abandonedboatsAbandoned and neglected boats impact the health and safety of our shorelines, especially if fuel, chemicals or garbage are leaking into the marine environment.

If you see a boat that looks abandoned, you can help. Snap a photo, jot down the boat’s location and send these details to:

Your privacy will be protected and personal info will not be shared.  The more info you can provide, the better.  If possible include:

  • Pictures, name, number, phone # or contact info on the boat
  • General location, beached, substrate, buoy or anchored
  • Length & width, type of material (wood, fiberglass, steel, cement)

Together, we can reduce this environmental and public safety risk by removing abandoned boats from our waterways and, as responsible boat owners, by preventing vessels from abandonment and degradation in the future. Boats and their components should be safely disposed of or recycled at their end of life.

Many have already been safely removed and disposed of in the region and more are currently being assessed and in the queue for federal removal funding. The success of this program is due to the amazing participation of residents.

Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act

Under this act, you may not:

  • Abandon your vessel
  • Cause it to become a wreck because you fail to maintain it
  • Sink, strand or ground your vessel on purpose
  • Leave your vessel in poor condition in the same area for more than 60 consecutive days within a radius of 3 nautical miles without the authorization of the location owner
  • Leave your vessel adrift for more than 48 hours without taking measures to secure it

Infractions can lead to fines up to $50,000 for individuals, and $250,000 for companies or corporations.

For more information:

Have a boat you no longer want?

You've got a few options for disposal in the capital region:

  • Donate your boat to a worthy cause:
  • If your boat is beyond repair, you can recycle most of its parts. Visit to see how and where you can recycle everything from oily bilge water and propane tanks to engines and electronics (but make sure you're aware of any hazardous materials on board before you start taking things apart).
  • Boats free of hazardous materials, prohibited items and recyclable materials can be disposed of at Hartland Landfill following the instructions outlined below.

Common hazards on boats

Protect yourself and the environment.

Some boat components may contain asbestos, lead, PCBs or other hazardous materials which can be harmful to your health. Just like when you begin a renovation at home, precautions are needed to ensure that these materials are handled and disposed of safely.

Before you start taking things apart, a hazardous materials survey may be required to identify any potential materials that may be harmful to your health or require special disposal.

Some common materials in boats that contain asbestos include:

  • Window caulking/putty
  • Electrical wire insulation/wrap
  • Linoleum/vinyl sheet flooring
  • Gaskets
  • Sealants/adhesives

Other hazardous materials (hazardous waste) may include:

  • PCB light ballast (fixtures)
  • Hull paint (containing heavy metals)
  • Lead painted surfaces

How to safely dispose of your boat

  1. Learn how to dispose of your boat waste. Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are accepted at Hartland Landfill by appointment only. ACM must be double-bagged in approved UN-rated 6 mil poly asbestos bags (available at safety supply stores). Read more >>
  2. Determine if your boat's paint contains heavy metals. Leachable metal paints are prohibited from Hartland Landfill by provincial regulation, requiring disposal through a hazardous waste contractor. A qualified professional can collect samples to determine if your boat can be accepted at Hartland.
  3. Apply for a controlled waste permit. Once you've removed and properly disposed of recyclables and any hazardous materials, the remainder of your boat is eligible for disposal at Hartland Landfill. Email for a disposal permit and/or testing instructions. Once you have obtained a permit, call Hartland Landfill at 250.360.3410 to make an appointment for disposal.

What can you do?

If you see a vessel that appears abandoned or wrecked that is onshore, afloat or sunk, please contact Dead Boats Disposal Society.

Helpful information includes:

  • Exact location
  • Vessel name and description
  • License number or other identifier
  • How long it’s been in that location
  • Photos