Preparing Your Boat For Sea Trial

Preparing Your Boat For Sea Trial

Preparing Your Boat For Sea Trial

Sea trial…the make or break point for serious buyers. Does everything work? Does the boat meet RPM standards? How is the ride?

While you can’t change whether a buyer will go forward with a purchase, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. All of these tips come from personal experiences here at OTHYS and if followed, will save you time and hopefully ensure a safe and successful sea trial.

1. Clean Clean Clean!

We have said it before in our Preparation Post, but nothing beats a clean boat. Buyers want to see how a boat will look upon purchase, and the closer it can be to be new…the better. One option is to hire a detailer to go through all the nooks and cranny’s, but a thorough wash down should do the trick. Be sure to shammy all metallic surfaces as well as windows/curtains.

Remember that the buyer, and or surveyor, will be opening every hatch, cupboard, cabin, etc. so be sure to clean out fishboxes, livewells, deck hatches, etc. I recommend using magic erasers for scuffs and for any rust stains, try On and Off.

2. Test all Systems and Electronics

It is better to know what needs to fix, rather than have the buyer find out for you. Turn on all electronics and go through each function to make sure everything works as it should. Simple problems, such as non-working navigation lights, can hurt a sale even though it is a 5 minute fix! Buyers want to know exactly how much money it will take to bring the boat up to 100%.

While many problems on a boat can be expensive fixes, a lot of times it can be as simple as changing a fuse, adding some grease to a hinge, or tightening down a bolt. Don’t let a simple fix get in the way of your boat selling.

3. Final Preparation

Before the buyer arrives, be sure to at least have these items accomplished;

    • Remove all personal items
    • Make sure boat has necessary Coast Guard items if you get stopped
    • Have enough fuel as some trials can be long depending on thoroughness of the buyer

While the list could go on, these steps will ensure that you will have a safe and successful sea trail. It is also not a bad idea to run your boat the day of, or before, as you will most likely be asked to run at top speed and “out of the hole” which may perform better if the engines are warmed up.

Have any of your own tips? Leave a comment or email anyone of us here at Off the Hook!

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