Don't think the need to see a boat prevents bidding in auction. Just view b4 bidding.
I can see that if you need to travel 200 miles to view, you don't want to do that one week and then repeat the following after winning. But from a seller perspective I'd want to be convinced I was maximising my sale value which is why I'd have put it on auction. From a buyer perspective I will bid unseen if the value is cheap enough. But either no money or small deposit till I see the goods and if usually ask enough to know the vessel is legit...
I've had items I've been bidding on that disappear because some got offers a price to BIN had they bid that I'd have out bid them...