The German courts have ruled that man who sold his yacht for €22.50 on an online auction site after failing to set a minimum bid must go through with the transaction.

A Cologne court ruled that the man must indeed flog his 6-metre yacht for the fee after deciding that his claims of 'technical problems' with AllesAuktion.de didn't, ahem, float.

Speaking to English language, German news site The Local – court spokesman Hubertus Nolte said: "The standard laws of business transactions also apply to internet auctions.

Make good

"Now the seller must make good on his offer. He can't say after the fact that he didn't want to sell.

"I remember a similar case that involved an tractor that should have been auctioned for a minimum of €60,000, but went for €51 when the owner forgot to set a minimum bid.

"The bidder won the court case in this instance too."

The man in question was told that unless he handed over the boat he would have to pay the €12,000 legal fee.

He probably wishes that he'd noticed his mistake earlier, but that ship – it seems – has sailed.