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Old 05-28-2016, 01:01 PM   #1
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City: Howell Mtn, CA
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Test drives an option before making an offer?

Hello,
I've looked here for some time to get advice and now after 5 years of chartering in the NW, we're looking to purchase. We love the look and feel of the Mainships (1997-2008 34-40') but have only been on ones tied up or on the hard. Any suggestions on how to take a test ride before making an offer and entering a sales contract? Do buyers try chartering a similar model to get a good feel?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:36 PM   #2
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Typically, no. But you can always ask. Standard procedure is to go ahead and enter a sales contract and leave a deposit, but make sure contract has an "out" clause where you can reject the boat if you are not satisfied with its performance. If you don't like it, you exit the contract and get your deposit back.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:40 PM   #3
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Most offers are made contingent upon, among other things, a satisfactory sea trial. That particular model range of boats should be easy to find for charter. Believe a SF Bay Area charter company has a late model 40' Mainship available. Should be many others around too.

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Old 05-28-2016, 01:41 PM   #4
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Ski is correct. Chartering a similar boat is a great idea. A week will give yu a lot more time to see how you like it. The downside is the cost.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:06 PM   #5
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Do any offer seats as a ride-along on a delivery run once a deposit is made?
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:25 AM   #6
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Charter probably best way to experience any potential buy.
Otherwise usual process is negotiate offer w provision for sea trial, survey, engine survey, etc... you then have the right to back out or renegotiate based on findings.
It helps to have a buyers broker to handle the details and paperwork to protect you the buyer.
Where are you located? You might find a TFer willing to show & demo their MS.
I will offer if you are near NY Finger Lakes
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:02 PM   #7
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Sea Trial

Chartering the make / model boat you are interested in is your likely our best approach. Short of that try getting aboard an owners boat (ask here on TF) for a long day cruise and possibly pay for the fuel. Talk with owners of the boat you are interested in and ask them "if you had to do it all over again what would you do different" you may be surprised with some of the answers.

If all else fails find the boat you like and a good broker (ask around who is the best and trustworthy in your area). Make an offer with all the normal contingencies including sea trials. Don't be afraid to request two sea trials (we had the buyer of our last boat actually request a sea trial in poor weather). Don't forget to have a survey performed by the best surveyor in your area. Good luck

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Old 05-29-2016, 04:36 PM   #8
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When I was looking, I couldn't find a ride without a sea-trial and deposit, and I didn't know anyone or any resource where I could get aboard the model I was looking for without a sales pitch.

Since we purchased the boat, we've had a half dozen or so curious riders aboard who, like us, were simply in search of some brief experience aboard before getting serious with a broker. Three of them (that I know of) did buy and at least one other is still in pursuit of buying. Most boat owners are enthusiastic about their vessels. Ask around.

One thing, though. It's got to be you that does the searching. No one with a item that involves the costs of the average boat is going to be advertising "free rides" for obvious reasons.
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