Essential Sea Trial & On-Land Checklist

When investing in a new boat, it’s important to make sure your money isn’t being sunk. That’s why you need to conduct both a sea trial and on-land checks. Read on to find out more about pre-purchase boat checks.

Top View Of A Boat In The Ocean
Table of Contents

What Is A Sea Trial?

Typically carried out by an industry expert or marine surveyor, a sea trial is a thorough evaluation and a great way to check how a boat handles on water. It also provides you with the opportunity to identify any issues before you make a purchase, so you can be assured of a boat’s seaworthiness.

Sea Trial Checklist

  1. Consider what you will be using the boat for (fishing, cruising, skiing etc) and replicate the conditions of a typical boating trip for the sea trial.
  2. Begin with a cold engine. An engine that is already warmed up will often work differently from one that is just starting off.
  3. Vary your speed and direction to the wind and waves. Trial the boat with different heights and weights on board. Make note of how the boat reacts, and whether there is any rattling or vibrations.
  4. Test the manoeuvrability of the boat:
    • Left & right turn
    • Swerves
    • Full circles
    • Docking & reversing
  5. Trial the boat as both a driver and a passenger.
  6. Try out the boat’s communication and navigation electronics, including the auto-pilot. Test out the batteries and generator.

On-Land Checklist

  1. Ask to see the boat’s maintenance records. Compare the boat’s performance to that typical of its model – you can find this information online.
  2. Check that the boat is equipped with in-date safety equipment.
  3. Be aware of any strong smells, for example, fuel, gas, burning rubber or smoke. This indicates an issue such as a leak or overheating.
  4. Check the exterior of the boat for cracks, chips and scratches. Although some minor damage is normal for second-hand vehicles, extensive scratches or cracks could be indicative of a larger problem.
  5. Check that all windows and doors open and close easily, and that all seats and rails are secure. Ensure there are no loose wires.
  6. Inspect the condition of the upholstery, including seating, curtains, cushions and clears.

New And Pre-Owned Boats From Ballina Marineland

Find your new boat at Ballina Marineland. Our collection of new and pre-owned boats is second to none. Browse our collection online or contact our team to find out more.