Oregon State Marine Board : Abandoned Derelict Boats : Boater Info : State of Oregon (2023)

Recreational boatsare abandoned orbecome derelict for many reasons. Derelictand abandoned vessels can cause various problems in and outside of marinas,including water quality degradation, pollution, and damage to public andprivate property when they sink or go adrift. In marinas, they take up valuableslip space and can be a source of pollution. They also decrease the area's aesthetic value and create hazards for responsible boaters.

Boat ownership comes with financial responsibility. Any structure, including aboat, in a water environment, needs special care and maintenance for long, useful life. Boat owners need to be prepared to spend money on the basics to ensure their boat remains seaworthy and when that time has passed, to have an end-of-life plan to include being removed from the water and being correctly dismantled and disposed of.

Abandoned or derelict vessels (ADVs) get in this condition for many reasons. ADVs can cause issues in and outside marinas and can have a negative impact on:

  • water quality
  • public or private property by causing damage to floats, docks, and structures
  • safe navigation when submerged or adrift
In marinas, they take up valuable slip space and can be a source of pollution.

Boat ownership comes with financial responsibility. As a boat owner, plan to spend money to make sure the boat remains seaworthy. As the boat ages and becomes harder/more expensive to maintain, have an end-of-life plan. Check with boatyards and disposal companies for estimates on the cost to dismantle and dispose of your boat when it can no longer be maintained.

There's a story behind every boat. And the storyis a human one. Every boat owner must take responsibility. To protect thewaterway, property,and for other peoples'safety.
What is an abandoned or derelict boat?

​Abandoned vessels are those left without authorization on public or private land, or State waters. Derelict vessels are those vessels that are sinking, actively polluting, obstructing a waterway, or endangering life or property.

An enforcement agency has the authority to seize vessels that meet these definitions.

Prevent your boat from becoming abandoned or derelict

​• Keep your registration current. All boats moored, operated orotherwise used in Oregon waters,are required to register with the Marine Board.OAR 250-010-0051. This includes Federally Documented Vessels.​Learn more about documented vessel registration.​

• Consider insuring your vessel.

• Keep your vessel in good working condition; ensure it is seaworthy and can move under its own power.

(Video) Former military vessel abandoned in Columbia River sinks

• Ensure the boat's hull is cleaned at least once a year (preferably more) with non-abrasive material, routinely replace zincs, and ensure the prop and shaft are free from corrosion and marine fouling. Divers can help with in-water hull cleaning, inspection and zinc replacement. Boat hulls with extensive marine growth should be removed from the water (dry docked) for repairs, proper hazardous material removal and containment by a reputable boatyard.

• If you are selling your boat, make sure the boat is going to good hands and inform the Marine Board of thetransfer of ownership (Bill of Sale).If you don't, you could end up with the bill for removing the vessel if it becomes abandoned or derelict down-the-road.

• Have an end-of-life plan for your vessel. For ways to dispose of your vessel see the information on boatdisposal options.

  • Dispose of hazardous materials properly (batteries, instrumentation, fuels, etc.)
  • Recycle any valuable parts or metals
  • Bring vessel to a boat salvage shop for proper dismantle or to the landfill if it is small enough


Reporting abandoned or derelict boats

​Call your local County Sheriff’s Office​ if a boat appears to have become abandoned or derelict. Call 911 if the boat is involved in an emergency. If you wish to report the boat to the Marine Board as well,please use thereporting form​.

Signs that a boat is at risk of becoming, or already is, an abandoned or derelict vessel include:

Listing to one side;

Bilge pump that runs frequently to expel water from the hull;

Severe external deterioration of wood, paint, or other materials;

Unusual quantities of growth of algae, moss, grass, or other plant material covering the boat;

Leaking fluids such as oil, fuel, or waste;

Drifting from moorage or docks;

Appearance of being illegally moored;

(Video) Larry Warren, Director of Oregon State Marine Board

No movement in more than 30 days.

Removal of abandoned or derelict boats

​Oregon has an abandoned and derelict vessel (ADV) program that is managed by the Oregon State Marine Board. The program includes legislation and procedures for delegating authority to an enforcement agency to seize and remove abandoned and derelict vessels from state lands and waters (ORS 830.908 through 830.944​). Oregon’s ADV program does not address the taking of abandoned or derelict vessels that occur on private property, which must be dealt with through abandoned property laws or reported to an appropriate enforcement agency.The owner of the boat is liable for allcosts associated with removal.


