How Much Can You Scrap A Boat For?

Most likely if you have reached the point where the boat sitting in your yard has become the description point for your house. It is time to scrap the boat! So that your house can be the blue, yellow, or red house, instead of the one that has the giant bush,  which is actually a boat covered in shrubs!

How Much Can You Scrap A Boat For? Fiberglass is not valuable nor scrap-able. It is the metal, aluminum, and other components that are on the boat which a scrapper will pay money for. Depending on how much precious metal is on the boat, or if the boat is aluminum. Will decide how much your boat is worth to a scrapper.

Here is a breakdown of what items on the boat are scrap-able. Along with the most important things you need to know in order to scrap a boat!

When Is It Time & Is A Boat Scrap-able?

When To Scrap A Boat

I talk with a lot of boat owner’s and a lot of family members of boat owners. I think that because most people know how expensive it is to buy a boat. They get this misconception that the boat will always have some value. No matter what.

Which, is extremely incorrect. There is a point in time where the boat transitions from having any value, to now becoming an expensive money pit! (Read this article we wrote on Whether A Boat Is A Good or Bad Investment! for a more in depth breakdown.)

Now it is true that there is a little value, as well as a market for project boats. (Read this if you think you are interested in Buying A Project Boat and What You Need To Know Before Buying One!) There are some stipulations to what makes the boat marketable though.

Just because a boat has been sitting for a long time, doesn’t mean that it is time to scrap it, not just yet. Checking over the boat and seeing if it is still viable is a big deal. If the engine still runs, then the boat most likely is not ready to be scrapped.

(Here’s how you can check over the engine by performing a Spark & Compression Test and What To Do If An Outboard Has Been Sitting For Awhile!)

At least not before you part it out, if there is something catastrophically wrong with the hull.

What Kind Of Boat Is Scrap-able For Cash?

The hull is the biggest thing which decides whether a boat is scrap-able or not. Like we said earlier, fiberglass is neither valuable nor scrap-able. It is a sad thing that most of the time, the boat hull is just smashed and stuck into a landfill.

There are donation programs where you can donate the boat, but they too have stipulations on whether or not they will take the boat or not. If there is no value what-so-ever in the hull. Then it is time for disposal!

There are some hulls though that do have some value. Metal hulls have a little, but it isn’t really much. Scrap metal has some value to it, but mainly it’s super cheap, and you can’t get much out of the boat.

There are a ton of steel boats out there as well that are scrap-able, but the biggest and most valuable is the aluminum.

Aluminum hulls like Jon boats, aluminum bass boats, flats boats, or the pontoons off of a pontoon boat.

That is where you can strip the boat down and take in the clean aluminum for some money!

What Items On The Boat Are Scrap-able for Cash?

Scrapping A Boat

There is also a lot of money in the parts that can be stripped off of the boat. We talked about the aluminum being the most valuable hull.

This will also go for the aluminum T-Tops, engine brackets, jack plates, seats, bow rails, and any other component on the boat that is aluminum.

In a fiberglass boat, scrappers will usually take sawz-alls and saw out the aluminum components, then unscrew all of the busted glass from the aluminum and trade in the clean aluminum for cash.

This also goes for the aluminum fuel tanks that are under the decks of the boat. These will usually take the most work to get out of the floor and cleaned off to take in as clean aluminum.

It requires removing the center console and sometimes

even cutting out the floor of the boat

and then using some sort of lift or come-along to hoist the tank out of the deck!

Most fuel tanks are also foamed in between the stringers, making them that much more of a hassle to get out of the floor. (Here is an article about what we think on Whether You Should Foam in a Boat Fuel Tank or not.)

Then there is also the different seats, rod holders, cleats, leaning posts, consoles, brackets, and other items on the boat that will probably still have some value to them. Which will fall into the disposing of the boat and how to part it out.

Making you think about what is scrap and what has some value to it is a good thing to think about before just hauling it all off or calling the scrap guy.

At the same time, you will have the cost of disposing of the hull that is left after you strip it down and scrap all of the scrap-able stuff! So maybe it is worth calling the scrap guy! Then you aren’t left with a hull that you have to pay money to dispose of.

Boat Motor Scrap Value

Scrapping An Outboard

This leaves us with the motor on the boat. Which depends on whether or not the engine is ready to be scrapped, or fixed. There are many reasons why an engine will meet the scraping requirements.

Maybe it has blown up, locked up, or worn itself to the point of not being worth fixing. Any of these can be an excellent reason just to scrap the engine.

Make sure it is at this point before doing so though. You can always have it looked at to see if it has any value to someone before taking it in for scrap.

Scrapping it means that all of the parts have to come off to get clean metal, or taking it in and seeing what they will give you for dirty metal.

There are a lot of scrappers out there or also wholesalers that are interested in buying used blown up engines. They will go through and remove all of the parts, selling them one at a time.

Sometimes boat rental companies are interested in buying engines like this for the parts that are on them. Buying the engine for the lower units, or the miscellaneous electrical and fuel components that they can use on their rental boats.

Obviously, the end goal to scrapping the boat is to get the most money possible! Right?

Scrapping a Boat Trailer

Trailers are always scrap-able! Unless somehow you have a wooden trailer. For the most part, though, aluminum trailers are always worth some kind of money. Being solid aluminum!

Trailers are even worth more in value if you have the titles to them. Which we’ll talk a little bit about when we discuss how to scrap a boat in just a minute because you can sell them as a trailer instead of taking them in as scrap.

Hauling a trailer to the scrap yard will always be profitable if it is an aluminum trailer. There won’t be a time where you can’t take an aluminum trailer in and leave with some money for it!

Now, most scrap yards won’t take steel trailers, but will always take in the aluminum ones. I’ve found in calling recycling centers that most of them require you to take off the wheels and axles so that it is just the aluminum frame.

There are some that I have found though that will take in the whole thing, but you won’t get as much for it if they have to take it in and chop it up.

Since you are only taking in the frame, most places are just recycling the metal, so they don’t require you to have a title or anything like that.

How To Scrap A Boat

When scrapping a boat, you are kind of limited on what you can do. If you have a fiberglass boat. Most recycling facilities will not take your boat.

You will have to piece by piece take all of the metal and aluminum parts off, the fuel tank out, and have an empty fiberglass hull. That can be taken to a junkyard or landfill.

If you have an aluminum boat. You will need to remove all of the wood, cushions, foam, and anything that is not aluminum off of the boat. Then the recycling facility will take the boat.

You won’t need a title to the boat, because it is just being scrapped.

Now if you have the title to the boat. You will probably find more value in trying to sell it for a couple of weeks. Before pulling the trigger and scrapping it out.

Check Us Out!

Hopefully, this has helped you out and letting you know what you can and can’t do when it comes to scrapping a boat for some money!

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Aaron Hilligoss

Aaron has been working in the Marine Industry for over a decade and holds certifications for Yamaha and Mercury Marine. It is not uncommon for him to own and be working on at least three different boats at any given point in time!

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