Prep your boat for a successful sea trial

Story by Harris & Ellis / July 12, 2023

Author: By Patricia and Grant Bowlby, Yacht Brokers Harris & Ellis Yachts

Getting your vessel ready for a sea trial is important. This is often the last condition to be met in the Offer to Purchase, and you want the buyer to fall in love with your boat.

During the sea trial, your broker will ask you to walk the buyer through all onboard systems, explaining how they work and how you have maintained them. Ahead of time, make sure that:

  • the boat is clean.
  • all items included in the deal are on board.
  • all equipment included is attached and functioning.
  • any items not included have been removed.
  • you test your electronics (and made sure that you remember how they work!).
  • you start your engine—are the gauges working?
  • you take the boat out prior to the day of the sea trial, and it is running smoothly.
  • you hoist any sails to check that they’ve been rigged correctly.
  • you arrange, if possible, to have someone catch your lines at the dock on the day of the sea trial (your marina may offer this service).


As first-time boat buyers and as foreigners wanting to buy a cruising catamaran in the US, we knew we needed a reliable broker that had our best interests in mind. John Heintzman was just that, and more! He was extremely committed to understanding what we were looking for, gave great advice, and guided us through the purchase process with great patience and knowledge. All in all, we felt very well taken care of.

I feel compelled to reach out about the absolutely wonderful experience that I have had with Grant and Patricia Bowlby. I completed the purchase of a boat yesterday and I couldn’t be happier. They were so helpful, kind, and patient. This was my first experience with a broker, and I think I’ve found the best.

I can’t thank Ewan Campbell enough for the super job he did in selling G, making up for my lack of experience in this realm and patiently searching for just the right buyer and a win-win for seller and buyer alike.

It was a wonderful experience selling A with Jeff Cole’s expert assistance. Thank you for simplifying a complicated process. Your patience and kindness are especially appreciated.

I just wanted to thank Jeff Cole for all his hard work. He was very professional and effective.

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