OLYMPIA - Is your boat more of an anchor than an outlet for everyday stress? Have you had serious thoughts of abandoning ship? Is the cost of boating more than you imagined? Is your boat an environmental stimulus or deficit?
In the current economic downturn, some items considered luxuries or non-essential may get set aside or neglected. However, there is a right way -- and a wrong way -- to deal with a boat you can no longer afford.
Allowing a boat to sink into the deep blue is not the answer. Every year Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) gets numerous reports of boats sinking. And when boat's sink, fuel, oil, grease, solvents and other pollutants often get spilled to state waters.
Under state law, the penalty for allowing oil and other petroleum products to spill to water has increased fivefold. A negligent boat owner could face a fine of up to $100,000 a day. Additionally, boat owners are responsible for spill clean-up costs and for the expense of restoring damages done to the environment.