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  #11  
Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

One of the really surprising things about these wrecks which have not been touched in years in marinas and boatyards is that sometimes someone is still paying the monthly rental fee. I know of several in my neck of the Caribbean that are WAY past repairable but still some pays up, possibly to keep the dream alive.

SAD! in so many ways.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

TQA,

Part of the problem is that it is often cheaper to pay the slippage fee than to pay the disposal costs.

As an example, I have some sailing buddies that owned a 65' racer that lost its keel in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. About a year later it showed back up, and the insurance company delivered it back to them. The restoration cost was higher than a new boat, so that was off the table. Demoing the thing was going to cost a good chunk of change, or they could put it back in the slip. A simple spreadsheet showed they could take half the disposal cost, put it into low return US Savings bonds, and pay the slip rental off of the interest. So that's what they did, with no expectation that the boat would ever be anything but a floating junk heap.

No dream here, just a honest calculation that letting it rot was significantly cheaper than disposal.


My thought is that marinas need a better way to get rid of these clunkers, so those rare slips can be put back on the market.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

Very good point Greg,
besides all of the other problems with this, these rottening boats are taking up space.
Both in the water and out of the water.

Wonder if anyone could actually make a living from scrapping these boats, and get funding from selling the metal and other good parts that are on the boats?

But maybe it is just too expensive to get rid of the glass?
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

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Originally Posted by Morild View Post
Wonder if anyone could actually make a living from scrapping these boats, and get funding from selling the metal and other good parts that are on the boats?

But maybe it is just too expensive to get rid of the glass?
Crushed fiberglass can also be used as fuel in waste-to-energy power plants. If somebody was running a bigger operation scrapping boats that might be a cheaper (and more useful) option than sending it to a landfill. I used to work for a company converting industrial waste into fuel.
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

The problem is that when you add up all the money making parts (keel scrap, rigging scrap, ect...) and subtract the parts that cost you money (delivery, disposal, shipping thousands of tuns of fiberglass, ect) it is a break even at best proposition.

The only way to make any money is to sell the pieces for more than scrap value. Which means a very long inventory time, lots of overhead, high storage costs... Perhaps if you owned a used parts chandlery it could work, but otherwise you can't get rid of the pieces fast enough to keep in business.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

not sure on the marinas around here (not too many "real marinas left.. most are condos with slips) but I know since Hurricane Sandy.. there are 4 small powerboats out in the marshes between Atlantic City and the Mainland that have just been left to die. There are probably a lot more, those are the ones I just see on my way to work
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My marina pulls a couple power boats a year out of the water and cuts them up. I have no idea where the fiberglass goes but it disappears. I'm guessing the owner is way past due and the marina has no way they'll get rid of them if they don't cut them up. If I ever see a sailboat come out I'll probably talk to them about getting the mast, boom and other easy to move parts as usually they hold a much better than scrap value. I've bought and parted out small sailboats that were junk in the past.

There are a number of boats at my marina that are probably only there as the cost of disposal is higher than the slip fee. I have a friend trying to contact a guy about his custom 40 ish foot sailboat that hasn't moved in about. I'm guessing it's a wreck but might be decent.
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

This is not new, in the 70's and 80's the boat yards were full of wooden boats as they got past the point that they could financially be kept up. Thing is a rotting wooden boat basically falls apart, where a fiberglass boat sits there looking like it could be restored. It is a shame though, as if kept up a fiberglass boat can basically last forever, but once the deferred maintenance piles up it becomes cheaper to destroy.
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

Tumble

A 40 ft boat costs 6k$ US pa. I know of boats that have been sitting in 'no hopers' corner for 10 years with someone paying the freight every month.

There is one where there are holes in the deck and the boat has standing water inside. I am amazed that the owner just does not walk away.
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?

I would think there are few people out there that look for fixer-uppers but they never get advertised anywhere, except maybe a local ad. But if they're not advertised as being available, they still never go anywhere.

If someone were to look for these type of boats, is it just a matter of going to random marinas or yards and asking if any are around?

I've thought about getting a project boat but a certain young lady is telling me otherwise.
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