Join Date: Jul 2012
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Re: Are abandoned boats a big problem in the U.S?
Unfortunately it is. I doubt the economic situation in the last 5-8 years has really helped, either.
The yard we just got out of was filled with them and some of them are really large. I swear there was a 60 ft powerboat that looks like it had been sitting there for years without ever being touched. There were a number of smaller sailboats that are in the same situation and that's just in the yard, not the marina next door.
It's not JUST boats though. Walk around your local airport, car shop, a few back yards, and you'll find airplanes/cars/power boats/motorcycles/whatever that have been derelict for 20+ years and absolutely no hope of returning from their condition. I never came to a conclusion as to why people allowed it to happen to objects that were, in some cases, bought for serious money and left to rot. The best theory I've come to is that people become emotionally attached to the object or the idea of that object, buy it, then refuse to let go when they no longer care enough to maintain it or lose the ability to maintain it (finances, physically, etc). They keep holding onto the idea of getting back out there and sailing or restoring the boat, but never actually do it. As time goes on, it gets worse and all of a sudden the work and $$ involved just isn't worth it anymore and she lies forgotten in the yard.
Then there are folks that buy it for novelty and never really take care of it or know what they are getting into. I looked at one Albin Vega last year with real interest. The guy that owned it was a very nice gentleman, but he had let the boat go over the past few years. The forces of neglect showed hard, high moisture readings in the deck, hull delamination, cockpit sole had rotted, just about everything you wouldn't want to find on a boat you were buying. It became an instructional point for me actually being able to see these things in person rather than in pictures or descriptions. It's sad to say, but the boat needs to be scrapped.
It's a sad thing, but I've determined it's a result of human traits. The number of rotting/derelict boats in the marina is going to increase as time goes on, so at this point it becomes less about reducing the number and more about how do you get rid of them cheaply to free up space.