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  #1  
Old 11-24-2009
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Do Marina's give boats away?

Hello all!
I have heard rumors that boas get abandoned at marinas and the marina will let people have them for free (or sell them for cheap) in order to get rid of them. Does anyone know if this is the case? I am interested in buying a boat (a big one in the next 5 years, but could afford a cheap one for little trips) and want to know if the place to start looking is at nearby marinas.

Thanks!

Alyssa
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Old 11-24-2009
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I don't know much about marines, but i've seen some awesome deals at Boat Yards / Dry Docks.
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Old 11-24-2009
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Free is often worth what you paid for it... but there are those that have been lucky. me thinks you would have do the real time search. titles are most often the reason boats sit for years.
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Old 11-24-2009
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Free comes up here and there BUT for the most part the yards are a bit screwed depending on the laws in a state

I am fixing up a cheep one right now and you better be ready to work and spend
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Old 11-24-2009
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At the marina where I worked, there were several boats which were abandoned. In most cases if they gave them away, nobody would want them - except for parts. And in those cases, it's the insiders, the marina employees, friends of owners, friends of employees who get the freebies. In some cases, I was the benefactee (is that a word?).

If the boat has any value and is abandoned (rare) it is generally auctioned off, often at a private auction - i.e. friends of the marina owners - the 'in' crowd.

I can't say if this is true at all marinas - but I would suspect so. There's nothing like being one of the 'good ol' boys.'
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Old 11-24-2009
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Most marina operators are smart enough to figure out the value of a boat. If you find a free one, run away; if you find a really cheap one, re-read the first sentence.
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Old 11-24-2009
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While searching for my boat I was driving from marina to marina and spoke with managers. Yes, there are cheap boats. Yes, they were projects...

While I was living in Clear Lake, TX, where I finally find my boat through private seller, I witnessed two auctions running by marinas. Apparently, Texas law is flexible for marina owners, and they have more power there to take over and sell abounded boats. There were decent boats at auctions...
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Old 11-25-2009
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thanks!

Thanks for the replies everyone!

So what I'm getting from this is:
Hang around marinas and ask questions, I might learn a thing or two from the people there. If a free boat comes up and I have a place to put it and the time to dedicate to it, I could attempt to fix it up and in the process learn about what to look for in a quality boat (quality parts...or at least what might be the most useful out of a bunch of junkers.)

Essentially - this might be a great way to get some information, make some friends, and learn a lot about what it takes to understand and maintain a sailboat.

This isn't the boat I'll take across the ocean, but it's a step towards discovering which boat is right for me...

What do you think??
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Also.. yacht clubs seem to have a real problem with unused boats.. consider looking around some of those too.
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Old 11-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alooseleaf View Post
Essentially - this might be a great way to get some information, make some friends, and learn a lot about what it takes to understand and maintain a sailboat.

This isn't the boat I'll take across the ocean, but it's a step towards discovering which boat is right for me...

What do you think??
Hang around marina/yacht/racing clubs. Be nice and helpful. Ask for a ride. Get as many hours of other people sailboats as you can. It is easy. I take out everyone interested. You may get into some racing team...

Don't think about your own boat yet.

As soon as you get one, you stuck. Owning boat is a pain. Especially, if your budget is tight. If you feel like you have to have a boat - get small trailerable beach cruiser, dinghy or beach catamaran. Sail it to far destination - coastal islands, remote beaches, etc. You will learn more this way... There are lots of places to explore on a small boat... A few miles crossing becomes major adventure...
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