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Old 06-07-2013, 07:12   #1
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Test Drive

Would it be unheard of to make an offer on a boat subject to a 1 week charter (test drive) first?
I know that owners would expect a sea trial, but how about a week trial?

Anyone ever do anything like that?
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:15   #2
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Mega yachts are bought using that model. I personally have never known someone to do that on a smaller vessel.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:27   #3
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Re: Test Drive

Uncommon but a reasonable idea. Totally up to the seller if they want to do it or not.

Of course the offer of enough money for the charter, non-refundable if you decide against purchase, might sway the reluctant. Then negotiate applying some part or all of the cost of the charter (excluding of course captains fees, fuel costs and similar expenses) to the purchase price if you make an offer to buy.

One possible glitch to this. Most standard owner's insurance does not cover chartering the boat. This could present a significant obstacle.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:32   #4
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Re: Test Drive

Highly unusual. I don't believe chartering is covered in most boat insurance policies.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:34   #5
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Re: Test Drive

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Uncommon but a reasonable idea. Totally up to the seller if they want to do it or not.

Of course the offer of enough money for the charter, non-refundable if you decide against purchase, might sway the reluctant. Then negotiate applying some part or all of the cost of the charter (excluding of course captains fees, fuel costs and similar expenses) to the purchase price if you make an offer to buy.

One possible glitch to this. Most standard owner's insurance does not cover chartering the boat. This could present a significant obstacle.
That's a great idea to negotiate the Charter price off of the top of the sale price.
I suppose that I would hire the Captain, fuel and everything else and they could just supply the boat.
The boat is now listed for sale or charter, so maybe they have insurance in place that would cover it.
I do know after speaking to the broker, that they are not in the Charter business.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:02   #6
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Re: Test Drive

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That's a great idea to negotiate the Charter price off of the top of the sale price.
I suppose that I would hire the Captain, fuel and everything else and they could just supply the boat.
The boat is now listed for sale or charter, so maybe they have insurance in place that would cover it.
I do know after speaking to the broker, that they are not in the Charter business.
Well if they offer charter as the alternative then there must be some provision made for the insurance issues. It is common for many larger power boats to offer charters but not be in "the charter business", probably as a tax dodge.

Another idea, if you meet the owner and seem compatible maybe the owner could act as captain. If he/she has run the boat personally instead of using a professional captain you could probably get a lot of information about the boat systems and such. Or use the owner's captain if that's an option for the same reasons.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:40   #7
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Re: Test Drive

The point of a sea trial is to test the systems of a boat, not to determine if you like the boat.

I think most sellers wouldn't let you do this (liability and risk), but I suppose you can always propose it.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:41   #8
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Re: Test Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
That's a great idea to negotiate the Charter price off of the top of the sale price.
I suppose that I would hire the Captain, fuel and everything else and they could just supply the boat.
The boat is now listed for sale or charter, so maybe they have insurance in place that would cover it.
I do know after speaking to the broker, that they are not in the Charter business.

I didn't see this, but in this case, your proposal seems to make sense.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:31   #9
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Re: Test Drive

GalaxyGirl, does it matter how uncommon this practice is or how likely the owner is to refuse? If trying out the boat for a week prior to purchasing it is what you would like to do, there is nothing to be lost in proposing it.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:45   #10
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Re: Test Drive

If this is a boat in the 65-80ft range as discussed previously, be prepared for a hefty charter fee plus captain/crew fee. Looking up similar size crewed charters suggests $20K/week would be normal. I would assume you could negotiate some of this from the price but only if you proceed with the purchase.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:13   #11
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Re: Test Drive

G-girl If you do a sea trail charter and spend that kind of money I would suggest you bring an experienced captain-surveyor type with you particularly if you are not highly experienced. It is too easy for the inexperienced to fall in love with a problem boat. I would also first do a full survey and sea trail including professional motor survey before committing to the charter. If the boat has major faults its best to know before you get further committed. You really should be a very serious buyer before you get involved in this. You should also realize that you are going to need a capable handy boat person around for the first couple of years until you learn the ropes. Most people who get into big boats start small and work their way up or if not hire a professional crew. Buying a boat is really no different than buying real estate. I deal with commercial real estate and I don't know a lot about it but I have partners who do. Without my partners I would be shark bait. It's best if you or someone you trust knows the waters you are sailing into.
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Old 06-07-2013, 13:12   #12
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Re: Test Drive

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Originally Posted by Mirror16 View Post
GalaxyGirl, does it matter how uncommon this practice is or how likely the owner is to refuse? If trying out the boat for a week prior to purchasing it is what you would like to do, there is nothing to be lost in proposing it.
Your absolutely right about that. All they can do is say no, right.
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Old 06-07-2013, 13:13   #13
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Re: Test Drive

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Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
G-girl If you do a sea trail charter and spend that kind of money I would suggest you bring an experienced captain-surveyor type with you particularly if you are not highly experienced. It is too easy for the inexperienced to fall in love with a problem boat. I would also first do a full survey and sea trail including professional motor survey before committing to the charter. If the boat has major faults its best to know before you get further committed. You really should be a very serious buyer before you get involved in this. You should also realize that you are going to need a capable handy boat person around for the first couple of years until you learn the ropes. Most people who get into big boats start small and work their way up or if not hire a professional crew. Buying a boat is really no different than buying real estate. I deal with commercial real estate and I don't know a lot about it but I have partners who do. Without my partners I would be shark bait. It's best if you or someone you trust knows the waters you are sailing into.
Without a doubt. I wouldn't know what to do with the boat. I will need lots of help for a while, but I will be paying very close attention.
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Old 06-07-2013, 14:39   #14
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Re: Test Drive

I'm pulling for GG to pull this off somehow. She'll need professional crew for quite some while and depending on the boat perhaps always... But she's determined and the barriers appear to be experience... and in time on her boat she'll get it. I look forward to learning of her progress once she's a boat owner.
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Old 06-07-2013, 15:47   #15
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Re: Test Drive

I think that is a great idea. Eyschulman hit it right on the head, good luck.
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