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Old 31-05-2012, 18:26   #16
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

The sea trial is usually one to two hours, its purpose is to trial the boat underway. It sounds like you want to see what an F31 can do offshore, I'd charter one first or maybe you can make an arrangement with the seller to charter her( I don't know) but a sea trial is not a cruise ( sorry ).
As to the survey, I'd ask the surveyor before hiring him/ her if they mind the buyer along. I highly recommend the buyer be there for the survey. I don't know where you are but Mike Firestone works the gulf coast and is the best. He is thorough and will explain any big findings to you right there including what it might take to repair. He is NOT a brokers surveyor. if a broker recommend a particular surveyor I wouldn't use him. It's best you find one without broker ties.
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Old 31-05-2012, 18:33   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgasmd
Not trying to hijack your thread, but I think these other questions are very relevant to this matter and may help you as well.

1. Do most of you go with the surveyor to do the entire survey or is this a no/no?

2. Does your surveyor go into the sea trial to point out or observe things in a dynamic environment that he can only see in a static environment when at the dock?
When I was a working aircraft mechanic we had two rates.

Annual Inspection - $50 / hr
Owner Assisted Annual Inspection - $100 / hr

Seriously, though I would be there if at all possible but stay out of the way. You dont want the surveyor thinking you are second guessing him, but there are things he may want to show you while covers are open. Discuss beforehand with the surveyor.

I am in the camp that the sea trial is not a test drive to see if you like the boat. My purchase agreement specified reasons the boat could be rejected and not liking the boat wasn't one unless I was willing to forego my deposit.

I stipulated a two day sea trial bit one day would have done it. I don't think you can propperly assess the boat in one hour unless it is simple. I ran the engine for almost four hours. We hoisted all available sails including spinnakers.

We could have done it in a 6 hour day for sure.
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Old 31-05-2012, 19:05   #18
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Seeing I expect to be in the market this fall, I am somewhat surprised by those in the camp of a short sea trial.

I see it two ways. First of course, do all systems work as they should. I can't see how one possibly can test those in an hour or two.

Secondly, although I appreciate that the seller doesn't want to see it as just a test drive to see if one likes the boat, most models are not available to charter, are they? I doubt if there are any S2's as example (a boat I am considering) that are available for charter.

I will try and work around the second problem by seeing if I can crew on one before hand, even if just for an afternoon.

The first one I'm going to insist has to be my way. It's my money, and I will be stuck with the boat after the fact. If you don't have enough confidence in your systems to allow me to test them all, then perhaps I am looking at the wrong boat. Schedule a day, and if we are done in 3-4 hours, great.

After all, there are lot's of fish in the sea, especially in this market, right?
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Old 31-05-2012, 19:49   #19
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Originally Posted by avb3
Seeing I expect to be in the market this fall, I am somewhat surprised by those in the camp of a short sea trial.

I see it two ways. First of course, do all systems work as they should. I can't see how one possibly can test those in an hour or two.

Secondly, although I appreciate that the seller doesn't want to see it as just a test drive to see if one likes the boat, most models are not available to charter, are they? I doubt if there are any S2's as example (a boat I am considering) that are available for charter.

I will try and work around the second problem by seeing if I can crew on one before hand, even if just for an afternoon.

The first one I'm going to insist has to be my way. It's my money, and I will be stuck with the boat after the fact. If you don't have enough confidence in your systems to allow me to test them all, then perhaps I am looking at the wrong boat. Schedule a day, and if we are done in 3-4 hours, great.

After all, there are lot's of fish in the sea, especially in this market, right?
I think the test drive is a separate event and I personally would be upfront with the seller.

"I am seriously considering this boat after XYZ research but have never sailed one. Before we get into the offer & survey stage I would really like to sail one to see if it is the right boat for me. I would be happy to pay for your time to take me out and explain the benefits and sailing features of your boat."

