Boats that have been repossessed by a bank, the state or the IRS can be bought at auctions. Local dealers and boat yards often have listings of when these events take place and what requirements are needed to purchase a boat. Independent companies specializing in auctions have weekly sales nationwide and are third party investors in reclaiming their clients' revenue.
The bidding process for purchasing a repossessed boat is normally conducted by sealed bid. The highest offer is submitted to the agency or institution who is selling the property, and a response is usually received within days of the auction's cutoff date.