Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-05-2012, 11:55   #1
Registered User
 
tomfl's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida
Boat: Seawind 1000xl
Posts: 1,959
Images: 10
How Long Are Sea Trials

I am in the process of buying a boat. I have inspected a boat and am ready to proceed. The boat is an F31 currently on a trailer. The broker indicated once I agree with the owner on a price I should submit an offer and proceed to sea trials and a survey. He indicated the sea trials would consist of putting the boat together on the trailer, launching it, and perhaps an hour in which the motor would be started, the sails would be raised and lowered and the centerboard would be lowered so I could dive under the boat and inspect it.

I have seen other posts which indicated sea trials would last some what longer. In fact one guy's sea trials were to consist of sailing from the Florida coast to the Bahamas and back over two days. While two days seems a little long to me an hour seems a little short.

I understand that sea trials is something that can be negotiated but an really not sure what a reasonable sea trial should consist of.

Can some of you more experienced guys help me out.
__________________

__________________
tomfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 12:02   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,334
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

once ready to go in the water about an hour minimum. You want plenty of time to make sure the engine doesnt over heat, sounds good as well as the transmission etc. Sail the boat so you can see the sail/rigging condition and see if you like the way it handles. It's really up to you, they need to convince you that you want to go forward. Work the engine hard, wide open for a while, watch for overheating, smoke etc. Check the oil before and after. My surveyor usually went on the sea trial.
Some boats have severe weather helm.... which is a design oriented flaw... etc. Some boats heel very quickly before getting in the groove, some people dont like that.. etc. Sounds like this is a folding catamaran though....?
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 12:24   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,243
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
I am in the process of buying a boat. I have inspected a boat and am ready to proceed. The boat is an F31 currently on a trailer. The broker indicated once I agree with the owner on a price I should submit an offer and proceed to sea trials and a survey. He indicated the sea trials would consist of putting the boat together on the trailer, launching it, and perhaps an hour in which the motor would be started, the sails would be raised and lowered and the centerboard would be lowered so I could dive under the boat and inspect it.

I have seen other posts which indicated sea trials would last some what longer. In fact one guy's sea trials were to consist of sailing from the Florida coast to the Bahamas and back over two days. While two days seems a little long to me an hour seems a little short.

I understand that sea trials is something that can be negotiated but an really not sure what a reasonable sea trial should consist of.

Can some of you more experienced guys help me out.
Think of it as a chance to test the major boat systems that cannot be tested in dock. That is possible in an hour. You don't have to test every switch, you are trying to detect major, expensive issues. Sails in good shape? No issues with the engine? Transmission works nicely? No extreme vibrations under power? Does the jib furler work? Any terrible, ominous groaning noises from the bowels of the boat when in a swell? The sea trial should include an extended period of motoring and a period at high throttle AFTER it's warmed up. Open the throttle fully on my boat when the engine's cold, and I'll make you walk the plank. On my test sail we motored away from the marina for 20 mins and sailed back.

As a seller I would hope that you already know you like how a boat of my type sails, and that the purpose of the test sail is to see if my boat is a good example of the type.
__________________
MarkSF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 12:50   #4
Marine Service Provider
 
Tony B's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Presently in Rogersville, Al
Boat: Mainship 36 Dual Cabin
Posts: 695
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

All of the sea trials I have had were about an hour or so each way. They were all conducted after the major portion of the survey and the destination was to the local yard to have the boat hauled out for the out-of-the-water portion of the survey, and then back again. In your case, the boat was on a trailer so no special out of the water survey is required.
I would want to go at least 1 hour out and one hour back to run the boat through it's paces. I'm sure if I was paying a couple of hundred thousand or more, I would want a longer sea trial.
__________________
Mainship 36 DC - 1986
Retired and Full Time Cruising the Eastern U.S. inland Waterways
www.FreeBoatProjects.com
Tony B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 12:51   #5
Registered User
 
sailpower's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 783
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

You don't need to bring a cooler.
__________________
sailpower is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 12:52   #6
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

While I am not familiar with your particular model vessel, there are some general things I would check on. After the vessel is underway you need to observe the transom when coming from forward to astern. Check for flex and or broken tabbing around the transom. While underway, under sail, go below on each tack and observe if there is any distortion at the bulkheads, try closing an athwartship door see if it continues to work as it should which can help indicate if there is excessive flexing. To check all of these things takes longer than an hour and you should not allow anyone to rush your inspection. Remember it will be your headache after you buy it.
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 13:01   #7
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