The smart seller looks at this as an opportunity. The offer of payment says you are serious. A savvy buyer might say, "Sure. I'll take you out. Let's call it $100 day of "cost sharing" and if we get to a sale I'll take it off the price."

A small, almost meaningless gesture by the seller to return the $100. If the seller isn't up for that, and it is important to you, I'd look for another dance.
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Old 31-05-2012, 19:52   #20
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
......
Secondly, although I appreciate that the seller doesn't want to see it as just a test drive to see if one likes the boat.......... If you don't have enough confidence in your systems to allow me to test them all....
I wouldn't think that the seller would have a problem with a long sea trial, I know I wouldn't. The problem with a long sea trial would be with the surveyor. Their rates are usually based on the length of the boat and this includes the sea trial and the haul-out. I'm sure that if you pay him/her an additional amount by the hour for a longer than standard sea trial, they would only be too happy to oblige.
The next hurdle would be the broker. I'm sure the broker would not want to ride the boat a whole day so theer could be some resistance there. The broker is usually there for the sea trial because they are somewhat responsible for the boat. That is because you do not want the owner there for the survey. The owner would be a big distraction during the survey process whether intentional or not.
The bottom line is that if you compensate the surveyor for his/her time, you can have them sea trial the boat for as long as you want.
These are my personal thoughts on the subject. Since I just went through this 2 days ago, these things are still fresh on my mind.
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Old 31-05-2012, 19:57   #21
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The owner was there when my brother had his boat surveyed. The surveyor, politely told the owner, that the findings of the survey were private between the potential buyer and the surveyor and the owner was not invited to the survey result meeting.

The surveyor was upfront and honest with my brother, however he missed some really important stuff my brother is dealing with now. In fact the surveyor had a tentative do not buy recommendation. So goes buyers in love...

After nearly 7 months of mostly labor and some known purchases the boat is pretty well sorted. They have been able to liveaboard since day one however.
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Old 31-05-2012, 20:08   #22
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Seeing I expect to be in the market this fall, I am somewhat surprised by those in the camp of a short sea trial.

I see it two ways. First of course, do all systems work as they should. I can't see how one possibly can test those in an hour or two.

Secondly, although I appreciate that the seller doesn't want to see it as just a test drive to see if one likes the boat, most models are not available to charter, are they? I doubt if there are any S2's as example (a boat I am considering) that are available for charter.

I will try and work around the second problem by seeing if I can crew on one before hand, even if just for an afternoon.

The first one I'm going to insist has to be my way. It's my money, and I will be stuck with the boat after the fact. If you don't have enough confidence in your systems to allow me to test them all, then perhaps I am looking at the wrong boat. Schedule a day, and if we are done in 3-4 hours, great.

After all, there are lot's of fish in the sea, especially in this market, right?
It's a sailboat. There's never a situation where all systems are working as they should.
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Old 31-05-2012, 20:57   #23
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
1. Do most of you go with the surveyor to do the entire survey or is this a no/no?
I have always been there during the survey. Stay away from the surveyor and dont distract him. You need to be there in case he finds something really problematic and should be a deal breaker. Without you there he wont know if he should continue on or call it quits. Since he don't know your budget or intents in what you want, you need to be there for decision making. Besides, there is always minor things that require attention. Besides him noting it for the actual survey report, he may want to point it out to you.

