Sandy damage has caused several boats at our club to be declared "constructive total losses". Would it be worthwhile for the owners to part the boats themselves? Some have good masts, booms, standing rigging, winches, spinnaker poles, pulpits, pushpits, sails, diesels, and transmissions in addition to the ballast. If the insurance company offers a 35' boat at $3K, wouldn't those parts be worth far more. Clearly, there's an established market for the lead. Is there an effective way to market the rest? It seems wasteful to landfill it.
I had the misfortune of having to part out a Thunderbird 26 in the early 1970's. It needed repairs far beyond my skills that I could not then afford to have done and I could find neither a buyer nor even anyone that would accept the boat as a donation. And, we had to clear the slip. We had the boat hauled out at a local DIY yard after pulling the mast and laid on her side in a back corner where a modest dumpster was brought in. I eventually cleared about $3,000 for the bits and pieces after 5 daze work in the cold; rain, getting $1,200 for the spars and rigging alone, $500 for the sails, $250 for the rudder/tiller, a good bit for the cast iron keel, $100 each for the primary winches and winch pads etc., etc., etc. (and all of this via word of mouth, notices placed on YC Bulletin boards, and a $15.00 ad in a local newspaper). The most difficult part was actually cutting up the hull with a chain-saw, which burned up 4 chain/blades. I threw the rubbish in the trash but I was later berated by a local shipyard owner that told me I should have burned the bits and pieces and then combed the ashes for the bronze and copper fastenings as they did when they "broke up" a ship/barge (who knew!?!)
I suggest you can accomplish the same much more easily with Craig's list,e-bay and the like, especially if you get a couple of boats together and team up. The "team" could rent a mini-storage locker or two and partition those for each ship's gear and work together on each boat in turn. Once the rigs are pulled and the keels dropped and prop'd, ship breaking isn't a difficult process, just nasty. Wear suits, gloves and VOC rated breathers and have at it.