Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Re: Salvage claim in Louisiana against an abandoned sailboat
Maritime law, so same in Louisiana as in federal waters anywhere in the US.
Sounds more like an abandoned boat than a "rescued" one. If owner does not want it, that may give you an idea of what it's worth.
Seeking salvage, though, makes some sense. It may be the only way to acquire ownership rights so as to sell it off to defray expenses of this nuisance boat drifting around your wellhead or whatever offshore structure/job. You seek a salvage award, judge weighs the "Blackwall factors" of skill, peril, expense, value, success and several others. The award may or may not exceed the boat's value, and in a routine case of towing a boat in during nice weather, the award may not be much more than a towage fee.
Or the Court can be requested to have a judicial sale, they bid in their claim at auction, get the boat, sell/scrap it for lead and parts. Doesn't sound like a money-maker to me, but this is doing it "by the book" if you intend to sell it. Easier to get title this way than convincing a buyer, or even a court, that it's abandoned.
Informal way would be to just dispose of it as abandoned, if you're confident it really is abandoned, and not worth selling.
All this assumes there was no hull insurance.
Last edited by nolatom; 08-24-2015 at 03:16 PM.