I have occasionally mentioned in the past that I like to sail. I even own my own sailboat. That is why I find this article to be appalling. Times are tough for people who own boats:
Some of those disposing of their boats are in the same bind as overstretched homeowners: they face steep payments on an asset that is diminishing in value and decide not to continue. They either default on the debt or take bolder measures.
Marina and maritime officials around the country say they believe, however, that most of the abandoned vessels cluttering their waters are fully paid for. They are expensive-to-maintain toys that have lost their appeal.
The owners cannot sell them, because the secondhand market is overwhelmed. They cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars a month mooring and maintaining them. And they do not have the thousands of dollars required to properly dispose of them.
So they end up like this:
A very sad sight
I appreciate the desperate straights some of you may be in, but stop it. There is no excuse for doing this kind of thing to a perfectly wonderful sailboat (I also realize power boaters are doing it as well, and they should stop it too, but I am speaking to the real sailors). There has got to be a better way than just cutting the lines and letting your boat drift away. Especially since someone has to come behind you and clean up:
Florida officials say they are moving more aggressively to track down owners and are also starting to unclog the local inlets, harbors, swamps and rivers. The state appropriated funds to remove 118 derelicts this summer, up from only a handful last year.
In South Carolina, four government investigators started canvassing the state’s waterways in January. They quickly identified 150 likely derelicts.
“There are a lot more than we thought there would be,” said Lt. Robert McCullough of the state Department of Natural Resources. “There were a few boats that have always been there, and now all of a sudden they’ve added up and added up.”
Filed under: Sailing