One of the best ways to save money on boat repairs is to find a boat salvage yard. A boat salvage is where wrecked boats are stored and dismantled. Working parts of the are sold for use on functioning boats. I will share with you my experience about the boat salvage yards near me and tips for getting the most value out of your trip visit.

Map of Boat Salvage Yards Near Me

For “Boat Junk Yards Near Me” or “Boat Salvage Yards Near Me”, see the map below…

Interesting Relevant Stat on New Boat Sales…

If there is anything we are good at in the US, it is making boats. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, new boats reached nearly 320,000 units sold in 2020, up 13% compared to 2019 according to NMMA’s December New Powerboat Registrations Report.  That is a 13 year high in sales.

Why are new boat sales relevant to a boat salvage article? With new boats going in the water that means more junk, abandon boats, and parts for us. What happens to all the old boats. There are an estimated 35-40 million boats, many from the 1970’s and 1980’s that are reaching their end of life. Where do they go and how can we take advantage of the parts on them?…

Marine Salvage To Buy Used Boat Parts

How Boat Salvage Yards Near Me Operate

Most boat scrap yards operate on a local level…meaning they don’t have national chains. These boat yards buy boats from people who feel they are too damaged or in some cases, they just no longer want the boat. Some boats are in fine condition while others may be beyond repair or the boat owners just felt the repair cost wasn’t worth the money. Maybe the vessel has simply reached it’s end of life.

In some cases, the salvage will pick up the boat on a trailer, but owners also can drop off the boat at the scrap yard. In addition to boats, some yards also will take jet ski’s, wave runners, sea doo’s, and other personal watercraft vehicles. There are also salvage yards dedicated completely to Yachts, sailboats, or smaller vessels like pontoon boats.

Tahiti Jet Day Cruiser at a Texas Marine Boneyard

A boat salvage in some instances will purchase a boat from an insurance company. When an insurance company replaces a boat in a total loss claim or has salvage charges it is responsible for the one that no longer works or perhaps has sunk and needs to be reraised. This makes for a great relationship between the insurance company and the boat scrap yard. The scrap yard gets a good price on the boat, which they can sell the used parts off of and the insurance company recoups some of the money from the claim.

One of the biggest issues that boat salvages and dismantlers have to deal with is fiberglass hulls. There is really been no good solution for it other than a landfill, but there is starting to be talk about how to repurpose it and partner with cement kilns.

Marine Salvage Organized in Rows

Some Have Organized Rows, While Others Are Hard to Navigate

While some salvages are a mess, many have the yard well organized which makes finding used boat parts much easier. In addition, you may also want to ask if they have an online inventory of their boats by brand, type, and year. This can help you find the new and used parts you need much faster. The boat junk yard will be able to tell you exactly where a specific boat is located on the lot and possibly if it has the part you are looking for. In most boat yards, like yacht junkyards the boats are arranged side by side.

Many yards have parts just thrown in other boats, like the one below. If you are looking for a part, you can sometimes check the boat next to it to see if it was thrown in.

Boat Salvage Yards Near Me

How Used Boat Parts Are Handled…

Some boat junkyards don’t just put wrecked boats straight out to the yard, they pre-strip them down and put the functional parts in a warehouse. This streamlines the process when a customer is looking for a specific used part. Not all junkyards work like that though, some send the customers out to the scrap yard to remove the needed parts themselves. Either way, if you are looking for a specific part it’s best to call ahead and ask if the part is available out on the lot, that is how the boat salvage near me operates.

Used Yamaha Outboard Motor Parts

You may find in your scavenging that you won’t find a lot of outboard motors. Motors are sometimes sold to companies for rebuilding and then resold with a new warranty. You can find a lot of good used boat parts though and whatever is not sold gets sold out as scrap metal or other materials. If you are looking for a motor, it’s best to try a specialized boat motor salvage yard. They will have parts available via a warehouse or online. You will find not only motors but inboard and outboard parts for repairs.

If you are thinking about trying to salvage an entire boat and not just parts, you should know the risks associated with buying a boat with a salvage title.

Salvage Yards That Buy Boats and Yachts

Getting rid of a junk boat can be a headache. Many people abandon boats, because of the sheer expense to dismantle them. There are also few laws around abandon boats as compared to abandon cars. This is where selling your boat to salvage is a good option.

Before selling salvage boats or yacht to a place that buys junk boats, there are some things you need to know. First, you should consider the cost of repairs. Get an estimate to see if the damage to repair is worth paying for. It might be worth repairing and reselling independently.

Salvage Yachts Often Enter the Market After a Hurricane or Major Storm

If you decide to sell it make sure you remove all your personal belongings from the cabin and any compartments, You need to cancel the insurance and the registration and you will need the title to transfer full ownership to the scrap yard. it’s important to cancel the registration yourself, some boatyards will send you an administrative bill for canceling your registration on your behalf. If you don’t pay the bill they will report you to a credit agency. This is what the boat junkyard near me does and they mean business.

Before you call a marine junkyard you should know the value of your vessel even if it’s wrecked. You can use the Kelly Blue Book for Boats to assess it. Knowing the value will help you negotiate a reasonable price for the boat. it’s imperative that you are honest in describing the vessel and what is wrong with it. You may be asked to provide pictures and proof.

