WARRENTON — Derelict and abandoned boats left in the Warrenton Marina are now for sale.
Marina staff went through a formal seizure process for the boats in September and October. Now, the time is up for owners to step forward and claim their property. The city is going to recoup what it can by selling the vessels.
It’s a new move for the marina, said Harbormaster Jane Sweet, and an effort to purge the docks of boats that have become the responsibility of marina staff, taking up space and swallowing resources.
The vessels will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and potential buyers are asked to provide removal plans. The city is requiring that all vessels be removed from the marina property within 24 hours of sale. Sweet wants to avoid a situation that has come up in the past where a boat is sold multiple times over the years, but never gets repaired and never leaves the dock.
“The American was probably sold four times,” Sweet said, referencing a smaller recreational boat that’s up for sale again.
The seized vessels range in price from $1,000 for the American to more than $7,000 for the 72-foot-long fishing vessel Master Chris. That last vessel is the one Sweet would really like to see go away, but she knows the smaller boats have a better chance at adoption. The person who built the Dixie Lee, a wooden fishing boat, for instance, has expressed some interest in getting it back for the family.
“It will just be so nice to have them go,” Sweet said.
People who buy the boats can bring them back to the marina again, but only if insurance and registration documents are in place — now a standard requirement for all customers at the marina.
One of the vessels the marina seized is not for sale. The abandoned fishing boat, Western Skies, sank at its slip this summer, triggering a cleanup of diesel fuel and months of hassle for marina staff. Sweet and her staff will salvage what they can and scrap the rest.