How Do You Salvage Boat Parts?


Quick Answer

Salvage used boat parts at marine-specific salvage and surplus yards or via online retailers, such as Don's Marine Surplus and Salvage, Jarret Bay Boatworks and Josh's Watercraft Repair. You can also salvage boat parts from a vessel already owned but not sufficiently seaworthy.

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Full Answer

Marine salvage yards operate legally because ownership of the vessel and its parts transfer to the yard in question when possession of the vessel changes hands. The salvage yard then grants customers the right to salvage specific parts as needed.

Contrary to popular belief, it is illegal to salvage boat parts from an abandoned vessel, known as a derelict, at first encounter. Ownership of a derelict resides with the original owner until the salvor, as the party performing the salvaging is known, establishes and successfully forecloses a salvor's lien against the vessel and a legal office, such as the U.S. Marshal, rules in favor of the salvor. Boarding or salvaging a derelict to remove parts or cargo constitutes trespassing and theft if the original owner pursues a claim against the salvor. A salvor must make every effort to contact the owner of a salvaged vessel and is entitled to a reward that is a percentage of the worth of the vessel.

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