2. Does your surveyor go into the sea trial to point out or observe things in a dynamic environment that he can only see in a static environment when at the dock?
A surveyor was always the one that actually conducted and controlled the sea trial although they rarely take the wheel. Usually the broker drives and will give you some 'stick time' while the surveyor is sweating profusely insdie the engine compartment.
The "in-the-water" survey usually starts early like 7am and lasts till about noon. At that point, the broker shows up and the sea trial begins. The boat heads out to the boat yard for a haul-out for the "out-of-the-water" portion of the survey. While you and the broker are playing and driving, the surveyor is back in the engine compartment studying every machinery related. When you get to the yard, the boat is hauled put, scraped and pressure washed. The surveyor will examine the prop, the shaft and the bearings. Then he will begin looking for blisters. Then he will pull out his moisture meter. Then perform other tests. After all of this is done, the trip back to the marina is now conducted at various speeds including periods of wide open throttle. And of course, the surveyor is back in the engine room.
In the past, I have had a total of 5 surveys done by 4 different surveyors over a period of time. They were all conducted pretty much the same way.
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Old 31-05-2012, 21:51   #24
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Lots of good points here. My .02 cents: yes join the surveyor, basic business manners are sufficient, but you are paying him big bucks. Spend as much time as you can going through the boat yourself, without being invasive in any way. Surveyors miss lots, and so will you. Hopefully the stuff that gets missed wont be too big, but research known issues and check them all out.

Get two hours if you can in the trial. If you don't need it you don't need it, but the seller may turn out to be generous and show you the ropes. Just be up front with the broker and seller about your concern about rushing it, nothing they haven't dealt with before. You know they want to keep it short and sweet, but you are the guy with the $$ here. Be reasonable, but set the agenda. Ask the seller if he minds showing you how to rig things, and you may be surprised. If he doesn't want to help, not much to be done. Don;t know if you don't ask.

Good luck-
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Old 31-05-2012, 22:04   #25
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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Speaking from the seller's perspective, here's what a sea trial should NOT be:
...
3. a test drive for a reluctant spouse. "My wife always got seasick on my last boat, so I wanted to make sure she's more comfy on this boat."
...
I included my wife in the entire buying decision including the sea trial. She may not be an expert in sailboats, but her buy-in was critical. I didn't really want to end up cruising the boat by myself.
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Old 31-05-2012, 22:45   #26
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Our sea trial is tomorrow afternoon. Scheduled for two hours. We're doing things a bit out of order because the seller has to leave on a two week trip on Saturday, so sea trial before and separate from the survey.

I believe both brokers are attending, I know mine is. On the advice of another group I invited a very experienced cruiser friend to come along in place of the surveyor. He's not a certified surveyor, nor does he claim to be, but his retirement job after returning from his latest cruise is to outfit boats for offshore cruising and racing. We're trading labor, so I'm "paying" him in my time (or he's "paying" me in his time if you prefer). He's going to focus on what is going to be required to bring her up to "ready to go" rather than beat around with a hammer.

Our contract is for an "as is" purchase, which means yes/no on whatever the surveyor finds. I figure I'm hedging my bets by doubling down on the inspections, plus my own limited knowledge.

I hope it all goes well. We really like this one.

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Old 31-05-2012, 23:01   #27
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I think the test drive is a separate event and I personally would be upfront with the seller.

"I am seriously considering this boat after XYZ research but have never sailed one. Before we get into the offer & survey stage I would really like to sail one to see if it is the right boat for me. I would be happy to pay for your time to take me out and explain the benefits and sailing features of your boat."

The smart seller looks at this as an opportunity. The offer of payment says you are serious. A savvy buyer might say, "Sure. I'll take you out. Let's call it $100 day of "cost sharing" and if we get to a sale I'll take it off the price."

A small, almost meaningless gesture by the seller to return the $100. If the seller isn't up for that, and it is important to you, I'd look for another dance.
Great idea. Filing it away for future use.

A couple of other thoughts on the subject:

Since the buyer is paying the surveyor, who will certainly be participating in the sea trial, the buyer should call the shot on length of sea trial, after consulting with the surveyor, with attention to the complexity of the systems that have to be tested on sea trial.

And there are usually a number of systems that can be tested at tne dock or on the hard, as long as the boats batteries are charged, water in the tanks, etc.. The buyer may elect to test these systems himself, but my preference would be to do everything possible with the surveyor, especially with a complex boat.

The survey is usually best done in two parts, one on the hard, so the bottom, rudder, prop, etc. can be inspected, and the sea trial is the other part.

