How to Solve the Growing National Problem of Abandoned Boats

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As summer draws to a close, some boaters find the task of boat ownership too much and too expensive. Unfortunately, these owners do not take the time to sell their boats, but instead abandon them on America's waterways. Owner of BoatersBasement.com, Brandon Bissell, offers tips and resources for boat owners to responsibly deal with unwanted boats.

Boat abandonment is a growing national problem. As summer draws to a close, some boaters find the task of boat ownership too much and too expensive. Unfortunately, these owners do not take the time to sell their boats, but instead abandon them on America's waterways. Owner of BoatersBasement.com, Brandon Bissell, offers tips and resources for boat owners to responsibly deal with unwanted boats

In Lee County Florida, deputies report hundreds, if not thousands of abandoned boats clogging Southwest Florida waterways. In 2001, the budget to remove abandoned boats was $50,000. In 2007, the budget is $300,000 and increasing 33% next year. As of August, the money has run out after removing less than 50 boats. (Source: NBC )

In Delaware, residents of Rehoboth Beach had to wait over a year before two abandon boats were removed. July 10th, 2007, this action took place only after the state governor signed a law allowing the sinking boats to be removed by DNREC officials. Now if a boat is abandoned or adrift for more than 30 days, the state can take possession and remove the obstacle. (Source: Delmarvanow.)

In Michigan, the process is more drawn out. All operations to remove a boat must first be approved by the state archeologist to insure that nothing of historical interest is removed. After approval, the boat can be removed only by a licensed salvage operator.

Brandon Bissell, owner of BoatersBasement.com, notes that the growing abandoned boat problem has severe environmental implications. "An abandoned boat can be more than an eyesore. It's pollution. A deteriorating boat can leak dangerous chemicals and toxins."

Bissell also cites potential legal and financial nightmares associated with boat abandonment. "In some states, boat abandonment is considered felony littering. And legally, many owners are still responsible for making boat payments. So those who think just walking away from a boat will solve their problems need to think again."

Instead of abandonment, disillusioned boat owners can turn to several online resources for help. Aside from Bissell's Boatersbasement.com site, which offers auctions and classified advertising for boats and boat parts, GoodOldBoat.com offers a special section for the fixer-upper boat. "The neglected boat you save could become your own" the web page states. Other boat classified sites like Boattrader.com can help owners get in touch with interested buyers. And boat owners can also turn to general sites like eBay to auction their unwanted boats.

"Get online and do the research," advises Bissell. "Boat owners have much better options than abandoning their unwanted boats."    

About BoatersBasement.com

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, BoatersBasement.com features an online StoreFront with discount marine electronics and boating products. The site's Education Center provides a resource for boating safety, rules, classes, and information; while the LinkCenter easily guides boaters to weather, electronics, marine news, and other useful sites.

For more information or a quote from Brandon Bissell, please contact Mark Vander Wel at 616-855-4642.

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