Buying a boat from a marine auction can give you a few advantages. There is the opportunity to buy a good boat at a low, or even below market price. So long as you’ve done your research and set a cut off the price that you won’t bid past.

There’s often a wide range of boats to choose from, sometimes even former business owned boats that have been well looked after and maintained.

In spite of the advantages, there are still risks, such as overbidding in the heat of the moment or buying something “as is” that “is no good”. That’s why we put together a little how-to guide on buying at marine auctions.

How to Buy a Boat at Marine Auctions

Research the vessel

Find out as much as you can about the boat, or boats, you have your eye on. That includes reviews on that particular model of boat, how it handles in the environment you want to use it, the market price for its age and condition etc. Also, make sure you see the boat before the auction and possibly even organise an inspection.

Research auctions

If you’ve never bought at an auction before go along to a marine auction where you don’t intend to buy, just to familiarise yourself with the process. On the day of your auction, arrive early.

Set yourself a limit

Know what you’re willing to pay and set that as your limit. Don’t get caught up in the ego battle of bidding war just to beat someone else to the punch. A good way to set your limit is to organise pre-approved boat finance. That way you know what you can afford before the bidding starts.

Register to bid

You will need to bring identification on the day of the auction and register to bid.


Don’t bid too soon. There’s no point in helping the agent drive the price up at the start. Wait until the bids start to slow before you make your offer, and don’t panic.


Keep a look of confidence about yourself. If you look panicked other bidders will think they’re close to bidding you out and keep raising the price. If it looks like you have deep pockets they may give up and set their sights on something else. But keep your focus and remember the price you decided on. Just because someone else is bidding hard doesn’t mean the boat has suddenly become a gem you must have.


Once you’ve won your bid you’ll need to arrange payment. If you can’t pay on the day you will need to put down 10% to confirm your purchase. However, if you’re arranged pre-approved finance through us you’ll be able to organise payment on the day.

If you’re looking to buy a boat at a marine auction talk to us about boat auction finance and pre-approved loans. We can also provide marine insurance once the sale has gone through.

Call us on 1300 889 669, or simply apply online today to get things moving.