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Do buyers expect a test ride?


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 I can tell you that when we went to look at the boat we bought, the owner not only offered a test drive, but was willing to go right then and there. we were 20 minutes from a lake and it was 30 minutes to sunset. Of course, we bought a fairly old boat, so it's soundnes was under scruitiny.

perhaps you could agree on a price and work up a purchase contract pending a satisfactory test drive.

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I've bought two without splashing them. Bought one with only running on muffs. Bought another out of state without even seeing seeing, but did have it surveyed on the dry. Didn't get burned either time. I guess it would depend on the type of boat and the amount of money involved. Living in the Midwest and not having a lake down the street, I guess factored in to those decisions. 

If someone demanded a wet test I would make sure they were serious buyers. Like sale contingent on successful test run.

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Some do and some don't....here in the spring there's lots of boats on the market but not a lot of the exact boat you want.  I bought my first boat during the recession and showed up with cash and there was nobody buying at that time.  My current boat, I bought and there was a line of people at the house to look at it as he took names while it was in storage and set up times for us to look at it. Pretty standard around here to do that exact thing. There was no test drives in the cards as maybe three 220's come up for sale locally each season and they immediately sell.  I trusted the seller and be was true to his word and there some disappointed faces.  I guess I will say that it is very situational and that there can be some exuberance that comes into play as well.  

 

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He is just proactive, and stays ahead of any real trouble. Some don't care as much or don't know any better only to discover a soaked hull when it is too late. With Chap and the likes you need to touch every screw and bolt, thruhull and clamp, undo every hinge, and even then you don't know if there is another problem hiding where you cannot see it. Yes, one needs to spend days on Chap boat to be relatively confident it is in good shape, and that is after the marine surveyor's inspection.

Well ... some Chaps perhaps were built better than others. TDLukas' boat seems to be in "better built" category. Me thinks, the older pre 2006 boats were built better by more skilled people.

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1 hour ago, Richard W said:

He is just proactive, and stays ahead of any real trouble. Some don't care as much or don't know any better only to discover a soaked hull when it is too late. With Chap and the likes you need to touch every screw and bolt, thruhull and clamp, undo every hinge, and even then you don't know if there is another problem hiding where you cannot see it. Yes, one needs to spend days on Chap boat to be relatively confident it is in good shape, and that is after the marine surveyor's inspection.

 

+1,

Always do a test drive and always probe around. In my case, I did a sea trial and still ended up with a rotten boat as the rotten bulkhead/stringer was tucked up under the generator and i could not see it even standing in the bilge. I think a survey is a good idea.

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I Never let anyone " Test ride " my boats.  I do not need a smart arse  to beat the crap out of it like it is a PWC. Then walk away.

I do any test rides. Including WOT & sharp turns.  He gets to do that after all the money is in my bank.

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depends on how you play it.  Ive sold three one test ride, one I didnt allow and a third didnt ask.  For me if you want a test ride its a contingent in there is some sort of deposit to do so.  takes time and my money to take you a for joy ride.  The first boat I sold guy wanted a test a ride,  I told him $100 down on the boat and to hold it through the test ride, successful test ride I take it off the top or he gets his $100 back.  he doesnt show or walks its mine to cover exspenses he was good with it.  Second boat was a fountain, there was no test rides, wasnt about to give joy rides.  You can do all the inspections and test in the driveway.

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40 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

We all realize if the test driver cause a crash ?  Who pays for it ??   Boat owner.

Its called a sea-trial. Its not that uncommon, more so when you get into the bigger boats Its more the norm than not!! Its also in the P&S and money is put down FIRST. You or the broker go with them. Also, you should have Ins on the boat to begin with. Its not a big deal!!   

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1 hour ago, cyclops2 said:

I Never let anyone " Test ride " my boats.  I do not need a smart arse  to beat the crap out of it like it is a PWC. Then walk away.

I do any test rides. Including WOT & sharp turns.  He gets to do that after all the money is in my bank.

With smaller boats, you can have that attitude. Where that line is, is up to you. When you get into the bigger ones, the buyer is going to walk away thinking that you are covering up something. Making it harder to sell. Also, it goes back to what I have already mentioned.  

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20 minutes ago, Iggy said:

With smaller boats, you can have that attitude. Where that line is, is up to you. When you get into the bigger ones, the buyer is going to walk away thinking that you are covering up something. Making it harder to sell. Also, it goes back to what I have already mentioned.  

