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Old 13-11-2012, 10:31   #16
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Moving Forward.....I think we all agree that this is not recommended
I'm also recommending against shutting a turbo diesel down in full forward.

A sea trial is supposed to test systems, not damage them.
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Old 13-11-2012, 10:31   #17
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

I just finished sea trials on, hopefully, my next boat. It is a Seawind 1000 and has two 9.9 outboards. I suspect sea trials for this type of powered boat would be far different than for other boats. Same goes for lots of other stuff. At one time I was looking at a C31 that had 14 sails, not sure how long it would take to raise and lower each one; not to mention how the surveyor would take that.

There are obviously some standard things to take into account and I have seen several surveys (and examples of what to expect from surveys) and there seems to be some standard template form that many surveyors use. The problem is not all boats have everything on the form. Outboards, sail drives, straight shafts, grounding plates and a host of other things; not to mention any mods the owner may have made make most surveys a one of a kind exercise.

Bottom line for me is along the lines of what Zee said, how does the boat sail. I set the auto helm, trimmed the screecher, walked forward to stand on the tramp and looked down at the bone in the teeth on the leeward bow and was sold.

You can fix lots of things on a boat, but it is hard to fix a boat not sailing the way you want it to.
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Old 13-11-2012, 15:15   #18
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

REturning now from fantasy land to the real world...

While the exhaustive lists of tests are without doubt excellent guides for sea trials, if talking about a typical yacht purchase with a typical broker and surveyor, they are likely not feasible.

If one considers the time involved in running the engine(s) at 25, 50, 75 and 100% power for two hours at each setting, hoisting and trimming all sails on board, etc, and considers as well that surveyors seem to charge > 100$/hr for their time... well, unless one is buying a very large and expensive vessel it ain't gonna happen!

On the other hand, just "seein' how she sails" isn't enough to keep one out of big fiscal risks of semi-hidden flaws. So, it would be useful to the average buyer to have a list of tests that can be performed in the time frame that is typically available, ie a few hours at most.

Any takers?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 13-11-2012, 15:39   #19
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

Continuing the theme of returning to real life. Most of those "tests" are destructive and harmful to most cruising boats. A cruising boat is not a racing boat and an older one is not as agile or "tough" as a new boat.

As to disconnecting the battery from a running engine - why? Diesel engines run fine and do not need a battery except for instrumentation. However, an alternator is NOT a generator and as such must have a battery connected to it when it is running.

"Now he decides to "test" your alternator by disconnecting the battery. After all, the car's ignition should be able to run on just the alternator's power alone.

Wrong!

The moment he disconnects either lead from your battery, it's entirely possible he caused thousands of dollars in damage. Here's why...

See: Don't Disconnect the Battery with the Engine Running
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Old 13-11-2012, 15:46   #20
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I dont know about thousands but you will defo fry your rectifier on the alternator and no longer be able to charge your batteries until you feplace or rebuild it
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Old 13-11-2012, 15:51   #21
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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Regardless of how the navy decides to treat warships, I don't feel that destructive or dangerous testing such as recommended above is a legitimate activity for a sea trial. Only a fool goes from full power forward to full reverse "as fast as possible." As for disconnecting the battery while underway, that's just plain goofy.
After that lot you'll have at least a stripped transmission, and a blown alternator. If anyone did that to my boat, I'd kill them.

The hurth transmission manual is quite clear that switching from forward to reverse without going via idle is only for dire emergencies.
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Old 13-11-2012, 16:44   #22
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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In reverse, at least 12 times, at 25% of full throttle let steering run so the rudder fetches up against its stops
What's this? You're going to let go of the helm while backing and let the rudder slam against the stop? I sure hope not.

I'm sure we've all read this somewhere (this from my Edson manual):

THE WHEEL MUST BE HELD FIRMLY WHILE BACKING DOWN. ALLOWING THE STEERING WHEEL TO SPIN FREELY WHILE OPERATING THE VESSEL IN REVERSE CAN CAUSE SHOCK LOADING WHICH MAY LEAD TO A LOSS OF STEERING OR DAMAGE TO THE STEERING SYSTEM.
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Old 13-11-2012, 16:48   #23
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

The one thing I learned from my boat is FILL ALL TANKS!!!

A crack at the top of the water tank should not be discovered, when the tank is full, you are 4-5 miles off short and tacking with 10 degrees of heel.

When one is at the helm on his first outting to where "the depth gauge turns off" and looks down at a puddle on the salon floor. In hindsight I am SO-O-O-O glad it was the water tank, because the first thing I did was instinctively check if it was salt water.....

Bill
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Old 13-11-2012, 17:50   #24
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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The one thing I learned from my boat is FILL ALL TANKS!!! Bill
Great practical point Bill… often forgotten… I have had friends take delivery of new trawlers and when they topped up discovered that most of their tanks tops leaked badly. Repairing meant removing a lot of the interior
Add the heeling moment of a sailboat and this becomes critical.

Challenge is how on a used boat purchase do you set up that 100% bunkered sea trial, when you have not yet accepted the yacht?
Who pays for the added fuel if you decline?

On SG all my tank tops, fillers and vents are easily accessible so this was not an issue when I decided to proceed with Trial
But if it was, I would set the acceptance contract to state;

Upon completion of successful sea trials with any defect either remedied or having an agreed price adjustment, Buyer shall at his expense top up all fuel and water tanks to 100% and a second short sea trial will be performed to demonstrate tank integrity in sailing conditions and to prove that the running defects are properly repaired.

