You’ve found the right boat, but there’s one question… What if it’s a lemon? You’ll never know for sure unless you test-drive it. But will a dealer allow you to do that? Well, some dealers don’t make it easy. They usually say that their ‘insurance doesn’t cover test rides.’ In the few cases where this is true, there’s a solution, demonstration programs. They’re usually cost effective because insurance claims on demonstration rides are rare. Still, dealers can’t stay in business by giving away boat rides, but a compromise can probably be made. First, you’ll need to find the boat that you like, then make the best deal that you can. Tell the dealer that you agree to purchase the boat, if it passes your test run. This gives you a way out as well as giving the dealer a reasonable commitment to making a sale. It’s important that you let the salesperson drive the boat away from the dock; but once it’s clear, you should take over and check everything, and that means everything.