Abandoned Boats in Florida: What to Do if You Encounter Them

Have you come across abandoned boats in Florida and aren’t sure about the protocols for procuring one? No worries – there’s much more to it than meets the eye. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what constitutes an abandoned boat in Florida and touch on all aspects from acquiring one legally to understanding laws governing its ownership and future use. There will also be tips for what to do if you happen to cross an abandoned vessel as well as valuable resources about marine salvage operations when dealing with boats in need of maintenance and repairs. As a vessel documentation site, we always want our clients to be able to find and utilize the boats that they want. 

What are Abandoned Boats and How Do They Become Abandoned in Florida

Abandoned boats are vessels that have been left alone without any effort to be maintained, transported, or removed for a specific time. These boats come in various sizes, shapes, and states of disrepair. Abandoned boats are commonly seen on rivers, lakes, and along the beaches of Florida’s coastlines. The reasons for abandonment vary, from natural disasters to economic reasons, and sometimes it’s just plain neglect. Whatever the motive, abandoned boats can lead to major hazards and cause harm to the environment if not addressed properly. It is essential to identify and report any abandoned boats spotted in the waters of Florida for safety and preservation reasons.

How to Identify an Abandoned Boat

Abandoned boats can be a nuisance, both for boat owners who have to deal with them and the local authorities who have to dispose of them. However, identifying an abandoned boat can be a challenge. If you notice a boat that has been left unattended for a long period of time, has no mooring, or is in disrepair, it might be abandoned. Additionally, boats that have been left with no apparent owner, have a lot of debris on board or in the cockpit, and have been stripped of valuable equipment may also be abandoned. If you suspect that a boat has been abandoned, it’s important to report it to the appropriate authorities so they can take action before it becomes a hazard to other boaters.

Consequences of Taking Possession of an Abandoned Boat

When it comes to abandoned boats, there are definitely consequences for taking possession of one. While it may seem like a tempting opportunity to get a free vessel, there are legal and ethical considerations that must be taken into account. For starters, if the boat was abandoned due to its poor condition, taking ownership could mean taking on a host of expensive repairs and maintenance tasks. Moreover, if the boat was abandoned on public or private property, there could be legal concerns. It’s always best to consult with local law enforcement and legal professionals before making a decision to take possession of an abandoned boat.

Abandoned Boats in Florida

All the Vessel Documentation You May Need for Your Vessel 

If you acquire an abandoned vessel (or any other kind of vessel) and are considering documentation, we can help. So long as your vessel measures five net tons and is wholly owned by an American citizen, you can document it. If you’d like to do that (or if you want to learn more about a potential vessel purchase, through an online search or an Abstract of Title) our site can help.