Money Woes Prompt A Rise In Abandoned Yachts
The old saying goes that a boat is a hole in the ocean into which one pours money. The cost of repair, upkeep, mooring and storage can strain even the biggest budgets. The NY Times reports that a lot of people are getting sick of the expense of maintaining their boats and that many are being abandoned. In this market it can be difficult, if not impossible to sell a boat so instead desperate owners will remove the identifying information and then leave the boat in a harbor or beach them at low tide.
According to the article, officials in coastal states are worried that the continuing economic pressure will only aggravate this problem. Abandoned boats are a risk for other boats navigating the waters and can be an environmental hazard, leaking fuel and other toxins into the water.
As you might imagine, Florida is one of the places that is hardest hit. The state which boasts ample boating opportunities on its many inland waterways and long coastlines, is one of the states that has seen the most foreclosed homes. Boat repossessions have spiked in the state as people default on their payments. Last summer's spike in gas prices began a trend in people using their boats less and less and then the deepening of the economic crisis further damaged the pleasure boating industry.
Yachts are just the latest things to be abandoned. The process of turning in the keys to a home that can no longer be afforded is already so common it has its own nickname, jingle mail. What's next? Will another gas price increase lead to SUVs being left to gather dust in parking lots?