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Old 11 July 2014, 05:02   #11
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I completely understand the need to weed out tyre kickers, and I'd be happy to pay any and all cost involved in the sea trial. But there's a big difference between a deposit which is only refundable if the boat doesn't work, and one that's refundable if you don't like it. I'd be happy to pay the latter, but with the former you're basically buying blind. There's a very small number of boats I'd be prepared to buy without having driven then.
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Old 11 July 2014, 05:16   #12
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True actually, I didn't think to ask whether the deposit was refundable if I just didn't like the boat on the sea trial! Maybe it was just refundable if it broke/sank?!!

I know boats reasonably well and had been looking for a while. The Ribeye was one of my final two/three shortlisted for the new family boat. To be honest, once I'd seen it at the brokers and had a look around it, I'd made up my mind I was going to buy it and the only thing likely to change that was if the boat did fall apart.
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Old 11 July 2014, 05:30   #13
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True actually, I didn't think to ask whether the deposit was refundable if I just didn't like the boat on the sea trial! Maybe it was just refundable if it broke/sank?!!

I know boats reasonably well and had been looking for a while. The Ribeye was one of my final two/three shortlisted for the new family boat. To be honest, once I'd seen it at the brokers and had a look around it, I'd made up my mind I was going to buy it and the only thing likely to change that was if the boat did fall apart.
I know what you mean, and I'd prolly be comfortable going for an RC585 on that basis if it had a 140 Suz on it (std equip or so it seems) but what if it had somethign else, something smaller? OR even something bigger that might upset the balance.

Anyway, thanks for the responses. I guess I'll have to be careful to get that side of things sorted before i commit to a 500+ mile round trip.
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Old 11 July 2014, 05:31   #14
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It's a subject that always interests me. Certainly the used boat market is awash with dreamers and tyrekickers. That said, it's also awash with tatty overpriced boats. I'd guess that for an agent/owner to take someone for a seatrial would use up at least half a day of time as opposed to a walkaround which could take 15 minutes. Almost all of the issues that might arise can be checked onshore. A seatrial provides a chance to test that all systems onboard work as they should - fair enough and easily quantified. It also gives the prospective buyer a chance to see if they "like" the boat. This is the bit that I have problems with - what is "like"? Not so easily quantified!

At the end I think it depends on each situation. An owner who is keen to sell well will do as much as possible to encourage buyers. Same goes for a broker based in a marina with a boat in or near the water. A broker who is facing a morning demoing a boat to a lad who might not "like it" will be weighing up the situation and wondering should he/she be better spending that time calling other leads and selling easier sold boats. Getting a few quid for petrol isn't any good to a broker. They want the most return for their time and effort. I'd hope that most who ask for a deposit would return it if the buyer was unhappy with some aspect of the boat's performance. However, remember that from the boat owners point of view, the time between the deposit being paid and the boat being trialled could be several weeks - during which time, the boat is effectively off the market. Not good if the boat is later unliked in trials
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Old 11 July 2014, 05:53   #15
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It's a tricky one and good points posted - unlike cars where most people are perfectly aware of the models on offer and what they want most new boat buyers haven't a clue what they want/need.

If you can I'd always buy privately from an established member on this site. And it's only common courtesy to cover their launch/petrol costs refundable if a purchase is agreed.
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Old 11 July 2014, 08:14   #16
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If I were selling, I would offer a Sea trial. I would insist that all expenses be paid up front for at least an hours cruising by the potential purchaser and I certainly would want at least £50 just for leaving home! Obviously if the boat you're interested in is nowhere near the Sea you could expect a higher price.
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Old 11 July 2014, 08:25   #17
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And it's only common courtesy to cover their launch/petrol costs refundable if a purchase is agreed.
I would have negotiated the sale price before and subject to a Sea Trial, so as a seller I'm not so sure I would refund the Sea trial costs as part of the sale. It's in a sellers best interest to get rid of a boat as easy as possible.

As a buyer, it's in your interest to negotiate a Sea Trial as part of the package without cost, but it's not unreasonable to expect an up front cost to cover expenses. Not too sure about a deposit that ties you in to a deal to purchase said boat should Sea trial go smoothly.
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Old 11 July 2014, 10:37   #18
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Being the vender that has probably raised this with the OP by PM, I should probably offer my 2 cents worth.

I have a used boat to sell, it’s a main brand RIB, built by one of the biggest RIB builders in the UK, there is nothing quirky about it and I am offering it for a good price. If you want a 6m fairly new Deep V RIB, with 6 seats then it should fit the bill. The other variables such as engine size are all known variables.

If you are after something else then a sea trial does not help either of us.

If your new to boating and not yet sure what sort of boat you want, then we sell a range of courses where you get an instructor’s time and knowledge.

A potential buyer who is not really sure if he actually wants an XS600 or not will take me away from time with my kids on my day off or will cost me a staff member’s wages for a half day. There is of course fuel costs and engine hours as well.

I would happily take a series buyer out to prove the boat does what I say it will but a buyer has to prove they are series first. This is a standard boat, there are no surprises.

To fill you in on a little history

A number of years back we launched, and fueled our old Arctic RIB for a perspective buyer, we took him out for an hour or so and paid the marina to recover the boat. When we asked the buyer what he thought, his reply was, “I’m not really looking for an open transom boat.”