I would also focus sea trial time on the engine, sails, sailing hardware, autopilot and windvane. Don't assume malfunctioning hardware can be easily fixed. For example, I once bought a boat that had a successful sea trial, except that I could not make needed adjustments to correct severe weather helm. I wanted to flatten the main, but the outhaul slide was stuck so badly we could not move it at all.. I also wanted to adjust the genoa cars position to get better shape in the genoa, but the cars could not be moved because the screws holding the genoa track in place were too high.

I assumed, incorrectly, that both of these problems could be easily fixed with some penetrating oil and elbow grease. The surveyor, who turned out to be an incompetent dope, said nothing. Turned out that both problems were costly and time consuming to fix.

Hiring that particular surveyor was my biggest mistake. I stupidly selected him from a list of three or so provided by the broker.. NEVER, NEVER hire a surveyor recommended by a broker!!!! If you want a survey, do your research to find the best in the area, get personal references, talk to the ones you are considering about what's important to you in the survey, and hire the best one, the one you feel most comfortable with.

The survey is a crucial, make or break part of buying a complex boat. The buyer needs to take every precaution on making sure the survey is done well.
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Old 31-05-2012, 23:12   #28
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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Our sea trial is tomorrow afternoon. Scheduled for two hours. We're doing things a bit out of order because the seller has to leave on a two week trip on Saturday, so sea trial before and separate from the survey.

I believe both brokers are attending, I know mine is. On the advice of another group I invited a very experienced cruiser friend to come along in place of the surveyor. He's not a certified surveyor, nor does he claim to be, but his retirement job after returning from his latest cruise is to outfit boats for offshore cruising and racing. We're trading labor, so I'm "paying" him in my time (or he's "paying" me in his time if you prefer). He's going to focus on what is going to be required to bring her up to "ready to go" rather than beat around with a hammer.

Our contract is for an "as is" purchase, which means yes/no on whatever the surveyor finds. I figure I'm hedging my bets by doubling down on the inspections, plus my own limited knowledge.

I hope it all goes well. We really like this one.

JRM
I don't understand why you are not including the surveyor in the sea trial.. Probably too late to change that arrangement, but I would never have a sea trial without my surveyor on the boat.
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Old 31-05-2012, 23:36   #29
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Either the seller is serious about selling the boat or they are not. The sea trial should be as long as you need to be comfortable with the boat. It is NOT reasonable to rent decent sized keelboats to see how they sail - that's a complete joke.

If you are not familiar with the boat ask for a sail. If your the seller has no interest, then move on as he is likely not serious about selling the boat and apparently never takes it out.

I do agree with asking for $100 that will be taken off the sale price for the sail. It's fair and ensures that the buyer is at least a little serious.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:29   #30
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I don't understand why you are not including the surveyor in the sea trial.. Probably too late to change that arrangement, but I would never have a sea trial without my surveyor on the boat.
It's probably a 20 minute motor over to the yard. He'll be onboard for the trip to the yard for the hang. He can do whatever limited engine checking he wants to do then. The engine is original, and I've figured a repower into my anticipated budget. Any use we get out of the current power plant is bonus.

As far as rigging and sailing inspection, the guy coming with is way more experienced in those areas than the surveyor.

Maybe I'm missing something, but this is an older boat in need of some serious work and the price reflects it. I want the surveyor to focus on structure, not systems. It's the hull and bulkheads I'm worried about. I want him to find the deal breaker I haven't accounted for, and the drivetrain is already a known issue.

Maybe I'm just justifying the schedule, but I think it'll actually work out better this way. I'll have a specialist on the test sail, and the surveyor can focus on what he does best.

Either way, whatever the surveyor finds isn't going to lower the price, just up what its going to cost me. But if I was looking for a smart financial investment I wouldn't be thinking boat. Besides, if it was easy and cheap everyone would be doing it...

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