Boater Info

Boat for Sale -Abandoned and derelict vessels are a growing problem and create environmental and safety hazards on our waterways

Abandoned and derelict vessels (ADV’s) are vessels that are:

  • Left without authorization on public or private land, or State waters;
  • And/or are sinking, actively polluting, obstructing a waterway, or endangering life or property.

An enforcement agency has the authority to seize vessels that meet these definitions.


Vessels are abandoned or become derelict for many reasons. Neglected, derelict, and abandoned vessels cause various problems in and outside of marinas, including water quality degradation, pollution, and damage to public and private property when they sink or go adrift. In marinas, they take up valuable slip space and can be a source of pollution. They also decrease the aesthetic value of the area and create hazards for responsible boaters. Marinas and boat owners can use various tools to address and prevent neglected, derelict, and abandoned vessels.


Don’t let your boat become abandoned or derelict!

  • Keep your registration current.
  • Consider insuring your vessel.
  • Keep your vessel in good working condition; ensure it is seaworthy and can move under its own power.
  • Have an end-of-life plan for your vessel:
  • Dispose of hazardous materials properly (batteries, instrumentation, fuels, etc.).
  • Recycle any valuable parts or metals.
  • Bring vessel to a boat salvage shop for proper dismantle or to the landfill if it is small enough.

If selling your boat:

  • Make sure to inform the Marine Board of the transfer of ownership (or else you could end up with the bill for removing the vessel if it becomes abandoned or derelict down-the-road).
  • Think twice about selling the boat on craigslist for cheap - make sure the boat is going to good hands.
  • Consider giving your boat to a Vessel Turn-in Program (ask your marina or the Marine Board for more information).
  • If you qualify (and funding is available), you can turn your boat over and it will be properly disposed of by a contractor at no cost to you.

Reporting Abandoned/Derelict Vessels

Call your local County Sheriff’s Office if a boat appears to have become abandoned or derelict. Call 911 if the boat is involved in an emergency.

Signs of an abandoned or derelict vessel include:
  • Listing to one side;
  • Expired registration;
  • Unusual quantities of growth of algae, moss, grass, or other plant material covering the boat;
  • Bilge pump that runs frequently to expel water from the hull;
  • Leaking fluids such as oil, fuel, or waste;
  • Severe external deterioration of wood, paint, or other materials;
  • Occupants who throw waste or other materials into the water;
  • Drifting from moorage or docks;
  • Appearance of being illegally moored;
  • No movement in more than 30 days.


ADV Removal

Oregon has an abandoned and derelict vessel program that is managed by the Oregon State Marine Board. The program includes legislation and procedures for delegating authority to an enforcement agency to seize and remove abandoned and derelict vessels from state lands and waters (ORS 830.908 through 830.944​). Oregon’s ADV program does not address the taking of abandoned or derelict vessels that occur on private property, which must be dealt with through abandoned property laws or reported to an appropriate enforcement agency.



Oregon law authorizes the Oregon State Marine Board to establish and maintain an Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Removal Fund. Funds from this account, which are collected from recreational boater titling and registration fees, are used to reimburse public enforcement agencies for expenses related to the removal of abandoned or derelict vessels. The Oregon State Marine Board must set aside $150,000 each biennium in order to provide funds to reimburse up to 90% of the costs associated with investigating, salvaging, towing, removing, storing or disposing of abandoned or derelict vessels.

Under this program, the owner of the vessel is liable to the enforcement agency for all costs arising out of the seizure and removal of the vessel.


Point of Contact

Oregon’s ADV Program is administered by the Oregon State Marine Board, which then delegates authority for the removal and/or disposal of the vessel in question to the relevant enforcement agency under OAR 830.908 to OAR 830.948. The Oregon State Marine Board can be contacted by phone at 503-378-2836 or by email at​