Sailboat Wrecking Lot in Lyden Washington

Negotiating Tips for Getting Max Value from Your Boat

  • Call more than one salvage yard to find out what they will pay for your vessel
  • If they are picking up your boat, don’t let the trailer driver renegotiate the price with you…he is trying to skim money off the top
  • Don’t sign over the title until you have everything you agreed to in hand
  • Never give money to the trailer driver, negotiate the cost of the tow in with the price of the vessel

The best part about selling your boat to salvage is that you can make money off something that you no longer want or perhaps functions.

Other options for Disposing of a Junk Boat

Some people think they can just abandon their boat, but that is actually finable up to $3000, plus the cost of removal and dismantling. If you need to get rid of a boat and don’t want the headache or cost anymore there is a great article on NADA with suggestions on what to do with it.

Disposing of a Junk Boat

What Kind of Used Boat Parts Near Me Will I Find

It really depends on the salvage yard. In my experience, these businesses are located closer to a body of water naturally have a higher amount of parts available. Salvage boat yards located inland have less parts available, but often have a higher quality in my observations over the years.

Advantage Buying Spare Boat Parts

The best reason to buy used parts and marine supplies is because you can save a lot of money if you have to make repairs. Many used parts are still in great condition since scrap yards need to operate under state government regulations. This gives you some assurance that the used parts you are purchasing are of decent quality.

Volvo Boat Engine From Shipwrecked Salvages

Disadvantages of Buying Spare Boat Parts from the Junkyard

Sometimes it’s not all glory in purchasing used parts. You may find some part you purchased doesn’t last or is not durable. There is a popular saying “Cheap is expensive”. You may find that the part you purchased has 1000’s of hours on it and is nearing its end of life. Unfortunately, spare boat parts don’t come with a warranty.

Lastly, if you are scavenging through a junkyard for boats you may spend the whole day looking and never find what you are looking for.

Want to Experience a Boat Salvage Yard?…

If you have never been to a boat junkyard, it’s hard to imagine what you are getting into. The video below is a very simple look at what you will see at marine junkyards. You can see total wreckage and parts laying all around, plus completely intact vessels. it’s kind of amazing to see this stuff if you’ve never seen a boat graveyard…

Scams By Boat Salvages 

Most companies are honest and do everything in fairness. You may find a few that try a few dirty tricks.

Two Common Boat Junkyard Scams:

Delayed Payment: Never agree to deliver your vessel and accept payment later. Get an agreement written down with terms of payment. Some companies will try to get your vessel and then renegotiate the price with you after it is no longer in your possession. Don’t let them trailer it or tow it, until you have an agreement in place and money in hand.

A Sunk Boat at a Dock Still Has Salvagable Parts That Can be Resold

Your Boat is Worthless: They may try and tell you that your vessel is worth nothing. This is just a negotiating tactic to get it at a cheaper price. It’s IMPOSSIBLE for it to be worth nothing to a salvage. Remember they will sell the parts off if it and whatever is left will sell for scrap.

Boat Scrap Yards Near Me – Wrap UP

The yard by you may operate slightly different than what I have detailed above, they operate on a local level so there is a lot of variance between companies. You should always be careful when dealing with salvage yards for boats. There are plenty of companies out there so if you can’t get what you want from one, simply call another Boat salvage yards help the environment by recycling.

They provide a great service to redistribute marine parts that were considered junk back out into the public for use. Imagine how much junk would be around if boat junk yards didn’t exist.  This is what I have learned from the boat boneyards near me.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Boat Salvages Work?

Marine salvages purchase wrecked vessels that are worth less than the cost to fix. They sell any remaining functional marine parts for use in working boats. They get their inventory from various sources including private owners, insurance companies, auctions, and the government. Some provide dismantling services and work closely with scrap businesses and recyclers. Some of them have both a store and a boat yard.

How Do I Get Rid of an Old or Damaged Boat?

There are 5 main ways to get rid of an old or damaged boat: Salvages, cash for boat buyer, donation, auction house, or selling it independently. What you don’t want to do is abandon it or sink it. That can cost you $3000 in fines plus the costs of removal and dismantling.

Do Scrap Yards or Dumps Take Boats?

It is possible that your local scrap yard or dump will take the boat, but there are a few things you should be aware of. If they can you likely have to pay a fee for disposing of it and that fee may be dependent on the size and weight of your boat. You will want to call ahead to find out if they can do it. Many of these places have hazardous waste restrictions and may not be an option for you.

How much are Aluminum Boats Worth in Scrap?

To figure out the value of an aluminum boat in scrap metal you must multiply the weight of the boat X today’s market price for aluminum by the pound. For example, if aluminum is $0.60/pound and your boat weights 200 pounds you will get $120.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Rid of a Fiberglass Boat?

Costs vary based on the boat’s size. For a small dinghy, it could cost $350, but a 52 foot fiberglass yacht could run $2500. Your average 32 footer would probably cost around $1700. A good portion of the cost is the transport to the disposal facility, so if you could get it there directly, you could save up to 30%.


James is an avid junkyarder and mechanic. He has visited Junkyards in every US state and has restored over 30 makes and models of vehicles. He has several automotive and recycling related blogs that generate over 150K views a month.