​Oregon law authorizes the Oregon State Marine Board to establish and maintain an Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Removal Fund. Funds from this account, which are collected from recreational boater titling and registration fees, are used to reimburse public enforcement agencies for expenses related to the removal of abandoned or derelict vessels. The Oregon State Marine Boardsets aside $150,000 each biennium in order to provide funds to reimburse up to 90% of the costs associated with investigating, salvaging, towing, removing, storing or disposing of abandoned or derelict vessels, statewide.

Under this program, the last titledowner of the vessel is liable to the enforcement agency for all costs arising out of the seizure and removal of the vessel.

Does the Marine Board sell or give away abandoned boats before they're destroyed?

​By-in-large, boats that are seized by the Marine Board or other authorities are rarely in seaworthycondition and often have very little value. The costs of repairs needed to make these boats seaworthy oftenexceed the boat's worth. Most of the watercraft that are seized were sold for cheap or given away to people without the means to maintain the boat, andthey wind upsinkingor are abandoned on unauthorized land. The best solutionfrom having to seize the same vessel twice, is todismantle, recycleand disposeof the boatis the preferred option.

(Video) Save the boats! A derelict vessel PSA
Abandoned Vessel Removal Assistance Program (AVRAP) for Certified Clean Marinas

​There are many factors that contribute to the existence of ADVs, but one high-volume source is marinas. Managers of certified Clean Marina facilitiesare eligible to apply for thenew Abandoned Vessel Removal Assistance Program.

Vessels moored in marinas are often “out of sight, out of mind" for owners who rarely visit them and often fail to keep them registered and insured. When vessel owners stop paying moorage fees, marinas are compelled to take possession of low-value vessels that cost far more to dispose of than they are worth. When these vessels are sold or given away, instead of being properly disposed of, in many cases they end up sinking, beached, or used for illegal camping. These abandoned and derelict boats become a threat to the environment, navigation, and safe recreational boating. ​

In an effort to minimize the hazards and high costs associated with responding to future ADVs, in 2020 the Marine Board proposed anInitiativeto remove unwanted abandoned vessels from marinas while the vessels are still securely moored and afloat. Under this initiative, the Marine Board will coordinate the removal of legally abandoned vessels from eligible marinas who adopt a suite of new management practices to help reduce the number of vessels that might become abandoned in the future. Eligible marinas under this new initiative would be those that participate in the Marine Board's Clean Marina certification program and are located along the Oregon Coast and in the lower Columbia River basin.

Marine Board staff submitted a proposal to the NOAA Marine Debris Program and was awarded $50,000 to put toward the new Abandoned Vessel Removal Assistance Program. The Marine Board is contributing a 50% match of $50,000 in ADV funding . This is a two-year NOAA grant. Staff are working on soliciting applications from eligible marinas which will then be scored with the help of agency partners. Vessels will be evaluated and prioritized in the spring of 2021, with removal taking place in the late spring and early summer months.​

Learn more from the Marine Board's Clean Marina Coordinator on Conservation Cafe's Podcast​!

Oregon State Marine Board : Abandoned Derelict Boats : Boater Info : State of Oregon (1)Oregon State Marine Board : Abandoned Derelict Boats : Boater Info : State of Oregon (2)

(Video) Oregon officials request $40 million to remove abandoned boats from waterways

Oregon’s ADV Program is administered by the Oregon State Marine Board, which then delegates authority for the removal and/or disposal of the vessel in question to the relevant enforcement agency under ORS 830.908 to ORS 830.948. The Oregon State Marine Board can be contacted by phone at 503-378-8587or by email at marine.board@boat.oregon.gov.

(Video) Oregon State Marine Board's Quarterly Meeting -July 28, 2022


How do I report an abandoned boat in Oregon? ›

Call your local County Sheriff's Office​ if a boat appears to have become abandoned or derelict. Call 911 if the boat is involved in an emergency. If you wish to report the boat to the Marine Board as well, please use the reporting form​.

What happens when you abandon a boat? ›

Legal penalties are substantial for those caught abandoning a boat including stiff fines, liens on your property and possibly jail. See information from the California Division of Boating and Waterways about disposing of an unwanted vessel.

How do I register a boat without a title in Oregon? ›

For boats that have never been titled anywhere:
  1. Provide a proof of ownership.
  2. Complete an Application for Boat Title/Registration.
  3. Complete a detailed boat history form.
  4. Submit documents to the Marine Board with the required fees ​

Why are boats being abandoned? ›

Causes of abandonment and dereliction

Severe weather events, financial hardships, and the potentially high costs for owners to properly remove boats and barges from waterways all increase the likelihood that they'll be abandoned.

