I hear what the OP is saying about derelict boats, boats not being used, lack of maintenance
and all of the justifications posted so far (except for the bickering that has started here...senseless, that).
Anyway, bought my first boat
, a 24-foot 1964 N.J. Eastern Sea Skiff (clinker built) as a project boat
way back then when I was a poor broke 26-year old sailor in the USN. "Kinda knew" what I was getting into (At least I thought I did....what a wake up call THAT was!). The boat was at a private dock
and was pumping out every 3 minutes or so. Sitting at the same two docks on this property were 5 other boats, 3 of which were derelict. The 2 that were well maintained were used regularly (a 21-foot fiberglass
sea skiff and a 1965 35-foot Chris Craft in beautiful condition).
Well, the owner of the boat that I was about purchase
came down to the dock
(I had not met or spoken with him before then as a friend of mine contacted him), and this elderly gentleman worked his was down the dock using a walker. Pulled out a chair for him to sit on the dock and we sat there and had a couple of beers and he told me that he was the original owner of the boat, told me some history
and sea stories with the boat and handed me an envelope with all of the builder's drawings, adverts, logs
, and quite a few photos. Both he and his wife cried as I handed over the $2K in cash and he signed the title to the boat over to me.
Owner of the dock was trying to get rid of derelict boats and told me that I had 30 days to move the boat. We worked out a deal that if he didn't see me improving the boat on a daily basis then I would leave. So he gave me 60 days to take into account my time underway with the Navy
I spent two years rebuilding/restoring that boat at that same dock, learning
valuable lessons about wooden boat repair and maintenance
. When she was as finished as I could afford on USN salary, I called the PO up....his wife answered and I invited them for an evening cruise
along the waterfront in Norfolk, Va. Informed that the PO had passed a few months previouslsy and she was not interested in a cruise
and she had always hated competing with the boat and fishing
The other derelict boats were eventually towed across the little inlet where we were at and put on the cheapest moorings available (engine blocks) and left to rot
. The sunken remains of one of them can still be seen on Google Earth
But back to my little "derelict boat". It had become derelict due to the PO's age and declining health
and I was able to save it and sold it on a couple of years later, at a loss of course (but that's not the point), not all boats that become derelict is due to intentional neglect or lack of caring. Mine is just one boat's story...every boat out there has a story, a history
. And yes, I'm a romantic that way.....