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Sea trial OR NOT

Old 04-27-2011, 10:55 PM
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Default Sea trial OR NOT

Looking to buy a 37' 1999 Sea Ray express cruiser, and the broker doesn't think we need
to take the long ride to the ocean for the sea trial, and believes the inner harbor would be adequate.
I have never been on the 37' express. This is a "sea trial" not a harbor cruise. Do any of our
salts have experience on this vessel?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:17 AM
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crazy boy you will be really crazy if you dont take the boat on a real sea trial and open her up. Harbor cruise typically means 6 mph
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:45 AM
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... Would probably be worth your while to bring a surveyor along for the ride. A good one will probably a lot of time checking all the mechanical systems while going through a range of rpm's. The 'ride' is just a part of it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:04 AM
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The broker is looking out for himself not you,do a complete seatrial with a surveyor on board.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:15 AM
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Not sure where you live or the situation with the speed limit in tha area. A sea trial does not necesarily mean how it rides in the ocean just that it performs up to expectation with engine at speed wot etc. So if you can run the boat through the rpm range then you'll be fine in the harbor or whatever protected water. Plus it will allow you to concentrate on the boat and motors instead of waves.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:24 AM
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totally agree with Brad, we did mine inside Tampa Bay while the surveyor was in the engine room
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:44 AM
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I agree with Brad and Capt Mark. If you can open her up for at least a few minutes, there's no need to go to the OCEAN. Sea Trial refers to on the water-test, not actually running in the SEA.

All you need to do is open her up with the surveyor. If you can't open her up until you hit the ocean, then yes, take it all the way there.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chiefsurfer View Post
I agree with Brad and Capt Mark. If you can open her up for at least a few minutes, there's no need to go to the OCEAN. Sea Trial refers to on the water-test, not actually running in the SEA.

All you need to do is open her up with the surveyor. If you can't open her up until you hit the ocean, then yes, take it all the way there.
And i think this is especially true in ports where the ride "to the ocean" is a long one. Perhaps in the Florida Keys a sea trial means "the ocean" because you are right there anyway. From say Charleston or Savannah, a sea trial will not normally include the long run to the ocean.

And FTR, it's called a "sea trial" on a lake boat also....
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:38 AM
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Unless the engine can be run under load you will not know enough to make an intelligent decision.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:38 AM
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I personally would want to know how the boats rides/handles diffrent conditions including open ocean.

We are talking about a substantial purchase and a big boat. If fuel cost is an issue I would offer to pay for the extra fuel.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:42 AM
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Inner Harbor as in Baltimore? The wide open bay is only about 8 miles south east.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:52 AM
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a sea trial contingent on the purchase is not the time to decide if it has a nice ride. its to make sure everything is as stated previously and if there are any major issues that would cause the seller to have to repair or the buyer to walk.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:47 PM
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Wasn't there a famous story about a yachat that was only "Harbor" tested and once the buyer got out for the run home the hull showed serious flex and bad stringers? Huge law suit? Anyone recall that about 9 years back?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:49 PM
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No sea trial = no deal unless the boat is free.
End of story, have a fiberglass guy look the boat over and a mechanic that specializes in those motors. That will save you the hassle of a survayor
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:03 PM
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You need room to run at WOT for at least 10 minutes to get the engines stressed. This checks cooling system, engines, etc. Your surveyor should insist on such a run and monitor temps and pressures the entire time. He will (should) know what to look for and what's acceptable.

If you have to go to the ocean to do this, so be it. Don't let the broker snow you with B.S. He only wants to see the boat GONE.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:14 PM
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Any decent engine surveyor will make sure the engines are run under a load -- the guy who surveyed the engines for my purchase made us all cringe he tested so aggressively.

And a decent marine surveyor will check the hull on the hard thoroughly as well as all systems, and be along for the sea trial. Generally a sea trial on a large boat is not to see if you "like the boat" -- it's to see if this boat that you already like is sound.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:35 PM
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Don't count on a "decent engine surveyor " for shit, they are not accountable even if they are flat wrong. I know I had one check an outboard that blew after 5 min after his check out was complete which he charged extra for. He gave me compression numbers that were 100% not correct. I am sure I was charged for the service and he did not do it. Have a certified mechanic look at the motors and fiberglass guy inspect the rest.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:41 PM
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Seems kind of like buying a car without taking it on the highway first. Most cars are fine in town. Take it out and open it up and that's when the shakes, wind noise, and squirrelly handling come out.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:47 PM
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I know a bunch of brokers that would purposefully try to sea trial a broken boat in a no wake zone because it won't come up to power. If the harbor is large enough that you can get up to WOT for a few seconds then there is nothing to hide. Perhaps he wants to stay in the harbor because it takes 2 hours to get out to sea and $200 in fuel.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:54 PM
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How far is the ocean? Can you run hard inside 'the harbor' ?

If you are serious about the boat, offer up $250 or so to cover the broker's expenses + fuel for your long run. If he still says no, walk away and leave him your phone # for when he changes his mind.
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