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Boat Repo Auctions

Updated on August 26, 2012

By getting a repossessed boat a person can get a fishing boat, open-boat or personal watercraft at the lowest price possible.

Most of the people looking to buy a watercraft, whether it is a motor-driven yacht, trailerable sailboat, small open-boat, PWC, or any other kind, are often surprised at the price they have to pay. Many new boaters are not even able to afford the price of a second-hand boat. This is particularly true if the boater is looking to make a purchase from a boat broker, trader, or dealership.

With this in mind, it may be in a boaters best interest to look into what repo boats have to offer. Every year, numerous boats are repossessed and resold either on the open market or through an auction. When you purchase repossessed boats, you are able to save on both the initial expense and on the overall cost.

Typically repo boats are the result of a bank seizing the property due to it being collateral on a loan which has been defaulted on (often resulting from several months of non-payment). When a lender seizes a boat, they try to sell it for what they need to get their money back. This is often very well below the market retail price that would have to be paid for a similar vessel at a boat dealership.

It is also possible to get a repo boat that was a vessel impounded by the government because it was used in an illegal activity, like the smuggling of narcotics. These types of repossessions are common in places like California or southern Florida. The faster and more powerful a boat is the more it is liked for getting to and from places like Cuba, Mexico, South America, and Central America. It is also possible for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to repossess boats and other recreational vehicles when a person is trying to evade paying taxes or other tax related issues.

Periodically boat repo auctions are organized by a state or government agency to get rid of the assets which have been repossessed and have built up too much over time. Many times if a seized or repossessed asset is not sold at this type of an auction it is disposed of.

You can find all kinds of watercrafts at these events. You can find anything from a personal watercraft, like a waverunner or jet ski, to bass or open fishing boats. You can even find cuddy cabins to motor-driven or sailing yachts to very pricey mega yachts.

The majority of the bank repo boat options are in better and/or newer states than the ones you would find at a second-hand dealership. Many of the watercrafts are still a prized possession of the owner, especially if it is relatively new. On the other hand, if you get a watercraft from a boat dealership, it was most likely used as much as possible and the owner decided he/she wanted a newer version.

Another advantage to buying repo boats is that a lot of states mandate the vessel be inspected before it is able to be sold to a new owner. It is true that not all repossessed vessels will have gone through an inspection, any of those sold by a government agency will have gone through this process.

Even dealers and traders go to these types of public auctions wishing to acquire stock with a lower price tag. While the dealers tend to jack the price up a little once they get it on their lot, the price they mark them at is still usually better than that of boats gotten from somewhere else.

All boat auctions that are open to both dealers and public usually offer a wide variety of foreclosures, government seized boats, and bank repossessed boats. The bidding at these auctions are usually either done in an open format or in a sealed bid system. You can find liquidation companies in different US states and one quite a few websites online.

There are quite a few potential boat owners who feel that going to these auctions or making a bid is simply a waste of time. However, you have the chance to purchase the boat you have always wanted, whether it is a sailor, a runabout, or a PWC, at the lowest price possible. There are times that you will save as much as 20%-30% when compared to the price of a boat on a dealers lot. This makes a visit to an auction well worth the time and effort it takes.


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