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Old 03-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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boat purchase sea trial

Here is some information for boat buyers about a pre-purchase survey sea trial.

After a purchase has been agreed and an agreemeert has been signed we do the survey and sea trial.

*If it is a larger boat with diesels it is best to have an engine surveyor on board in addition to to the boat surveyor.

The engine surveyors want the engines to be cold for the first start up, they will attach all of their sensors and monitors to get their own true readings of pressures and temperatures. Then off to the boat yard for a haul out. This is usuallly done first to confirm that the bottom is clean and that the props are OK, so that true full throttle tests can be done with clean bottom and props. The buyer pays for hauling and pressure washing. It is common for the seller to pay for prop cleaning if needed.

Then out to a place where the boat can run up to speed to check steering, auto pilot, radar and all the other equipment. A full throttle run for a few minutes makes the seller cringe but is needed to show that the engines reach to proper full RPM. Then some back down tests to check engine mounts and sometime high throttle runs on one engine at a time only.

Then back to the dock to finish testing all the equipmjent and then discuss the findings. Oil samples are taken after the run and they should be available within a few days, plus the written report from the surveyor should be recieved by the buyer within 48 hours. At the dock are the last checks including the anchor windlass, davit and swim platform lift if equiped, these are done last in case of a failure so the sea trial can still take place. A quick run in the dinghy is good because the gas could be old and glog the fuel sysytem.

Then it is time to negotiate again to determine who pays for what, repairs or credits.

*
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:53 PM   #2
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RE: boat purchase sea trial

Tucker,

I must disagree on a few points. An engine survey is rarely performed on anything under several hundred boat bucks and I would encourage all to always hire a surveyor well versed in the engine on the vessel your buying. The wide open throttle test is to test yes whether the engine can make WOT but it's equally or perhaps most important function is to test the cooling system for overheating. Oil samples are only relevant if there is some time on the existing oil otherwise it is only to establish a benchmark. It is rare if ever that you will get the written report in 48 hours.

Don't ever try to beat someone up at survey. What goes around comes around.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:17 AM   #3
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RE: boat purchase sea trial

Daddyo, engine surveys are commonplace where I am, even on old tawainese trawlers like mine.* And we had a draft of the engine*survey the next day.*
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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RE: boat purchase sea trial

Pineapple Girl is dead on for the Left Coast. A motor survey with oil samples is always done first by an experienced buyer or an experienced broker. CAT oil kits are 26 bucks and hardcopy results are back in 48 hours. Why would one pay for a surveyor to come to a boat before knowing what shape the mechanicals are in? 48 hours is the norm to receive the hull survey by email.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #5
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RE: boat purchase sea trial

I would certainly have an engine survey done. We had one done on our last purchase; the cost was $300-400 as I recall, but we discovered some issues that the seller covered at his cost of around $1000.*

The survey, like the oil analysis, gives you a baseline to start from.

But the single biggest benefit is peace of mind, assuming that it is a thorough survey.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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RE: boat purchase sea trial

The main negotiations after a survey are for the surprises. Buyers can see where work has to be done during the inspections prior to an offer, and sellers will know most things that need work. However on many occasions the seller has no idea that something has a problem, and things that worked last week may not work this week.
It is not to try to beat someone up after a survey but to be fair about getting the boat in the condition that it is supposed to be in. Maintenance and wear items should be paid by the buyer, but non functioning bilge pumps, high water alarms, bent or dinged props and similar items are certainly items to be negotiated.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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RE: boat purchase sea trial

Quote:
yachtbrokerguy wrote:
The main negotiations after a survey are for the surprises. Buyers can see where work has to be done during the inspections prior to an offer, and sellers will know most things that need work. However on many occasions the seller has no idea that something has a problem, and things that worked last week may not work this week.
It is not to try to beat someone up after a survey but to be fair about getting the boat in the condition that it is supposed to be in. Maintenance and wear items should be paid by the buyer, but non functioning bilge pumps, high water alarms, bent or dinged props and similar items are certainly items to be negotiated.
Very true.**A boat we bought a few years back was pretty new and looked good because it was lightly used.* But it hadn't really been MAINTAINED and as a result the shaft had to be replaced due to extensive electrolysis (no zincs).* Nobody knew that until the boat was pulled and after much back and forth the seller and broker paid for the replacement as it was not a normal wear item on a five year old boat.
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