What is the procedure of abandon ship? ›

Before giving the order to abandon ship, the engines must be stopped and all watertight doors closed. Boats should clear the ship's side as quickly as possible but remain close to the ship. It is also imperative for the boats and rafts to remain close together in a group to make detection and rescue easier.

What do you call an abandoned boat? ›

“Derelict” frequently refers to vessels that are dilapidated with an identifiable owner, while “abandoned” vessels are those where the owner is unknown or has surrendered rights of ownership. Vessels become abandoned and derelict for many reasons.

Can abandoned ships be claimed? ›

Claiming Abandoned Vessels

In order to claim title to an abandoned vessel, you must follow the Statutes for Found Property. 705.102 FS requires a person to report found property to Law Enforcement. After this has been done, you may begin the process of claiming found property.

What is marine salvage law? ›

The law of salvage is a principle of maritime law whereby any person who helps recover another person's ship or cargo in peril at sea is entitled to a reward commensurate with the value of the property saved.

Who will decide whether and when abandon ship procedures are to be undertaken? ›

The decision that calls for vessel abandonment is to be made by the Master; under all conditions of abandon ship the notification signal is a succession of more than six short blasts followed by one long blast of the whistle supplemented by a comparable signal on the general alarm.

What is the fine for an unregistered boat in Oregon? ›

Notwithstanding ORS 153.019 (Presumptive fines), the presumptive fine for a violation of ORS 830.565 (Permit required) by a person operating a nonmotorized boat is $30.

Do boats have proof of ownership? ›

You will need to see a bill of sale from the owner of the boat to the boatyard, or something that is a proof of title to the boat for the yard selling it. Ideally, you would have something that shows the boat did indeed belong to the previous owner.

Which of the following vessels are exempt from being titled and registered in Oregon? ›

Exemptions to the boat registration requirements include: Sailboats that are under 12 feet long; U.S. Coast Guard documented vessels that are principally used in another state; Vessels that are properly registered in another state and that are operating on Oregon waters for no more than 60 consecutive days.

What is it called when boats are parked? ›

Dock (boat dock, wet dock, pier, harbor, dock slip) - A place where a boat is parked on water.

What is it called when boats are parked in water? ›

One of those terms is “boat slip,” which is sometimes used interchangeably with “boat dock” or even “marina,” especially in the south. Many homes with lake docks will have docks and one or two slips.

Where do Abandoned ships go? ›

Also called a ship cemetery, these graveyards would generally have a large number of ships, boats, or hulls of scrapped vessels left to decay and rust. Such graveyards were formed as a result of the deliberate disposal of the vessels, natural calamities and wars, among others.

Which of the following steps should be taken if possible when the vessel must be abandoned because of a distress situation? ›

36 Which step should be taken, if possible, when the vessel must be abandoned because of a distress situation? Alert the U.S. Coast Guard by using the survival craft's portable INMARSAT unit. Program the SART and EPIRB to transmit the vessel's location and situation.

What are the responsibilities of the Master during abandon ship? ›

Send out a distress call (further explained later) Activate the EPIRB and carry the SART onto the survival crafts. Collect all relevant documents from the bridge (if time permits) – Logs and records which might come in use in accident investigation.

Is abandoning ship a crime? ›

In the United States, abandoning the ship is not explicitly illegal, but the captain could be charged with other crimes, such as manslaughter, which encompass common law precedent passed down through centuries. It is not illegal under international maritime law.

What is a derelict vessel? ›

Language | Idioma. English. Español. In Florida, a vessel is considered derelict when it is left stored or abandoned in a wrecked, junked or demolished condition on public waters or private property without the consent of the property owner.

What is a boat Gypsy? ›

The gypsy is the notched ring that meshes with the links of the chain to hoist the anchor. It can rotate on a vertical or horizontal axis. The head is the smooth drum that raises the rode (textile part of the anchor). Both are driven by a series of gears that multiply the force.

What is a boat Bunny? ›

We've observed that in the boating world, gender roles seem to be fairly well defined. The guy gets to steer the boat masterfully to the dock. The girl gets to stand on the bow and hold the lines, ready to fling them to the dockhands. The guy gets called "Captain." The girl is the "bow bunny."

Who owns abandoned ship? ›

McMenemy and Donaldson set up the group MacMerry 300 in 2010, and now own an empire of venues across Scotland, including the original Abandon Ship Bar, which they describe on Instagram as a “fun and dumb bar for those who love art, good vibes and great drinks”. They also have the Luchador and Fly South, among others.

When Should a ship be abandoned? ›

Abandoning ship is always your last resort. If your boat is rapidly sinking or there's a fire that can't be extinguished or contained, then it's time to abandon. In this moment of duress, you need to be prepared to act. Having a life raft on-board won't keep you safe unless you have a plan on how to use it.

