Dispose of Your Boat

Large boat abandoned on the shore line of Lake Lanier

We all enjoy boating on Lake Lanier. A part of that includes responsible boat ownership, which includes recognizing when a boat has reached the end of its useful life. This can occur when it has been damaged beyond repair, maintenance and repair have reached a point when it is no longer economical to perform the work and/or it is not feasible to sell it. What do you do?

It is important for an owner to address these issues responsibly. Because a boat is designed to work in a wet environment, it will not easily decompose. Thus, if it cannot be sold, it must be disposed of properly. Unfortunately, many people see the vastness of Lake Lanier as an opportunity to secretly dump an old boat on the lake and avoid the trouble and expense of dealing with it responsibly. LLA discourages this thinking and is actively taking steps to catch such people and hold them accountable. If you have the opportunity to sell a boat, please make sure you get and keep the identifying information of the purchaser. If a boat you sell later gets dumped illegally, and it is traced back to you, you will be held responsible for proper disposal unless you can prove the circumstances of the sale and provide the identity of the buyer.

For the majority of people who take their responsibility seriously, these are some of the options open to an owner who has such a boat with no economic value.
  1. Take it to the dump. Many landfills will take such a boat and will bury it with construction debris. However, you must be prepared to address environmental issues presented by the fuel tank and engine fluids as well as gray and black water represented by plumbing facilities, such as a head. Assuming you have addressed the environmental issues, this can be a relatively inexpensive solution, and you will be charged by the pound.
  2. Explore recycling opportunities. There are several marine recyclers located around the lake. They may be willing to accept you boat. They would dismantle it for parts to be resold and then dispose of the remainder responsibly.
  3. Depending on the type of boat, evaluate whether it can be repurposed for some other use such as outside decoration on one’s private property.

At the end of the day, as the owner of the boat, it is your responsibility to ensure that the boat does not become a safety hazard for the public or an eyesore.

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