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Old 30-10-2020, 16:48   #1
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Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Hi my new friends,
I have been a racing sailor for over 25 years and am now transitioning to become a live aboard off shore cruiser. I have a surveyor booked for a sea trial and survey of a tartan 40, the boat I am interested in. I am not sure who will be on the boat for the sea trial, other than the surveyor, the listing broker, and perhaps the owner. I am wondering if it is necessary to have someone in my corner come along. I have only bought racing boats in the past so this process is new to me. I welcome any advice as a new cruiser. Many thanks, Alison
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Old 30-10-2020, 17:16   #2
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

If youíve got any friends who are intimately mechanical and aware of what is what concerning the expensive bits that are usually hidden on boat bring them. There is a lot of stuff that can be glossed over that could get expensive.
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Old 30-10-2020, 17:56   #3
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

The survey should take place before the sea trial, and the boat should be hauled for it. The surveyor should check all systems operation and condition, take moisture readings, and bang away with a hammer checking for voids in the hull and deck.

The sea trial checks that the engine and running gear operate properly, and that the sails and rig are in order.

Note that most surveyors will not give you a detailed engine report - He’s not going to do a compression test, etc., and also typically don’t go aloft to detail rig attachments - another specialty. For those, you’d get a mechanic and a rigger.

They stay on deck, WILL check shrouds and chainplates at deck level.

They will give you a verbal rundown on the state of the boat while they’re there, followed by an official survey suitable for framing, as well as to copy off to your insurance company.

You can likely get the owner to take you out for a sail prior to committing to a survey, so long as you are clear that you intend to purchase pending survey, just to see if you like the boat.

My last boat was on the hard when I purchased it. I had the survey done, etc, and final payment as contracted handed over after the boat went in in the water, the engine had been spun up and tranny went into gear.....no sea trial, per say.

All that being said, a sea trial is to prove to YOU that the boat is in good condition - don’t be daunted, unless you need someone to talk you down ;-)

Matt
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:10   #4
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Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Alison, Remember that the surveyor is in your corner, or should be, youíre paying their fee. You need to be able to trust him/her to find the warts. Matt is spot on with the way it should go. A good surveyor will be more than happy to have you present & answer questions while they do the inspection. If you donít think you know which ones to ask, do what Sailmonkey said, bring a friend who does, two sets of curious eyes are better than one.

Nice boat, good luck.

On edit, You arenít using a broker recommended by the current owner or the broker right?
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:13   #5
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Thank you both for responding to my questions. I do understand the reason for the sea trial, I am just not clear on what my role is. Do I drive? Do I request sail changes? Do I insist on different points of sail? I have no idea about motors other than I can hear if one isnít running properly. I have no idea how many requests or how long i should expect. My feeling is I should merely get a feel for how the boat sails on as many points of sail the weather permits. Iím sure I will need new sails.

Thank you again!
Ali B
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:17   #6
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Btw, the boat is not in my stomping ground. Unfortunately, I do not have a pal to join me unless I pay. I’m not sure it’s worth it. I realize the surveyor is on my side...that is definitely reassuring! I think I am getting the jitters! Many thanks for your responses. I’m grateful.
Ali B
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:20   #7
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Ok, thanks. Back to my original question. I want to drive the boat both under sail and motor. Is that typical? My concern is how I like the boat under sail, not just the efficacy. Yeah?
Cheers,
Ali B
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:40   #8
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Where’s the boat, and where are you?

I would let the owner or captain do the sailing, you are observing....does something clunk when you heel? Does the rig wobble when you tack? Does the furler work smoothly? Tons of leeway? Doesn’t point worth a damned...stuff like that. Take the helm for a bit to feel if it’s loose, responsive, sticky....

Remember, the sea trial is a trial - is everything proper. Deciding if you like it should come before you shell out $700 for survey plus airfare. In most cases, however, you’re not going to know if you truly like it without spending considerable time sailing and cruising it, which requires buying it.....so don’t go crazy with ‘is this the one’ on a short hop. The tartan 40 is a well respected cruiser, and there are plenty of reviews and articles about them, which I presume you’ve already read, as you’ve decided on one.

Just ensure YOUR T40 is in good shape. All my boats have had pluses and minuses - you love them for the pluses, make excuses for the minuses, but you love them regardless

Matt
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:50   #9
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Alison, Again, Matt is your guide.

There are many, many very helpful folks on here that just might be willing to have a sail with you during your trial sail. If youíre comfortable, some general info, location, etc., might elicit an offer?
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:50   #10
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Oh, and yes, you should experience both sail and motor during the trial - just make sure that’s understood.

Matt
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Old 31-10-2020, 00:29   #11
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliB View Post
Thank you both for responding to my questions. I do understand the reason for the sea trial, I am just not clear on what my role is. Do I drive? Do I request sail changes? Do I insist on different points of sail? I have no idea about motors other than I can hear if one isnít running properly. I have no idea how many requests or how long i should expect. My feeling is I should merely get a feel for how the boat sails on as many points of sail the weather permits. Iím sure I will need new sails.

Thank you again!
Ali B
Agree with the other people that you're mostly there to observe but you should obviously put these same questions to your surveyor, and you should obviously get to steer the boat yourself and that should be fun

I've bought five, sold four boats, and never asked for or been asked for a sea trial, but it's another culture, I guess.
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Old 31-10-2020, 00:36   #12
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Hi Ali B,
Some great advice here. Ask your Surveyor prior to the sea trial what he will be checking so you know how the conduct of the trial will go. With your racing experience, trust your gut with how the boat sails and responds to gust and trim. Make yourself a checklist of things you want to see/know and get the owner to cover all your points, don't let them cut it short until you are happy you have seen how the boat responds. Enjoy your trial, hope the boat meets expectations.
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Old 31-10-2020, 01:47   #13
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

I think it's quite common for buyers to ask sellers if they can take the boat for a quick spin, as long as the seller is persuaded that the buyer is not a time-waster. The term 'sea trial' might be too formal, particularly when arranged by a surveyor. It might be better to split the surveyor's role into two parts, firstly facilitating a trial and secondly (if the buyer likes the boat) carrying out a formal survey. The surveyor would then have no need to carry out another 'sea trial'. His/her report could be based on the initial 'sea trial' with the buyer, together with the haul-out which would only go ahead when the buyer confirms a serious interest.

In my experience, a survey is usually undertaken when the buyer is already convinced but needs a reality check before signing a contract.
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Old 31-10-2020, 09:14   #14
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliB View Post
...........I am not sure who will be on the boat for the sea trial, other than the surveyor, the listing broker, and perhaps the owner. I am wondering if it is necessary to have someone in my corner come along.........
Ditto Sailmonkey..........and to add, always fun to have a friend along who you can share your buying experience with. I have never did a sea trail and survey with the owner as that might be awkward when you start to verbalize what you like / do not like or the things you are going to fix / change / upgrade.
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Old 31-10-2020, 09:34   #15
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Re: Is it necessary to have an ally onboard during a sea trial as a first time buyer?

Be sure to request that the engine be run at WOT for at least 10 min. after suitable warmup - both to see if engine reaches near rated RPM and more pertinent, overheating, smoking or steam...
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