I had to laugh a bit while going through this string, there seems to be a little confusion on who's responsible for what.
If your buying
a boat it's buyer beware, this is the number one rule
, but there's also a little responsibility both ways.
It's unreasonable to expect a seller to be responsible for all costs incurred when a "potential buyer" wants a sea trial. If the boat is pickled and on the hard it's the potential buyers responsibility to pay for the launch and haul to do so, this sorts out the tire kickers. If you find this unreasonable then you'll have a hard time finding a seller who's willing to do a sea trial for you. If you feel this is unreasonable, see if the seller is willing to share the cost in the final sale
if you decide to buy, possibly the seller would give you a credit for half the cost of the launch and haul in the final price.
Otherwise if it were me selling the boat I'd tell you to take a hike if you felt it was my cost to bear. In my early days of boat ownership
I was selling a 30 footer I had bought, fixed up and used for awhile, it was a fine boat once it received some TLC, I pulled it at the end of the season, winterized it and did everything you need to do when prepping for storage
and then put it up for sale
. If you haven't owned a larger boat in the past you have no idea the work required prior to storing one.
This gentleman called and said he was serious, came and looked over the boat and then asked for a sea trial, in my clueless state I had it re-launched, did the sea trial and then waited for a response, none came, my calls were not returned, he didn't even have the decency to say he wasn't interested. Later that week while I was doing the work to put it into storage
AGAIN, I was talking with another owner in the boat yard who asked who the guy was, when I told him the persons name he turned red and started spitting out his words, apparently the same fellow had done that to him two years prior. Apparently this individual just liked trying other peoples boats to see how he liked them, he already owned a boat in another marina and thought this was a fine way to get a free sail to see how he liked a different model in comparison to his his current
You want to sea trial my boat that's currently in storage mode on the hard? Fine, pay for the launch and haul, don't whine, the cost of the launch and haul is only a small portion of the cost associated with sea trialing a pickled boat, it doesn't begin to cover the work and cost associated with the entire endeavor.
Paying the labor to mount and dismount a major assembly like solar panels
is out of the question for a simple sea trial, too many tire kickers and dreamers out there who have no intention of buying. Why would you even need those assemblies to be mounted when they have no impact on the sailing or motoring capability of the boat? Any decent surveyor
should be able to ascertain the condition and functionality of those parts
, if they cant you need to get a different surveyor
There should be reasonable expectations on the part of both parties involved.
When I bought our current
boat it took three years of looking before I found one that fit all our needs (the wife and kids
have needs too), I looked at quite a few boats before deciding to pull the trigger. To save time and cost on both sides I always let the brokers know I'm just doing a preliminary look to see if I'm interested enough to go any further, they don't have to be present if it's too far from their base of operation. Many times the boat is stored close to the owners home, not the brokers office, it's easier to have the owner present to open the boat if there amenable to that, if you look and are interested enough to go further then get everyone else involved.
In the case of my current boat, the boat was in Maine
, the broker was out of Newport
, RI, the owner was in Arizona for the season. I was able to have the owner give permission to the storage yard to hand me the keys so I could go through it, which worked best for all parties, they didn't have to incur the time and cost to travel to the yard, I got an entire day to go through the boat thoroughly and my wife had the time to get a feel for the boat while I went through the bilges, mechanicals and systems. We didn't decide at that point but let the broker and owner know where we were at as a courtesy to both for their cooperation, then took two months to think it over, we also looked at others during that time. When we did decide to move forward there was already a cooperative relationship in place, so the purchase
was a pretty low stress affair. The agreement was contingent on a sea trail, but the owner was having it launched for the season anyway by that point and our agreement was contingent on the trial and anything found at that time. We did do some negotiation after that but mostly it revolved around the owner have several systems serviced and a couple items replaced, which he had taken care of promptly. It doesn't have to be a battle but it does take some commitment of time and expense on both sides, in the end it works best when it's fair for all parties involved.
When selling boats I've told some potentials to take a hike when they were unreasonable, I've found it saves me a lot of wasted time and effort, my time is just as valuable as anyone elses.