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Old 01-06-2012, 09:42   #31
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

JRM, it sounds good to me ( for all that's worth )
This would make a good thread. " Does the surveyor really need to be present at sea trial ?"

I never really saw the great value in having my surveyor present, ( I know I'll get flamed for that!). Sea trials always seemed about fit, does the boat sail the way I expected, does she fit with what I want. The nuts and bolts stuff I always left to the survey day. Of course, I'm going to feel her rudder under load of sail, go down below and look for flexing, look at the deck to hull joint etc. But these potential issues would show themselves during survey too.

You are very lucky to have a friend willing to lend his expertise, he will give you advice and wisdom a surveyor would steer clear of, I think that is a good thing.

Have fun! F31 are great boats,
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:04   #32
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

I will have to disagree with you OG, I would want the surveyor there on the sea trial. Which is a totally different critter than a test drive. They are supposed to be the dispassionate view that is neither pro or con, only an eye on what actually is. Most people ( myself included) get emotional about a vessel that they like or want to buy. I have performed surveys and I could care less if the owners / prospective buyers are on site, as long as they don't try to engage me in conversation outside of questions I ask. My interest is in making an honest evaluation of the vessel.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:04   #33
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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?
Most of the systems can be checked at the dock. Electrical, refrigeration, lights, bilge, hoses, nav gear, fresh water system etc, etc. By all means, dont cut your sea trial short until you are satisfied.
Be sure to turn the refrig on hours before or the night before. Hard to tell if it's cooling well as opposed to just running and light frosting....
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:08   #34
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
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.
Had I listened a little more closely to what my spouse was REALLY saying, I wouldn't have ended up with a couple of boats that were bigger projects than my rose colored glasses were seeing! I tend to see things as they COULD be rather than how they ARE!!
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Old 14-06-2012, 06:02   #35
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Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Basically you want a sea trial that is long enough for you to have checked that all the important things function and the boat "feels right". i just bought a 40 footer and the sea trial lasted about 2 hours. we sailed on the motor for 30 minutes (different speeds), full sail both downwind and upwind, and finally a run on the spinnaker.

Everything was ok and we signed the bill of sale right after we docked. (I had seen the boat when it was out of the water and checked the hull and the screw and rudder for slur.

You can usually tell a lot about the level of maintenance for a boat by looking at the engine (grease, oil, rust etc). If you are at all in doubt and the boat's mast is rigged, get a bosun chair and get hauled up in the rigging and check it completely.
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