Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Ask SAIL: Disposable Boat

 My partner has a 26-foot sailboat that has been neglected over the years. I have been tracking sale prices of boats this size, and everyone tells me it is a challenge selling a boat like this now...
Author:

Ann Shelley, Bellaire, Michigan

Q: My partner has a 26-foot sailboat that has been neglected over the years. I have been tracking sale prices of boats this size, and everyone tells me it is a challenge selling a boat like this now—especially given the economic climate.

My partner is spending about $300 a month for moorage, and I swear he is losing that and more by holding onto the boat. Places also won’t take it as a donation. Apparently, they only want boats that they are confident they can sell.

What does one do with a boat no one wants? How does one dispose of something made of fiberglass that does not naturally break down?

Don Casey Replies

A: Your math is correct. Your partner is spending more every year than the boat is worth in good condition, and it is never going to go up in value. At least from a financial standpoint, he should dispose of the boat. He’ll save $3,600 every year after.

Because the boat has little, if any, cash value, no charity will be interested. But if the boat is still basically sound, you just need to find a sailor or would-be sailor up for the challenge of breathing new life into an old boat. Good Old Boat Magazine hosts a web page at goodoldboats.com listing boats like your partner’s neglected little yacht. The listing is free, but asking prices are limited to not more than $5,000. In your case, with the meter running at $300 per month, the wise thing may be to offer this boat for free.

A second forum for disposing of unwanted boats is Bone Yard Boats, a quarterly newsletter that saves old boats from being broken up. Most listings here are for wood boats, more power than sail, but some fiberglass boats are included. The listing is free, but will likely be slower to yield results, as the offering does not appear until the next quarterly newsletter is published. You can find more information at boneyardboats.com.

Other possibilities are an ad on eBay, on craigslist, in a local “shopper” publication, or on the notice boards of nearby marinas, boatyards or sailing clubs. Your partner’s boat still has dream value. You just need to publicize its availability.

Don Casey has written many books and articles on marine maintenance and repairs

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

SailingAwards

VIDEO: World Sailing Awards 2021

Alec Wilkinson and Hannah White host the World Sailing Awards and announce the Rolex World Sailor of the Year and 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award.  December 2021 ...read more

02-RV-WHY

Cruising: Miracle On Ice

I was preparing some tea just before heading topside for my watch. Even though it was summertime, the tea was not iced—it was hot. That’s because our boat was in the High Arctic. We were trying to complete a westbound transit of the treacherous Northwest Passage. If we ...read more

Hanse_460_Bilder_Web_Exterior_0003-promo

New Monohulls: Hallberg-Rassy 400 & Hanse 460

For all the consolidation in the boatbuilding world in recent years, there remains plenty of variety out there, as can be seen in these two new monohulls. The products of two very different boatbuilders offer two very different takes on performance-cruising, even as they also ...read more

Waterlines

The Power of Sails

I suppose it isn’t merely a coincidence that I’ve made significant changes to the sailplans of the last three cruising boats I’ve owned. The first project was the biggest. My old Golden Hind 31, Sophie, had lots of charm and character, but her sloop rig was laughably small. ...read more

01-LEAD-BahiaCobre

Charter the Sea of Cortez

Chartering and the notion of going “off the beaten path” may sound self-contradictory. Charter companies tend to put bases where demand is high and they can turn a profit, so if you’re lucky enough to find an outfit and a destination that gets away from the typical—say yes. To ...read more

22D6FB6F-AA49-4784-A3A8-960F5A7CE330

Cruising: Anchoring Skills

Watching charterers make a run for the last mooring in a cove is fun—and weird. I always wonder why so many would rather try to catch a mooring than drop the hook. Maybe charterers don’t trust their anchoring skills, but it’s harder to drive up and grab a buoy than most people ...read more

BD-TJV21_Malama_063

11th Hour Breakdown in the TJV

11th Hour Racing’s Mālama kicked off the second week of the Transat Jaques Vabre with keel problems, forcing co-skippers Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry to adjust for a more conservative approach to the race’s remaining 2000 miles. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of ...read more

2021-rolex-y-of-y-email-graphic

Rolex Nominations Open

Award season is upon us, and US Sailing is looking for the next Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex since 1980, the annual Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize individual male and female sailors ...read more