These auction are not for the timid or weak of heart. As stated the rules are rigid and cut and dry. I had a good friend that made a nice living buying and reselling boats off these government
"auctions." He would look through the national auction list and find the "oddball" boat - say an auction with 50 powerboats and one to two sailboats. Then lowball bid on the sailboats and get them. Dealers use these auctions to get boats cheap
and then resell them high.
Drug bust boats are the best bet as the owners have tons of drug money
and keep up the boat. It is confiscated along with the house and fancy cars then put in the government
and fixing up is normally minimal. He would turn around and sell the boats for 2 to 4 times what he paid. But it is a lot of work going through all the listings to find the 1 or 2 real buys each year. But on the high end boats the profits are significant.