Donating a boat isn’t the most attractive option to most people who are looking to get rid of their old vessel; however there are quite a few benefits, particularly applicable to those who are in need of every penny in this tough economy. Often, selling a boat independently will come at a significant loss to the owner. Alternatively, with donation, charities seek to resell at the highest possible value so that they can receive the most money from boat donation for good works. If you’re still on the fence about donating your boat, here are a few reasons you should finally get rid of the old floater.


Tax Write-off

Easily the biggest draw, a tax write-off can ease the pain of saying goodbye to the memories created that old heap. The tax incentive of charitable gifts is up to half of Adjusted Gross Income or AGI. Without getting too technical, the AGI is roughly the annual income for an individual or a married couple filing jointly. This means that the income of a couple or individual would have to exceed the value of the donated boat by at least two. So, if a single person is making $60,000 annually, he or she can make back in his taxes the whole value of his or her $25,000 boat.

No Continued Upkeep Cost

As many know, the upkeep costs on a boat are high; there’s insurance, taxes, registration, docking fees, maintenance and likely winterizing, considering the unpredictable winters we’ve been having around the country. Upon donation, you’ll lose all of these expenses instantly, freeing up that money for other hobbies. You must consider these costs when you think about how much the boat is worth to you because a boat, like almost any vehicle, costs much more in upkeep over the years than it does in the initial purchasing price. Weigh these costs against your enjoyment of the boat by asking yourself: Am I enjoying this boat this much? What’s the opportunity cost? Could this “fun” money yield greater returns elsewhere? For many people, the costs of owning a boat aren’t worth the once or twice a year they get to see the water

Free Space

For those who aren’t leasing space in a marina (a big cost to add to the list in the previous section), donating your boat will free up a significant amount of space in your yard or garage. By getting rid of your vessel, you can start to regrow grass in the boat-shaped patch of your lawn that hasn’t seen sun in years or open your storage building up to preserve more important keepsakes, like childhood memories or family heirlooms. Considering it’s the time of year many people start spring cleaning, it may be the perfect time to cleanse your property of that broken down dinghy. Everyone knows that a clean home is a happy home, even if it’s just because there will be fewer dirty looks and less nagging.

Ease of Process

Unlike selling a boat, there are no want ads to be placed in the paper, no haggling to be done, no negotiations over transportation of the goods or method of payment; donation is simple and easy. You can’t predict how long a boat could take to sell; in this uncertain market, you could be waiting years, and in the meantime, your boat will continue to depreciate in value while you continue to pay upkeep and insurance costs. Perhaps the most convincing item on this list, donating is fast and painless. After you notify a boat donation center of your contribution, your work is done.

boat clean

No Environmental Waste

Donating a boat, unlike illegally scuttling it somewhere, is an environmentally responsible venture. Even compared with dragging the hull to a landfill, donation is the clearly superior option. Many of the components of the boat, particularly fiberglass hulls and buoyancy foam, are non-biodegradable and take centuries to break down fully, which contributes to the waste problem facing humankind. Many handymen would relish a project to sink their teeth into, like rebuilding a boat for a good cause so check and see if anyone you know would be interested in doing so.

If I tried to convince my father to give up his boat, he’d stop talking to me for a week — but he goes out on his vessel every week. However, for those of us who found that their impulse purchase has added up to monumental costs and little reward, donating a boat to a good cause can be as rewarding as it is relieving.


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