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Old 06-25-2019, 04:51 PM   #1
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Expectations During a Seatrial

Got a question that may or may not fit in here.
When you are considering a boat and the owner invites you to ride along, does he let you drive the boat, away from the dock?
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:12 PM   #2
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No. A prospective buyer won't be handling the boat I'm selling around the docks. In fact, we won't be "going out for a ride" unless it is the sea-trial and I have a P&S agreement signed by both parties.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:18 PM   #3
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I have never driven on a seatrial when I was buying a boat. The broker, surveyor and a rep of the seller was aboard and the rep drove the boat. I was aboard just for the ride and to smile...
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:28 PM   #4
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I had signed a Purchase Agreement (subject to survey and sea trial). While out for the sea trial the owner asked if I wanted to take the wheel for a while (away from any docks) - thought that was very nice of him - especially as I noticed the steering was a bit loose and used that to lower the price to cover installation of a new Teleflex Capilano (sp?) steering pump at upper helm
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FoxtrotCharlie View Post
I had signed a Purchase Agreement (subject to survey and sea trial). While out for the sea trial the owner asked if I wanted to take the wheel for a while (away from any docks) - thought that was very nice of him - especially as I noticed the steering was a bit loose and used that to lower the price to cover installation of a new Teleflex Capilano (sp?) steering pump at upper helm
There is nothing wrong with a conditional purchase contract.
"I will buy if the owner corrects the following:" or perhaps, "I will not consider moving forward unless the following is corrected: "
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FoxtrotCharlie View Post
I had signed a Purchase Agreement (subject to survey and sea trial). While out for the sea trial the owner asked if I wanted to take the wheel for a while (away from any docks) - thought that was very nice of him - especially as I noticed the steering was a bit loose and used that to lower the price to cover installation of a new Teleflex Capilano (sp?) steering pump at upper helm

WOT, hard over port and starboard then wiggle it like a snake.
Then, reverse and repeat..... a quick trip to the stern to see how much water is coming on board.
And now you know why I am never allowed to drive a boat until I buy it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:07 PM   #7
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Once the purchase agreement is signed subject to a seatrial etc., I would expect to take the wheel for a few minutes once we're away from docks, other boats etc. As was just posted, you may find something off with the boat's handling, throttle & transmission response, wheel movement, thrusters, etc. Isn't that what a sea trial is all about?
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:12 PM   #8
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I would probably let you run the boat for a while.....5 miles off shore on an invited ride. I would let you do more on a seatrial, but no dock or close quarters operating. I would be willing to demonstrate any docking maneuver you would like to see during seatrial. Once you own my "pride and joy", it's yours to do with as you want.

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Old 06-25-2019, 06:12 PM   #9
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No ones gone out on any of our previous boats unless a contract and deposit has been taken.
They can steer when away from everything
Any type of survey be in in or out of water is at buyers expense.

With our current vessel the purchase was pretty casual.
Never saw the broker or the owner and was able to go on the vessel numerous times for hours at a time with no one looking over our shoulder.
Came back with a shipwright mate, spun the engine up, pressed buttons, crawled around, inspected her bowels.
Signed contract, paid deposit and booked travel lift and hardstand.
20nm trip to boatyard was the sea trial.
Was allowed to do anything I wanted to do on the trip.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:27 PM   #10
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I would be an unhappy camper if not allowed to operate a boat under contract on sea trial. Not necessarily around a dock but at least in open water to see how she shifts in and out of gear, response to her rudder and different throttle settings... If denied, I would be suspect...

Me thinks you can learn lots about the boat by watching the owner operate her too.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:53 PM   #11
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Expectations During a Seatrial

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Got a question that may or may not fit in here.
When you are considering a boat and the owner invites you to ride along, does he let you drive the boat, away from the dock?

Your scenario is quite a bit different than most of our experiences and the way that most are answering your question.


Being "invited to ride along" is not the same as a seatrial which is done after there is a signed contract. As such, this would be an informal event and the owner will do anything he wants. Personally, while I can imagine a scenario where I might take a prospective buyer out on the boat, I doubt that I would offer them the helm anywhere near an obstruction.