If any tanks are found to leak, Seller agrees to repair leaking tanks at his expense, or compensate Buyer for fuel costs, if a proper repair is impractical

Of course, when topping up, always leave room for expansion (ullages)
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Old 13-11-2012, 17:55   #25
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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I did add "full stop" not a crash reverse. If your boat cant go from full ahead to full stop then full reverse in a few seconds. You have problems. That one maneuver can also expose numerous problems with your drive train. Id much rather find a problem in a controlled test than when I really really needed it. Same for the battery disconnect. Say you have a battery or electrical fire on board and needed to isolate your DC system. Could you keep your engine running and critical systems running with no batteries, alternator only and make port? These arent outrageous situations because they have happened to other boaters.

So why are they outrageous to test in sea trials?

I have had to use this manuever in a docking situation in Nassau. Current was running very fast and once I was in the marina I was committed. Moving with the current at probably 6 knots into a slip, I had to have the engine fairly fast in forward to have any steerage, then had to go to emergency stop once in the slip. Talk about panic! The boat stopped perfectly (thanks Maxprop!) to the cheers of the various dockhands... whose eyes were big as saucers!
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Old 13-11-2012, 17:58   #26
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
REturning now from fantasy land to the real world...

While the exhaustive lists of tests are without doubt excellent guides for sea trials, if talking about a typical yacht purchase with a typical broker and surveyor, they are likely not feasible.

If one considers the time involved in running the engine(s) at 25, 50, 75 and 100% power for two hours at each setting, hoisting and trimming all sails on board, etc, and considers as well that surveyors seem to charge > 100$/hr for their time... well, unless one is buying a very large and expensive vessel it ain't gonna happen!

On the other hand, just "seein' how she sails" isn't enough to keep one out of big fiscal risks of semi-hidden flaws. So, it would be useful to the average buyer to have a list of tests that can be performed in the time frame that is typically available, ie a few hours at most.

Any takers?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 13-11-2012, 18:56   #27
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
On the other hand, just "seein' how she sails" isn't enough to keep one out of big fiscal risks of semi-hidden flaws. So, it would be useful to the average buyer to have a list of tests that can be performed in the time frame that is typically available, ie a few hours at most.

Any takers?

Cheers,

Jim
I agree Jim…. Most of the really important tests are done at the dock, following the Buyer crawling thru every hidden void space he can get his head in over a few days of inspection.

Sea Trials are more to do with running everything at temperature and verifying systems are working the same as you tested at dock trials.

Tests of ergonomics and performance under sail/power can only be verified in real sea conditions

I did have a detailed spreadsheet evaluation list of everything onboard that I evaluated, which was broken down under /Survey/ dock Trials / sea Trials

Unfortunately that morphed into a detail inventory and maintenance sheet, so I never saved the original

Maybe by the end of the Thread, we will have a practical list of sea Trial tests that can be completed in a 2 hour time frame
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Old 13-11-2012, 20:45   #28
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

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Snip

On the other hand, just "seein' how she sails" isn't enough to keep one out of big fiscal risks of semi-hidden flaws. So, it would be useful to the average buyer to have a list of tests that can be performed in the time frame that is typically available, ie a few hours at most.

Any takers?

Cheers,

Jim
I don't think Zee or I suggested that sea trials should be limited to "seein how she sails", rather that if you don't like how the boat sails it may be time to stop the sea trials and start looking for another boat.

The problem with a list of tests is that boats have so many variables that any list would have to contain many unnecessary tests. A boat like a Seawind has outboards while a Gemini has sail drives and a PDQ may have an inboard with a shaft. Some boats will have a watermaker on the list, but many will not.

While a good survey will often pin point areas of concern the first shake down cruise will often reveal things even lengthy sea trials would not uncover. There is also the sad fact that even brand new electronics can bite the dust even when under warranty.

At some point it is time to stop cutting bait and start fishing.
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Old 13-11-2012, 22:45   #29
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

I'm not selling any time soon, but when I do I'll look out for cowboys and potentially destructive tests under the guise of 'sea trials'. Seriously, would you guys let a stranger come of board and do that stuff to your boat? If I'm not on board then no sea trial.

The biggest issue with boats is that a lot of systems are hidden or partly hidden and difficult to assess. For some things some dis-assembly is required - not gonna happen without the owner being convinced you are serious. eg handing over a significant non-refundable deposit.

Yes, by all means assess as best you (and /or surveyor) can. But this is the real world. Budget for repairs and replacements, deferred maintenance (there will be more than you expect), and increase the allowance with boats age. I used to think that take 50% of your boat budget for purchase, allow 25% for repairs etc and the other 25% will get you through your first 5 years of ownership. Probably wrong. Cut it to 35% for purchase component?

There is nothing worse than knowing stuff needs to be fixed but having to defer it for budget reasons. I decided to just do it all now, took a bit out of my Super to make it happen.

Oh, and sea trials? Like most Survey Reports unless something seriously wrong it will likely not be picked up. They are just a final hurdle to stop you falling in love if she has the pox. Hope for the best but expect the worst and budget accordingly.
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Old 13-11-2012, 23:05   #30
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Re: Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests

There are ways to perform sea trials that do not damage or endanger the vessel. As an owner I would never allow a sea trial without my presence aboard. I did have a potential buyer that wanted to sea trial my vessel without me being there and I said, "Sure as soon as you put the money for the vessel in my hand." I asked the broker who would be responsible for any liability and it was me. Unless I'm covered, no one runs my vessel without me. There is more at stake than just to possibility of damage to your vessel, there is also the risk of damage to other vessels or persons.
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