When Times Get Tough, Boat Owners Abandon Ship

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Monday, November 17, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Via Calculated Risk, a story in USA Today explains that difficult economic times even have hit boat owners, who are walking away from their vessels in increasing numbers. It’s expensive for owners to take their boats to the dump when they can no longer afford to maintain them, the story says, so they just ditch them or sell them for a $1.

From USA Today:

From Southern California to Maine, the foundering economy, high fuel prices and poor fishing have driven boat owners to abandon perhaps thousands of vessels on the waterfront, where they are beginning to break up and sink, leaking oil and other pollutants.

Boats have long been a barometer of consumer confidence, disposable income and the overall state of the economy. Now, marina and harbor officials are reporting a sudden increase in the past year in the number of deserted pleasure boats and working vessels.

States and cities will end up paying the costs for cleaning up the pollution from abandoned boats – and the tab will be high. California alone pays $500,000 each year to clean up deserted recreational boats, the story says.

The end of pleasure boats may not seem like a pressing issue. But it’s one more example of some of the less obvious costs associated with the economic slowdown. And it’s additional proof that taxpayers will be picking up an increasingly large tab for taking care of everything from abandoned boats to neighborhood blight as the recession deepens.

Categories & Tags: Economy/Finance|

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