Originally Posted by Trimix
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").