What is Article 13 of salvage Convention? ›

Which mean that if SCOPIC clause is invoked and the salvor was able to save property and hence was eligible for award as per article 13, his reward would be reduced by 25%. So if the salvor is very much certain for success of salvage, he would not invoke SCOPIC clause.

What is loss and abandonment in marine insurance? ›

Section 62 in The Marine Insurance Act, 1963. 62. Notice of abandonment.— (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, where the assured elects to abandon the subject-matter insured to the insurer, he must give notice of abandonment. If he fails to do so the loss can only be treated as a partial loss.

Under what circumstances towage becomes salvage? ›

He must show that the nature of the service changed from towage to salvage through no fault or want of skill on his part and simply and solely by accident or fortuitous circumstances over which he had no control.

What action should be taken once in the water during an abandoned ship? ›

Once in the water, whether accidentally or by ship abandonment, orientate yourself and try to locate the vessel, lifeboats, liferafts, other survivors or other floating objects.

What is the first thing to do according to Muster List when abandon ship is sounded? ›

Action to be taken by the crew once Abandon ship is announced or sounded: Carry your lifejacket/ immersion suit to the designated muster station.

Can you drink while operating a boat in Oregon? ›

The law applies to all boats, motorized and non-motorized, which includes rafts, kayaks, and canoes. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% is considered legally “under the influence.” • Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a crime in Oregon.

How old does a boat have to be to be vintage? ›

Historic: Any vessel constructed before and up to 1918. Antique: Any boat built between 1919 and 1942. Classic: A boat built between 1943 and 1975. Late classic: A boat ranging from 1976 to 25 years prior to the current year — from 2021, that would be 1996.

Which of the following may be considered illegal or unsafe operation when boating in Oregon? ›

No person operating a motorboat shall allow a person to ride or sit on the starboard or port gunwales or on the transom of the boat while underway at a speed in excess of 5 MPH unless the motorboat is provided with adequate guards or railings.

Do you have to give your boat a name? ›

It's not just a tradition. It is actually required by the U.S. Coast Guard to identify your boat's name and hailing port both on documents and physically on the boat. While the rules aren't as stringent for recreational boats, it's still a fun idea.

Do all boats need a boat safety certificate? ›

A Simple Explanation To A Much Asked Question:

To ensure that every ones safety is addressed all narrow boats and river boats need to have an up to date Boat Safety Certificate. This is equivalent to a cars MOT certificate, the vessel also needs to be insured and have a Canal & River Trust licence.

How do you show ownership of a boat? ›

To do that, you will need a bill of sale from the seller. A bill of sale legally transfers ownership and also can provide important warranties about the boat itself.

What size boat needs a license in Oregon? ›


All motorized boats (regardless of length or type) used in public waters must be registered. Sailboats 12 feet and longer must also be titled and registered in the State.

Which of the following vessel operators are exempt from? ›

Operators are exempt from needing to get the license if they are: Licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel. Operating on a private lake or pond.

What is an abandoned boat called? ›

“Derelict” frequently refers to vessels that are dilapidated with an identifiable owner, while “abandoned” vessels are those where the owner is unknown or has surrendered rights of ownership.

What do you call a restroom on a boat? ›

“The bathroom of a maritime vessel is known as the head because of its location aboard vessels in the bow or fore of the ship, as explained by the Naval Heritage and History Command. The term first appears in 1708 in Woodes Rogers' book, “A Cruising Voyage Around the World.” Source Ask.com.

Can you anchor a boat in the middle of the ocean? ›

Can you drop anchor in the middle of the ocean? The answer to that is 'no'. Anchoring in the middle of the ocean is not possible due to the depth. In order to maintain good holding, you want at least 7 times more line out than there is water underneath your boat.

What is it called when a boat pulls you on a tube? ›

Towed tubing usually takes place on a large body of water such as a lake or river. One or more tube riders (often called "tubers") tether their tubes to a powered watercraft such as a motor boat or a personal watercraft. The riders are then towed through the water by the watercraft.

What does YAR mean in boating? ›

What's yar?" Yar, or yare, is a nautical term that means ready or prepared for action; quick to move. Lots of accidents can happen on a ship if it's not well maintained, if the rigging is a mess, and if items are not fastened. To say that a sailing vessel is yare is a compliment.

What is it called when you tie boats together? ›

Mooring refers to lassoing, tethering, tying, or otherwise securing your boat to a fixed object, such as a mooring buoy, rather than dropping an anchor to secure your vessel anywhere you fancy. You can moor your boat to a mooring buoy, dock, quay, wharf, jetty, or pier.