I agre bigger boats, big money definintely back that idea, a lot of systems to check and overall worthiness on a big boat.  Smaller boats that most of us just about anything can be accompplished in a driveway with either somebody that knows what they are doing or certified mechanic/ inspector.

 

I can see being a buyer I might want a test drive, but I can also see the sellers point of its not leaving my driveway until its yours and would be fine with that.  Although as a seller I do have insurance as stated above, its still a risk for me to hook up the boat, launch, and then somebody else drive it.  Somebody else driving my boat that is not my policy, my insurance is going to want his/hers to pick up the tab guarenteed, and him or hers insurance is going to give you a cold shoulder.  Like I said ive done it both ways, but joy rides are not there for you to decide on the boat, for me its a contingentcy.  You like the boat, you make an offer we test ride, come back to launch and trade paper and off we go. 

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28 minutes ago, soldier4402 said:

I agre bigger boats, big money definintely back that idea, a lot of systems to check and overall worthiness on a big boat.  Smaller boats that most of us just about anything can be accompplished in a driveway with either somebody that knows what they are doing or certified mechanic/ inspector.

 

I can see being a buyer I might want a test drive, but I can also see the sellers point of its not leaving my driveway until its yours and would be fine with that.  Although as a seller I do have insurance as stated above, its still a risk for me to hook up the boat, launch, and then somebody else drive it.  Somebody else driving my boat that is not my policy, my insurance is going to want his/hers to pick up the tab guarenteed, and him or hers insurance is going to give you a cold shoulder.  Like I said ive done it both ways, but joy rides are not there for you to decide on the boat, for me its a contingentcy.  You like the boat, you make an offer we test ride, come back to launch and trade paper and off we go. 

I sold 4 boats privately, which I owned since new. I told the perspective buyer that if he wanted a test drive, then it would cost him a 100 dollar non-refundable deposit which I would apply toward the purchase price. Eliminated the tire kickers and in every case, the buyer ended up with a new ride. I actually stayed in touch with several of these individuals and one still owns his boat, one sold after 8 years, and one was involved in a fatality as I was contacted by the New Jersey state police. Yikes....   W

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8 minutes ago, Wingnut said:

I sold 4 boats privately, which I owned since new. I told the perspective buyer that if he wanted a test drive, then it would cost him a 100 dollar non-refundable deposit which I would apply toward the purchase price. Eliminated the tire kickers and in every case, the buyer ended up with a new ride. I actually stayed in touch with several of these individuals and one still owns his boat, one sold after 8 years, and one was involved in a fatality as I was contacted by the New Jersey state police. Yikes....   W

yup as noted above i did the 100 bucks thing.  funny last year the face booked me telling me he still had the boat 5 years later and is enjoying.  100 bucks non refundable coming of the top if you purchase seems reasonable.  To be honest my launch is 30-45 away between gas, launch fee I probably got 50 bucks into a test ride as it is.

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What Is the difference If I do a WOT from a dead stop or he does it ? If I do a series of right & left sharp turns at different speeds ?  I do several different cruising speeds ? Ask him what he would like me to do for him ?

I have always done the extreme driving & people thanked me at the end of their requests .  I enjoy pushing my boats. They are that well kept.

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10 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

What Is the difference If I do a WOT from a dead stop or he does it ? If I do a series of right & left sharp turns at different speeds ?  I do several different cruising speeds ? Ask him what he would like me to do for him ?

I have always done the extreme driving & people thanked me at the end of their requests .  I enjoy pushing my boats. They are that well kept.

Let me see?? I go to a dealer to buy a new car. I have the salesmen drive me around the block. Than I pay for it. 

I THINK NOT.................  So thats what you would do? I don't believe it.  

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My property. I set the conditions.  Not to unreasonable.  I do not CHARGE for a joy ride.

I buy new a lot. I do not test drive the ACTUAL NEW CAR before I buy. Same with new boats. Dealer repairs factory damage

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looks guys everybody has their own take.  I think there is some good ideas here.  But boats are different than cars, they come with their own set of risk and its not just as easy as to test drive like a car where you can take it around the block.  I have a different set of procedures for everything I sell.  Snowmobiles; i sell those we start them up and you can run around the yard quick, but no your not taking it on the trails for an hour.  Everything comes with its own set of rules as a seller. 

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