About an hour.
Put up sails.
Get engine up to running temp.
Check steering and autopilot.
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 15:29   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post

As a seller I would hope that you already know you like how a boat of my type sails, and that the purpose of the test sail is to see if my boat is a good example of the type.
I disagree. I declined a boat after a test sail. About 80 of this particular boat had been made, some had done circumnavigations, others crossed oceans, I did not find in my research that anybody had much worse to say about the boat than it was a bit slow as expected with a SA/D of 13. Nobody mentioned the extreme weather helm. The bulwarks rolled underwater in a gust and the boat hung there taking its time coming back. I've sailed on at least 30 different boats, some that relied heavily on form stability and some that relied mostly on ballast, and had never felt anything like this before. Even on a broad reach in 20+ knots of wind the boat speed never went much over 5 knots on this 39 footer.

My opinion is that the test sail is to see if the boat is what you expected it to be in terms of sailing/handling qualities as well as what others have posted.

John
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 15:33   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,243
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
I disagree. I declined a boat after a test sail. About 80 of this particular boat had been made, some had done circumnavigations, others crossed oceans, I did not find in my research that anybody had much worse to say about the boat than it was a bit slow as expected with a SA/D of 13. Nobody mentioned the extreme weather helm. The bulwarks rolled underwater in a gust and the boat hung there taking its time coming back. I've sailed on at least 30 different boats, some that relied heavily on form stability and some that relied mostly on ballast, and had never felt anything like this before. Even on a broad reach in 20+ knots of wind the boat speed never went much over 5 knots on this 39 footer.

My opinion is that the test sail is to see if the boat is what you expected it to be in terms of sailing/handling qualities as well as what others have posted.

John
What kind of boat was it? (so that I can avoid them )
__________________
MarkSF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 17:10   #10
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,329
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

IMO 1 to 2 hours should be enough, maybe more for special circumstances!
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 17:38   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 75
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

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?
__________________
dgasmd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 17:57   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

The length of the sea trial depends on the complexity of the boat. The more systems and the more complex the systems, the longer it takes to test what only can be tested while underway.

There is nothing wrong with bringing your surveyor along.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 18:21   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,334
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Definitely go with the surveyor and ask questions. If he's any good he has a lot of information. He may say things like "this particular design is noted for Blah-Blah problem... but this one looks good." etc
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 18:23   #14
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
I understand that sea trials is something that can be negotiated but an really not sure what a reasonable sea trial should consist of.
Speaking from the seller's perspective, here's what a sea trial should NOT be:

1. a sailing lesson. The fellow who bought my last boat had never flown an A-kite, so he wanted me to teach him how to rig it, how to use the sock, and how to gybe it. At one point I felt as if I should be charging him for a private tutorial.

2. a daysail for your buddies. "This is my friend Jack. I invited him along because he crews for me a lot, so it's important to me that he likes this boat as much as I do."

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."

4. a torture test. "Before I buy this boat, I want to make sure I can run the diesel at WOT while sailing to weather in 25 knots without having to reef."

5. a remedy for buyer's remorse. "This is actually the third boat I've put a deposit on. The other two just didn't feel right when I sea-trialed them."
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2012, 18:23   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,334
Re: How Long Are Sea Trials

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
I disagree. I declined a boat after a test sail. About 80 of this particular boat had been made, some had done circumnavigations, others crossed oceans, I did not find in my research that anybody had much worse to say about the boat than it was a bit slow as expected with a SA/D of 13. Nobody mentioned the extreme weather helm. The bulwarks rolled underwater in a gust and the boat hung there taking its time coming back. I've sailed on at least 30 different boats, some that relied heavily on form stability and some that relied mostly on ballast, and had never felt anything like this before. Even on a broad reach in 20+ knots of wind the boat speed never went much over 5 knots on this 39 footer.

My opinion is that the test sail is to see if the boat is what you expected it to be in terms of sailing/handling qualities as well as what others have posted.

John
yes, I bought a new boat once, test sailed a sister ship, but wind was non existent-5knots. Turned out after I got my boat that it had hull shape induced weather helm so bad you couldnt turn it in certain conditions. I even broke a new steering cable!

5. a remedy for buyer's remorse. i dont know, might be valid!

OP:make a check list, you will forget things when you get out on the water and get busy. Be sure to try the big ticket items: sails, autopilot etc.
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:42.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.