deposit. We conditioned the sail on a successful survey and sea trial.

In the end we had the owner fix some really minor things, like the GPS, but went through with the purchase.

In any case you don't want to buy a boat without a proper survey and sea trial. To get that you may have to be serious enough to make an offer and deposit.
 

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someone has a case of "five foot itis?"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lol. NOTHING is wrong with Cuajota. Lol. I just REALLY like the look of the new Beneteau First 30 and my wife said she would sail with me more if it was better than the S30 in choppy conditions. My question is how will I like it sailing? The REAL question is will the wife like its sailing characteristics better than the S30. In my opinion the ONLY way to know us to go on a sail. Not a full fledged sea trial just a sail for maybe an hour. I am not looking to make the deal write a check to discover if I like it. To me there is a negotiation AFTER I decide if I like it. Not before. I was scared because I really thought my wife would have written a deposit check on the spot if she liked it. I know some people who bought one. I'll try an get a ride on one to see if I like it. Until then happy with Cuajota!
 

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what you might do is talk to the dealer of the new boat and find out if they are planing on showing it at any of the in water boat shows in the area. if they know you might be serious about the new boat they might invite you to go on the delivery for the show or a demo sail.
which dealers are you talking to?
does the dealer know you have a boat?
it is a buyers market right now and he may just need to be worn down a bit before he will get you on a Demo sail.
In Southern Califonia there is very little space for boats to be on the hard and it will cost more then keeping it in a slip
so most of the new boats here are in the water and a demo sail is not that hard for them to do.
Another way to get that sail is if your wife asks more questions then you do about the boats performance under sail and how it handles different sea states.
another way is to charter or take a lesson on one of the same model boats that you are looking at. that way you are paying and can sail it the way you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
All good info. It's a dealer in San Diego. Although I have been talking to their Newport Beach rep. Their website says "email us for a demo sail". So I did. And after we set a day he says e misunderstood and thought I just wante to see it. Ok. It's in the water and they have had the boat for about 9 months and is on special this month at a reduced price. Yea they know I have a boat now and sail in fact he saw me sailing last week because he said is that your dark blue S30 I saw on Sunday sailing? And it was me. Being a buyers market and since they have ha the boat for a while and it's on special I would think it wouldn't be too hard to get a demo sail. Not a full sea trial. Just a demo sail. It's pretty simple. If the wife lines it more tha. The S30 on the water. She would probably say buy it. Me I'm in live with the S30 and I know it's not as fast or sexy but I like the way it sails. It's rewarding. Now I'm kinda ticked off because we planned a trip to San diego this weekend just to see it. Oh well it's not the only First 30 in SoCal.
 

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My experience with sea trials and deposits is just as all have described above. However, it is not unheard of for a demo, just as you are looking for. You must understand they are a real pain and probably a brokers last priority. You may simply leave them with your thoughts about needing to know if she sails the way you hope and you might bubble up on their list on a slow day. The odds just aren't good that the two of you will align on that day.

The odds also aren't good that conditions will be those you or your wife want to test on that day either. An experienced booker would also know that and focus their time on efforts with greater odds of success for everyone.

If you are patient, you might pull it off. Good luck.
 

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Sounds like his and her's......it must be nice to be rich :D
 

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Some time ago, someone was soliciting crew for deliveries from nearby the Marion, S.C., Beneteau plant - no sure if the opportunity is still available or if they make the First 30 there.

Might be more expensive than losing your deposit for a test sail - although you would certainly be able to experience the boat in different conditions.
 

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I think instead "liking the way a boat looks" and taking boats for "test sails" to find one that sails smoothly enough for your wife, you should do some serious paper research into sailboat characteristics and what makes them sail and handle in a particular way. This will help you narrow down your list.

I hate to say it, but it sounds like your wife is looking for a Westsail or other full-keel, mega-displacement tank of a boat. Something stiff, that slices through the chop, or otherwise ignores it, with an easy motion, and not very tippy.

In otherwords, something slow, and not sexy. Maybe even a catamaran, they're stable, though I don't know how they sail uphill into a chop.

Yeah... Good luck with that.
 

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I can sympathize with the dealer, quite frankly. I can only imagine how often they would get jerked around by tire kickers, and taking a boat out for a sail requires a lot of time and effort. There has to me more than a request to go for a boatride.
 
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