Boat won’t float? State offers no-cost remedy

DNR launches new program to assist vessel owners without means to dispose of a bad boat

The Derelict Vessel Removal Program of the Washington Department of Natural Resources now includes a “Turn-in Program” to dismantle vessels which do not satisfy the legal definition of “derelict” or “abandoned,” but are likely to harm water quality or otherwise threaten public safety.

“This is a unique opportunity for vessel owners who have financial problems that should not be missed,” said Marc Forlenza, administrator of the San Juan County Derelict Vessel Prevention and Removal Program. “If you don’t have the resources to dispose of your worthless boat, you should apply now because the limited free disposal budget will be used quickly.”

Forlenza says that many of the more than 60 boats on his program’s watchlist could be candidates for free disposal.

According to the program website, the goal of the Vessel Turn-in Program is to prevent boats from becoming derelict or abandoned and potentially harming water quality or threatening public safety.

Boat owners can apply to DNR to take and dismantle their boats. DNR will not pay owners for their boats, but disposal is free. If there is high demand or if funding becomes an issue, DNR will rate each vessel based on the application criteria, which includes vessel age, condition and location, and owner resources.

Boats 45-feet or less in length and in poor condition or no longer functional will be considered for the program. DNR will accept applications on an ongoing basis and will work with contractors and boatyards throughout the state.

Public response will help determine dates and locations for disposal. Check the web page ( for details or contact the VTIP program at: or 360-902-BOAT (2628).

Primary funding for the program comes from a $3 surcharge on annual vessel registration fees and an additional $5 charge on non-resident vessel fees.