A: Again, you want to hear "yes." Never buy a boat without a test spin around the harbor. Oh, sure, the salesman doesn't want to take the boat off the trailer and put it in the water, and of course he'll feed you the line that their insurance doesn't cover it, but, hey, you're the one spending a fortune here, and you want everything to work. If he won't let you wet the hull, take your business elsewhere. "I'm amazed at how often people sometimes buy boats without trying them out," says Winn Willard, director of Hunt Yachts. "Does anyone buy a car without driving it? Honestly, most cars behave kind of the same on the road, but a boat, oh yeah, they could scare you half to death."