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Old 11 July 2014, 03:21   #1
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Sea trials

Morning all!

Just wondering; is it standard practice for dealers and/or private sellers not to allow a sea trial until you've basically agreed to buy the boat and handed over a deposit?

If you're buying a make/model/engine package you've never been in before surely you need to know how it goes before you put your money down?
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Old 11 July 2014, 03:24   #2
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When I purchased Beretta through a broker that's how I had it, although I wasn't in the UK at the time. I paid a deposit, and the sale was subject to sea trial.
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Old 11 July 2014, 03:25   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clamchowder View Post
Morning all!

Just wondering; is it standard practice for dealers and/or private sellers not to allow a sea trial until you've basically agreed to buy the boat and handed over a deposit?

If you're buying a make/model/engine package you've never been in before surely you need to know how it goes before you put your money down?
I had this problem when I was looking to buy my first RIB. I thought it'd be standard to get a sea trial, I always made sure to offer to pay any costs at all involved (launch/recovery/fuel/staff), but got told by a few places that no deposit, no sea trial... As a newcomer this put me off a bit. In the end JBT Marine had the kind of boats I was looking to compare and were happy to take me out in portsmouth harbour on them free of charge; ended up buying one of those in the end.
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Old 11 July 2014, 03:34   #4
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The problem is there's a lot of tyre kickers out there, I've experienced this myself when selling ribs and yachts previously. Difficult one, I'm not sure if go as far as taking a deposit before a trial, I'd certainly want to feel that the person was serious about buying the vessel though.
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Old 11 July 2014, 03:36   #5
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I was happy with the deposit before trial policy - I knew the boat was off the market, so couldn't be sold from under me and knew I had the get out if I wasn't happy with the boat.

I didnt back out of the sale, so cant comment how smooth getting the money back would of been.
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Old 11 July 2014, 03:47   #6
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It is standard practice when selling a boat on brokerage (ie selling a boat on behalf of a third party) to only give sea trials after a price has been agreed, the contracts have been signed and a deposit has been paid(put into a client holding account). The idea of the sea trial is then to demonstrate that the boat is seaworthy and everything works before the deal is concluded and any money is handed over to the vendor. There are of course exceptional circumstances where the "rules" can be bent, but they have to be just that - exceptional.

A completely different view can be taken if a broker is selling his own stock (as can be the case with JBT). Then he can set his own rules and if someone is looking to buy their first boat they may well be agreeable to taking them out for a "demo" rather than a sea trial.

The standard procedure is there to protect the vendor from having his boat used when there is little or no prospect of that use proceeding to a sale.

Hope that helps

Steve
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Old 11 July 2014, 03:52   #7
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I was invited down to Dartmouth by two companys to try out their RIB's and didnt have to pay anything. Then at the boat show there were offers of trials.

I purchased based on trying them out. I think as I did talk to the dealers in person they could see I was serious. But I would not have bought without a demo, and I would have said so.
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Old 11 July 2014, 04:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimix View Post
I was invited down to Dartmouth by two companys to try out their RIB's and didnt have to pay anything. Then at the boat show there were offers of trials.

I purchased based on trying them out. I think as I did talk to the dealers in person they could see I was serious. But I would not have bought without a demo, and I would have said so.
I think it's fair to say that this is the case for new boats purchased from a manufacturer or approved dealer. And the manufacturers are keen to take prospective customers out in order to close the deal. The boat show is on the water anyway so is easy for any seller to demo their boats.

However the second hand market works differently, and I also had to put a deposit down with the broker prior to taking the boat for a sea trial. But the deposit was fully refundable (subject to sea trial) if I'd wanted to pull out for any reason (as Steve above said, I didn't pull out so don't know how easy this would have been in reality).

I would imagine a private seller would be able to give whatever terms he/she wants as there are no hard and fast rules. I think trust is the key here, whereas with a broker there is an element of safety (even though the boats are generally "sold as seen" and are advertised with all details being correct "to the best of the brokers knowledge").
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Old 11 July 2014, 04:47   #9
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You would get a test drive buying a car so why different to buying a boat, personally I would walk away if I could not get a sea trail, perhaps more people should take that stance and then the manufactures would offer more sea trials. Power to the people and all that.

I guess shopping around would help, the ones that would give sea trials are the ones I would buy from.

If its a particular boat manu your interested in then why not see if any ribnet members would take you out on theirs ? you pay petrol contribution. That might work, you can always ask ribnet members.
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Old 11 July 2014, 04:48   #10
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I shall be selling BP in the near future, I'd planned on having a seatrial weekend either at Anglesey or Whitby, possibly both. Where prospective purchasers could take her for a run. Failing that, I'd expect a contribution towards fuel from anyone wanting a trial, which would be refunded upon a sale.
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