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Is online boat donation a good idea?

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I have been thinking about donating my yacht to or as I am promised a tax deduction if they take my boat. I think I would rather have a tax deduction and support a good cause then try to sell the boat myself and need to clean it up and possibly pay for any repairs that are needed. We upgraded earlier this year and I don't know what to quite do with the older yacht. Has anyone donated their boat to a place like this and if so what charity did you use and was the deduction worth it in the long run. Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you

10 Replies

  • I think that donated boats can be a great fundraiser and also a great opportunity for the buyer to get a good boat deal and the donor to earn a tax credit. But I'd much rather donate a boat to a known local nonprofit than a national online service that probably takes out a big chunk of the revenues.

    My local YMCA, for instance, has raised over $600,000 over 16 years with their annual boat auction:

    It's a major local event and some boats have now cycled through several times!

    Where I live boats can also be donated to various marine museums and boat related schools (if they are resellable), and I know that the same is true all along our coasts. It happens, for instance, that I just toured the rapidly expanding Richardson Marine Museum in Cambridge, MD, and learned from the director that they are working on a donation program.

    Note, by the way, that determining the tax donation -- i.e. the market value of the boat -- is the responsibility of the donor, though some institutions help with surveyors.

    I don't know anything about or but they are obviously the same outfit and are apparently not themselves nonprofit organizations. I'm suspicious. No one needs to make money out of stuff like this. Organizing boat donations and auctions/sales is a great volunteer job for aging boat guys and gals, and I know several that enjoy it a lot.

    Do donate boats you don't want anymore, but do it locally!

  • I think that's a great idea, I recently made a boat donation to and my experience was great, fast and easy. I received the maximum legal tax deduction. I am very pleased to know that all my proceeds are benefiting those in need. It was a great experience, I would highly recommend

  • Good grief! "Nancy" you left evidence that you in fact work for "". I believe that you are promoting a for-profit organization under false pretenses, which is not allowed on this forum (or many others). Please stop posting.

  • Here's another example in my area of a real and worthy marine-related non-profit that accepts boat donations and then auctions them off:

  • I too donated to charity boats and received my tax documents fairly quickly. The service was excellent. I don't have any complaints about them. I would recomend them to anyone who wants to donate a boat to charity.

  • Amazing. "Marie Evans" left the email address "[email protected]" even though an email isn't even required. So Charity Boats (and its various other aliases) has distinguished itself as the dumbest spammer Panbo has yet seen. And they call themselves a charity!

  • Goodwill Car Donations accepts all vehicles, boats, and RVs. A couple of my friends have donated their old cars and they said the process was pretty easy. I can imagine it would be painless for boats too. They send you the tax info and everything. It might be worth checking out since they are a well known charity.

    ^ Give you details about donating cars, trucks and boats in general.

  • Since you seem to be promoting specific charities with this site/forum? And since you are casting stones at certain Organizations can you please let us know the percentage of funds utilized for the programs you are promoting in this post? That is program overhead percentages vs. funds utilized for charitable purposes? Not too much to ask since you are recommending them. And looking for information on the ones you put down and found the Charity that runs them pretty easily. I can read. Can't find a lot of advertisements for them. That's a big positive. Can't say that about the YMCA or Goodwill. I prefer NOT to have my donations spent on advertising. Would just like some percentages which I am sure you do your research? Need an Organization to take a few vessels that have been liened for non payment. Proper information and not hateful opinions is more helpful though, if you can provide this Ben? We are a long way geographically from the vessels and looked here for help. Thanks!

  • Thanks, Reuben, but what I wrote is that "I'd much rather donate a boat to a known local nonprofit..." and then I named a couple of nonprofits that I know and are local to me.

    This is common advice given by many organizations trying to help consumers avoid donation scams, like these:

    If you don't live where the boat you want to donate is, I suggest that you ask locals like boat brokers and yard managers for advice on worthy local charities that accept boat donations.

    As for, the only reason it's mentioned on this site is that someone with an email address associated with that organization chose to write the original entry above while pretending they were just a regular person experienced at donating a boat. That's the sort of false advertising that anyone who moderates comments like I do sees a lot, though I can't recall seeing it from a supposed nonprofit organization trying to help good causes.

    And then something similarly deceptive happened twice in the comments to this entry! Twice people claimed to have had good experience with while leaving evidence that they had different real names and were associated with

    At any rate, if you go to these boat donation sites you'll find that they are part of a network that accepts just about any sort of donation, and none of the sites are clear about their location, nonprofit status, finances, etc.

    But you can supposedly get a "free vacation" if you donate a boat worth more than $500:

    Isn't that a form of advertising, Reuben, and also rather odd for a true nonprofit donor arrangement?

    Incidentally, my local YMCA advertises its annual donated boat auction because that brings more bidders and thus more funds for the Y and better deductions for the donors. It also advertises its services, in part because that helps people realize that there are scholarships available.

    But I know beyond a doubt that most of the people who manage the Y boat auction, including the boat haulers, volunteer their time, and that they are about the last people on earth who would write fake endorsements of even a program they heartily support.

  • If you don't have a local charity that you trust and that accepts boat donations, consider the BoatUS Foundation:

    The Foundation does good work in my opinion, and I trust that their ethics are impeccable.