Vessel Turn-In Program
If you own a boat less than 45-feet in length that’s in poor condition or no longer functions, you might be eligible for DNR’s Vessel Turn-in Program.
What is the Vessel Turn-in Program?
The purpose of the program is to enable DNR to dismantle vessels that do not yet satisfy the definition of “derelict” or “abandoned” but are likely to become derelict or abandoned in the near future.
The goal of the Vessel Turn-in Program is to prevent boats from becoming derelict or abandoned and potentially harming water quality and/or threatening public safety.
Important New Information Regarding the Vessel Turn-in Program - PLEASE READ
The VTIP is funded through the Derelict Vessel Removal Program and may not spend more than $200,000 in any one biennium. The new biennium started July 1, 2017 and will end on June 30, 2019. (RCW 79.100.160)
In order to make sure our funding lasts until June 2019, we will be batching our disposals together by priority and location on a quarterly basis. Boats in the water that pose the biggest threat to the environment will be our first priority.
If you are interested in turning in your boat, please review the Eligibility Criteria before filling out the Application. We ask that you turn in the eligibility form with your application and make sure you have checked all the appropriate boxes and attached all the required documents. If you are a private marina, we will also require compliance with Insurance Coverage (RCW 88.26.030).
Once your application is received, we will evaluate and prioritize it with other applications we have received, then we will contact you about the status of your application.
If you do not qualify or are unable to wait for a removal date, here are some other options:
- You could take your vessel to the landfill. Most landfills will require the removal of oil, fuel, batteries and any refrigerators before acceptance. Proof of ownership may also be required. Call your local landfill and see what their requirements are before taking your vessel. If you don’t have a boat trailer to haul the boat, you can find a local tow company with a flatbed truck that could transport the vessel for you, or contact a boat transport company that can load from the water if needed.
- For vessels on land you can rent a dumpster and dismantle the vessel yourself with a chainsaw or sawzall after draining and removing and legally disposing of any hazardous materials at your local landfill’s Hazo-House. Engines and boat trailers can be recycled with a metal recycler. Note that cutting up a vessel on a beach is not legal in Washington state without appropriate permits.
- If you live in Snohomish County, they have a program for removing boats. Here is a link to the Junk Vehicle and Boat/RV Disposal Program: http://snohomishcountywa.gov/546/Junk-VehicleBoatRV-Disposal
- If your vessel doesn’t run and is on the water, you could hire someone to tow your boat to a local boatyard or boat ramp for haul out. Some boatyards will dismantle your boat for you or you can hire a private contractor to do it. (Or choose an option from above)
- If you decide to sell or donate the vessel, make sure you file a Report of Sale with the Department of Licensing and keep a copy for your records. Make sure to have both the buyer and seller sign a Bill of Sale with the new owner’s signature, printed name, address and phone number and keep a copy for yourself. (If you do not have proof that you sold the vessel, you can still be held liable for all expenses associated with the removal and disposal should the new owner abandon it.) We recommend that you keep the bill of sale until you can verify with Department of Licensing that the new owner has titled the vessel in their name. You may want to consider meeting the buyer at a licensing office and witness them putting the vessel in their name.
Will DNR pay me for my vessel?
No. But if you qualify, the disposal is free.
Funding for the vessel turn-in program comes from the Derelict Vessel Removal Account, but may not exceed $200,000 per biennium.
What kinds of vessels will the program take?
Eligible participants include Washington residents and businesses that own or have gained title to a vessel which is 45 feet or less in length where the vessel is:
- In an advanced state of disrepair, with minimal or no value.
- Is likely to soon become derelict or abandoned, and
- The title-holding owners do not have the resources to properly dispose of the vessel.
How do I qualify for the program?
To participate in the program, you must:
- Meet the requirements on the VTIP Eligibility Criteria checklist.
- Submit an application to the Department of Natural Resources.
- Remove personal belongings from the boat.
- Meet a DNR representative at the vessel for an evaluation (DNR staff will schedule this evaluation after the application is received).
When can I bring my vessel for disposal?
DNR will accept and review applications on an ongoing basis but will conduct disposals quarterly. DNR will be working with various contractors and boatyards throughout the state. Public response will help determine dates and locations for disposals. Check this web page for details or contact the VITP program at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-902-BOAT (2628).
This is a pilot program, and because we don’t know the level of interest, we will evaluate applications quarterly on a first-come, first-served basis. If we have a high demand or if funding becomes an issue, DNR will rate each vessel based on the application criteria (i.e., vessel age, condition and location).
DNR will give priority to vessels that are at a higher risk of becoming derelict or abandoned, and will evaluate the “best value” removals for the state. If all other vessels are equal in scoring, DNR will use a lottery system to determine which vessels will be accepted.
What if I want to get rid of my boat but don't qualify for the VTIP?
You have several options*, including:
- Donate your boat. Some charities accept motorboats, sailboats, personal watercraft, and other vessels, as tax-deductible donations. The boat will generally need to be in decent condition to use as a donation. Be sure to file a report of sale with Washington State Department of Licensing if you transfer the boat.
- Call your local landfill to see if they will accept boats and what their requirements are. You will probably need to drain and remove engine blocks and fuel tanks prior to dropping off a vessel. Metals can be recycled.
- Call your nearest boatyard or salvage company to see if they can dispose of the boat and what they will charge.
* DNR assumes no liability for any vessel disposal conducted using one of the above-mentioned disposal options. Vessels outside of the VTIP program remain the responsibility of the vessels’ owner(s). Pursuance of any of the above-mentioned disposal options is voluntary and is undertaken at the sole direction of the vessel owner(s).