How to junk a boat

Written by will charpentier
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How to junk a boat
One person's junk can be another person's treasure. (boat image by pearlguy from

Some boats sink, some boats run aground and sustain damage that can't be repaired, some just get fragile with age and exposure to the sea. Depending on the hull material and how extensive your boat's problems are, you may continue to repair her, but sooner or later, her time with you will be done. If your boat has reached this point, you have at least three options that will keep at least some of your old friend sailing.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Sell her to a boat salvage yard. A salvage yard associated with a yacht broker will expect all electronics, fittings and the engine (if she's an inboard) to be left with the vessel. All sales will be on an "as is where is" basis. Often, the best way to find a boat salvage yard is ask your boat dealer.

  2. 2

    Donate her to a charity. You can take a reasonable tax deduction if the charity is a non-profit organisation of the type acceptable to the Internal Revenue Service. One, Boat Angel, acts as a clearing house for its member charities and allows you to designate the member charity supported by the funds from the sale of your boat. One of Boat Angel's member charities is Mercy Ships, an organisation whose ships travel globally, providing medical care in developing countries.

  3. 3

    Take steel and aluminium hulled vessels to a scrap yard. If she has a steel or aluminium hull, scrap yards will purchase the hull for the scrap value of the metal.

Tips and warnings

  • Like ripping off an adhesive bandage, when you decide it's time to junk a boat, never hesitate: it's best done quickly and decisively.

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