Ever wonder what happens to boats when they get old? When a yacht has been pre-owned several times until it can be of use no more, what are the options an owner has in discarding it? You’ve probably never driven past or even heard of a boat junkyard. We’ve all seen a couple of storage yards that looked the part, but never a bona fide boat junkyard. It’s not so easy to figure out How to Get Rid of An Old Boat. You can try giving it to a charity or a vocational school that will take it. But what if you’re stuck with it? What actually happens to old boats when nobody wants them?
In Europe, there are machines for grinding up used FRP for use as filler in paints and road materials. As you might imagine, the machines are hugely expensive — in the millions — and somewhat scarce. In the United States, as it turns out, a lot of old boats wind up in landfills all over the country, and the registration goes back to the state. Some marine salvage operations will buy interesting boats. More often, they salvage the engines and drives and put the boats out in the yard, then haul them to the dump because they run out of room.
So where do old boats go after they’re stripped? We learned it’s actually one of the biggest costs in this industry. The salvage yards actually have to pay to get rid of them. Essentially they chop them into pieces and pay $5 top $10 per linear foot to have them hauled off. They fill up 40-yard dumpsters and haul them to the landfill.
So, now we know the great circle of life for a boat is … a semicircle.