Donating Your Boat: What About Storage Marina Contract

Finance Published: March 12, 2013

Where do you store your boat when it’s not in use? Many people keep their boat in dry storage, either covered or uncovered. They might also keep the vessel in a marina, in racks on a trailer or in a month-to-month storage facility.

If you donate your boat, you eliminate the need to pay for storage, which adds up. Depending on where your boat is stored, marina rental fees can cost up to $650 per month for a large boat. For a small boat in a rural area, the price is usually around $50 per month, but over the years this adds up to thousands of dollars in expenses.

If you hardly use your boat, you might feel like you are wasting your money. It makes sense for you to donate your boat so it can benefit a charity and so you can benefit from the tax write-off.

Cancelling Your Marina Rental Fee

When you donate your boat, notify the marina storage yard the boat has been donated. Make sure they cancel your monthly fee so you are not billed for any additional storage. This is especially important if the storage facility does automatic withdrawals from your credit card or bank account, as it will need to be cancelled or it will continue.

You might need to check your bank account or credit card statement a month after donating the boat to see that the payments have been eliminated. If your bank account has been charged, contact the marina and make sure the contract is cancelled. You don’t want to be paying rental fees for a boat that isn’t there just because you didn’t check your bank statement!

Who Pays for the Loading Costs?

If you plan to donate a boat that is being kept in a marina, the marina will likely charge a fee to load or move your boat. Will you need to pay for these expenses when donating your boat?

Usually, these are not expenses that need to be paid by you as the donor. The person who is picking up your boat will be responsible for covering the loading costs. If the location where your boat is stored is accessed by a lock, you will need to provide the combination or the key. You will also need to approve the boat removal in person, as the owner of the boat, and notify the marina storage yard.

The Donation Process

If you feel like donating your boat is the best move, the first thing is to find the right charity to donate it to. Look for an officially registered charity so they can provide you with a receipt for tax write-off purposes. Research what the charity does so you know you are supporting something positive for the community.

Also, you need to talk to the charity about where it is being stored and how they will remove it from the storage facility. You can discuss with them the logistics and make sure you have a good plan in place for the boat’s removal.

Even if your boat is damaged, you might be able to donate it. The parts of the boat could be worth something, and the charity can auction them off and make a profit. Either way, donating your boat is a win-win situation, especially because you won’t have to pay any more expensive marina rental fees.

Image from Flickr’s Creative Commons


About the Author: David Parker writes a blog about sailboat maintenance. He has donated a boat to in the past and received a tax write-off while helping a worthwhile cause.

Article by Lesley
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