A seatrial is a different beast. As a buyer, I would expect to be able to run the boat, but I wouldn't necessarily expect to operate it around the dock. It isn't my boat yet.



OTOH, when I did the seatrial on my current boat, after we dropped it back in the water after the lift and hang for the survey, the broker had me take the helm to move the boat to the slip. This was the first time I had ever docked a power boat. First time I had ever used thrusters. First time I had ever operated a boat from anywhere other than the cockpit (only a sailor until that point). I was a bit nervous. The broker was right at my shoulder should I need assistance which I fortunately did not. I would not consider that a usual situation and I never expected to do it when we went on the Sea Trial.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:45 PM   #12
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I've driven (away from any docks) on each of the last 4 sea trials on boats I've bought. On our current boat I drove about 30 minutes, about half of the total length of the trial.


Years ago I went with a friend when he sea trialed a boat. As the sea trial was coming to the end my friend and the selling broker were down in the cabin talking. The second salesman and I were talking in the helm area. As we approached the dock he asked me if I wanted to bring it to the dock (side tie). I was a bit surprised but did take the helm and got it into position without any problems. He handled the lines to get us secured to the dock.


Sounds to me like boat buyers and their brokers do things differently on the left coast.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:58 PM   #13
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Contract signed

At sea trial of course I would expect to take over the helm. After contract and deposit is in hand of my broker or whatever the written agreement states.

I won't buy a car without a test drive, won't buy a house without walking through it and turning on the lights operating the systems, I wouldn't expect anyone to purchase my boat without operating it under "normal" conditions. Close quarters, I'll operate and be responsible to make repairs if damaged.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:58 AM   #14
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Good luck Dan with your purchase. Or sale?? Lol
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:19 AM   #15
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Dan,

I would take someone out in my boat without a signed purchase agreement because I want to show it off. Worst thing that could happen is I get another ride in an incredible boat. I would let someone drive it as well, but never near anything that I would consider a hazard (dock, tighter spaces, freighter channel, etc). My 2 cents. I believe in salesmanship, let the boat sell itself. Bill
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:58 AM   #16
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Dan,

I would take someone out in my boat without a signed purchase agreement because I want to show it off. Worst thing that could happen is I get another ride in an incredible boat. I would let someone drive it as well, but never near anything that I would consider a hazard (dock, tighter spaces, freighter channel, etc). My 2 cents. I believe in salesmanship, let the boat sell itself. Bill
Ah yup, I agree
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:09 PM   #17
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The comments against letting someone else drive you boat strike me as a bit comical. When we have guests on board I give them all a chance to drive and they love it.


I've only had a couple of women decline the offer, and that's fine with me. Their choice.
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:56 PM   #18
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Dan,

I would take someone out in my boat without a signed purchase agreement because I want to show it off. Worst thing that could happen is I get another ride in an incredible boat. I would let someone drive it as well, but never near anything that I would consider a hazard (dock, tighter spaces, freighter channel, etc).

Hurray
Free weekend rides for everyone.

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Old 06-27-2019, 05:07 AM   #19
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The comments against letting someone else drive you boat strike me as a bit comical. When we have guests on board I give them all a chance to drive and they love it.


I've only had a couple of women decline the offer, and that's fine with me. Their choice.

Well, there's a difference between holding the wheel and driving versus changing gears, navigating and docking!

If one of your guests trys to reduce the speed by moving the transmission stick then you're screwed. Lol.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:04 AM   #20
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At sea trial of course I would expect to take over the helm. After contract and deposit is in hand of my broker or whatever the written agreement states.

I won't buy a car without a test drive, won't buy a house without walking through it and turning on the lights operating the systems, I wouldn't expect anyone to purchase my boat without operating it under "normal" conditions. Close quarters, I'll operate and be responsible to make repairs if damaged.
Regarding the car analogy, you have a drivers license and have been vetted by an agency with oversight which includes written and driving tests. There is no way to vet a prospective buyer. Look at the previous poster who was granted control with no experience at all.

Regarding the house analogy...you were allowed to walk through the boat, just like the house.

To all who expect to take the helm....that is what you've hired a surveyor for. He is acting as your agent.
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