Three weeks ago I met a potential buyer early in the morning, he had sounded very keen on the phone and I decided he was worth meeting before work. I rearranged the school run with my wife, moved a morning meeting for 13 staff at work and I told him my bottom line price before we met . After the sea trial he said he liked it but it was out of his price range!

Consequently I have absolutely no interest in taking people out who “might like” to buy my RIB. They can view it, they can ask all the questions they like about it, I can evidence various paperwork, they can start the engine up, they can see the trim going up and down, they can hear it run, they can select forward and reverse, they can take the cowling off and have a look. They can feel the steering, they can check the tubes, they can inspect the underside of the hull on the versadock, they can switch on the instruments, they can test the VHF, they can see the GPS get a fix, they can give it a thorough going over. If we reach a deal I will then gladly take them on a sea trial to prove the boat does what I have said it does.

Comparing this to a car dealer whose job is to sell cars or to a boat dealer who sells a wide range of new boats is I think a little unfair. My job is not to help a possible RIB buyer select which is the right RIB for him, my task is to sell my RIB. Consequently I am selling my boat a lot cheaper than a trade sale.

I realize some vendors might behave differently but I own 12 boats, they are all on a regular replacement programme and I sell a few every year. I am honest about what I am selling and I have met far too many “buyers” who are not honest about their intentions. Getting caught out recently by the early morning buyer was very naïve of me and shows that even when I thought the guy was genuine he was a time waster.

No offence intended to the original OP, I’m just trying to explain this vendor's experience and point of view. Best of luck with your hunt for a new RIB.
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Old 11 July 2014, 11:27   #19
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Originally Posted by Doug Stormforce View Post
Being the vender that has probably raised this with the OP by PM, I should probably offer my 2 cents worth.

I have a used boat to sell, it’s a main brand RIB, built by one of the biggest RIB builders in the UK, there is nothing quirky about it and I am offering it for a good price. If you want a 6m fairly new Deep V RIB, with 6 seats then it should fit the bill. The other variables such as engine size are all known variables.

If you are after something else then a sea trial does not help either of us.

If your new to boating and not yet sure what sort of boat you want, then we sell a range of courses where you get an instructor’s time and knowledge.

A potential buyer who is not really sure if he actually wants an XS600 or not will take me away from time with my kids on my day off or will cost me a staff member’s wages for a half day. There is of course fuel costs and engine hours as well.

I would happily take a series buyer out to prove the boat does what I say it will but a buyer has to prove they are series first. This is a standard boat, there are no surprises.

To fill you in on a little history

A number of years back we launched, and fueled our old Arctic RIB for a perspective buyer, we took him out for an hour or so and paid the marina to recover the boat. When we asked the buyer what he thought, his reply was, “I’m not really looking for an open transom boat.”

Three weeks ago I met a potential buyer early in the morning, he had sounded very keen on the phone and I decided he was worth meeting before work. I rearranged the school run with my wife, moved a morning meeting for 13 staff at work and I told him my bottom line price before we met . After the sea trial he said he liked it but it was out of his price range!

Consequently I have absolutely no interest in taking people out who “might like” to buy my RIB. They can view it, they can ask all the questions they like about it, I can evidence various paperwork, they can start the engine up, they can see the trim going up and down, they can hear it run, they can select forward and reverse, they can take the cowling off and have a look. They can feel the steering, they can check the tubes, they can inspect the underside of the hull on the versadock, they can switch on the instruments, they can test the VHF, they can see the GPS get a fix, they can give it a thorough going over. If we reach a deal I will then gladly take them on a sea trial to prove the boat does what I have said it does.

Comparing this to a car dealer whose job is to sell cars or to a boat dealer who sells a wide range of new boats is I think a little unfair. My job is not to help a possible RIB buyer select which is the right RIB for him, my task is to sell my RIB. Consequently I am selling my boat a lot cheaper than a trade sale.

I realize some vendors might behave differently but I own 12 boats, they are all on a regular replacement programme and I sell a few every year. I am honest about what I am selling and I have met far too many “buyers” who are not honest about their intentions. Getting caught out recently by the early morning buyer was very naïve of me and shows that even when I thought the guy was genuine he was a time waster.

No offence intended to the original OP, I’m just trying to explain this vendor's experience and point of view. Best of luck with your hunt for a new RIB.
To a certain extent I think you made a masive error in the first place, you need to qualify the buyer, if you had asked one of these people what type of boat are they interested in open or cabin boats maybe that would have been a no go sign, and on the other if you asked what price range have you in mind would have stopped the second wasted trip.

Maybe the problem is that many boat manufacturers or people who have boats for sale are not sales people and so dont ask the relevant questions which may prevent a wasted trip. Yes the two people mentioned who went for a sea trial are dumbwit time wasting kers but you could have prevented it by qualifying their real interest and intentions.

Things Like
When are you thinking of purchasing ?
Open or cabin boat sir ?
Price range ?
New or used ?
Inshore or offshore ?
How many in your family ?
How many times a year might you use it ?
Marina berth, dry stack or trailer sir ?
Sunny calm days or all year round sir ?
Uk or europe or med activity ?
What training have you had ?
Your favourite colour sir ?

Things like that, then if all is well offer them a sea trial and charge them for fuel. Asking the right questions up front can quickly identify tyre kickers from serious people and identify if the boat you have for sale is either in the correct ball park or way out field.
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Old 11 July 2014, 11:34   #20
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But Doug's not a boat salesman though is he? I think his approach is much more sensible.
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