The high bidder got the ferry for $300,000 - even though the market value was placed at $750,000.
The low price might not turn any heads except that several state lawmakers had just asked the Washington State Ferries to consider putting the "Rhody" back into service because several other ferries are out of commission.
That was unlikely to happen before - and now it definitely will not happen.
The Rhododendron was retired from service in January after 60 years on the job in Puget Sound - banned by the Coast Guard for any trip more than a mile or so from dock.
The classic ferry was sold Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. via a state-sanctioned auction website for $300,000 - credit cards not accepted - to someone named "Kingstontown."
Now the race is on to find out the name of the new owner of the Rhody - and what the plans are for her.
She was one of the originals of the modern ferry system when the state bought her in 1952. The interior is classic - in generally good condition after some restorations. It carries just 48 cars.
Some lawmakers clamored to bring her back. But state Rep. Judy Clibborn, chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee, agrees with the decision to auction off the Rhody.
She says the Rhody was at the end of her life and would have been too expensive to restore to service.
On ferry-savvy Bainbridge Island, there are plenty of opinions.
"The $300,000 bid - I would question, 'Is that the best use of that asset?'" says Steve Baird of Bainbridge Island.
Mike Rogers, a barber on the island, muses, "What would I do if I had a ferry? I'd make a casino out of it. I'd make it make some money.
Other ideas were to turn the classic vessel into a floating garden - or convert it a large houseboat, complete with parking.