Are Abandoned ships Finders Keepers? ›

If the shipwreck has been submerged for a period of years during which the vessel's legal owners have not been actively trying to retrieve its contents then the law of finds may apply. A discoverer who finds a shipwreck pursuant to the law of finds is entitled to the full value of all of the goods that are recovered.

How much is a scrap ship worth? ›

Scrap Price and Demolition Buyers

Averaged across Bulkers, Tankers and Containers, the Subcontinent scrap price has reached highs not seen since 2007. From the 1st of January to the 31st of December 2021, the average value increased from 400 USD/LDT to 610 USD/LDT, representing a growth of 53%.

Can you claim a derelict ship? ›

derelicts can only be looted for resources and scrap. claimable ships can be claimed, repaired and used.

How long before a vehicle is considered abandoned in Oregon? ›

(3) A vehicle abandoned in violation of this section is subject to the provisions for towing and sale of abandoned vehicles under ORS 819.110 to 819.215. (b) The vehicle has been parked or left standing upon any public way for a period in excess of 24 hours without authorization by statute or local ordinance.

What must you do if another boat is in distress? ›

Call for emergency help: After confirming that the other boat is in distress, call for emergency help using your onboard radio and smartphone. There could be injured parties onboard who need emergency medical attention, so be sure to ask if anyone is hurt and relay the information to the authorities.

How do you prove ownership of a boat? ›

You will need to see a bill of sale from the owner of the boat to the boatyard, or something that is a proof of title to the boat for the yard selling it. Ideally, you would have something that shows the boat did indeed belong to the previous owner.

What is considered abandonment in Oregon? ›

(a) Abandonment, including desertion or willful forsaking of a child or young adult, or the withdrawal or neglect of duties and obligations owed a child or young adult by a home certified by Child Welfare, a caregiver, or other person.

Can you claim abandoned property in Oregon? ›

(1) A person claiming an interest in unclaimed property reported under ORS 98.352 (Report of abandoned property) may file a claim to the property or to the proceeds from the sale of the property at any time after the property has been reported. Claims shall be filed on the form prescribed by the State Treasurer.

What constitutes abandonment of property on Oregon? ›

The second way a tenant's personal belongings are considered abandoned is when the tenant has been gone from the rental unit continuously for at least 7 days after a court has ordered an eviction of the tenant, even though the sheriff's department has not executed the court order or judgment.

What boats must be registered in Oregon? ›

All Motorboats and Sailboats 12' and Longer

Operators must carry a valid boat registration card (Certificate of Number) on Board.

What are the 5 distress signals? ›

The signals are internationally recognised and must only be used if you are in distress.
Distress signals
  • 'mayday, mayday, mayday' in emergencies only.
  • 'pan pan, pan pan, pan pan' for urgent messages that aren't emergencies.
  • SOS in Morse code (using marine radio or another signalling method).
6 Jun 2022

Why should a boats gas tank never be completely filled? ›

It's important to never fill the tank of your boat beyond 90% full. This leaves room for gas to expand and avoids the potential for overflow. Ensure that all air vents and valves to the gas tank are open. After you're done fueling, tightly replace the gas cap.

Can the master of a ship refuse to go to a ship in distress? ›

Upon receiving a distress signal, the master of a ship shall proceed with all speed to the assistance of the vessel making the distress call, but if the master is unable, or considers in unreasonable or unnecessary to respond, he shall enter the reason in his official log book (section 131 of the CSA 2001);

How do I trace a boat history? ›

To find the history of the boat the easy way, use Boat History Report. You will need one of the following: HIN (Hull Identification Number), State Registration Number, or the USCG Documentation Number. Once you have that you can use it to easily run a history search at BoatHistoryReport.com.

What is a certificate of origin for a boat? ›

The Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO) is a document that verifies ownership of a water vessel. You should receive a blank MSO form when you purchase any water vessel.


1. Several abandoned boats removed from Swan Lagoon
(KPTV FOX 12 Oregon)
2. Global Diving & Salvage: Commercial Derelict Vessel Removal in Goble, OR
(Global Diving & Salvage, Inc)
3. Ladysmith Derelict Vessels Rally
(Paul Manly)
4. Oregon has no timeline for removing abandoned military vessels on Columbia River
(KGW News)
5. How To Get an Abandoned Boat? or Free Boat!! ! How do I Register It? and Plan to Use IT!
(The Bass Factory)
6. Bradenton Beach derelict boats
(ABC7 Sarasota)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated: 12/31/2022

Views: 5276

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.