One of the drawbacks to owning a boat is the maintenance involved with keeping it afloat and moving. It’s fine if you have the budget for a new boat that comes with a service plan, and the dealer takes care of the maintenance for you.
However, it’s a different story for used boat owners, especially those with aging models. If you have an older boat, then the company might be out of business, as is the case with Luhr. As a result, there are no spares for these boats available from a manufacturing source.
The only option left is scouring the salvage yards looking for the parts you need. Fortunately, there are salvage yards across the country, and most of them have plenty of inventory; it just takes some digging to find what you need.
There are a few other resources owners can use when sourcing parts when their boat goes out of service plan.
- Marine consignment stores
- Online stores
- Salvage auctions
Let’s unpack each of these resources to help you know where to look when buying used boat parts.
- Boat Salvage Yards
- Top Boat Salvage Yards in the United States
- The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Florida
- The Best Boat Salvage Yard in California
- The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Texas
- The Best Boat Salvage Yard in New York
- The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Illinois
- The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Louisiana
- Best Boat Salvage Yards in Canada
- Why Look for Used Boat Parts in Salvage Yards?
- Tips for Sourcing Used Parts from Boat Salvage Yards
- Marine Consignment Stores
- Online Boat Spares Websites
- Boat Salvage Auctions
- Wrapping Up
Boat Salvage Yards
If you’re looking for the best source for used parts, we recommend checking out a local salvage yard. You’ll find your spares and usually pay next to nothing for them. The drawback is the time, expertise, and tooling required to use this resource properly.
How the Salvage Yard Works
The salvage yard is where boats go to die. When an owner decides to scrap a vessel, it’s involved in an accident or abandoned; it eventually ends up at the salvage yard. Some salvage yards are huge, with hundreds or even thousands of boats in different states of disrepair.
Usually, you can call ahead to the yard and ask them if they have the specific parts you need on hand from a recent strip down. If they can’t give you that information, the yard should at least be able to tell you if they have the model of boat you’re looking for on their inventory list.
“Pick-and-Pull” salvage yards let you loose on the boats in the yard. Take your toolbox and dig through the vessels to find any spares you need. It’s a fun adventure if you have handy skills and some time on your hands.
What Can You Expect to Find at a Salvage Yard
The salvage yard is our go-to resource for finding boat parts. In your case, the yard will have more than one in varying states of condition. Engines, winches, water pumps, doors, blocks, hatches, masts, booms, and anything you need for your boat.
If you own a sailboat, you might find it hard to source the rigging and sails. However, many yards strip these components out when they bring the boat into the yard. Speak to the yard manager to see if they have any parts you can’t find on hand from a recent strip-down.
What are the Pros and Cons of Using a Salvage Yard for Spare Boat Parts?
- You’ll probably find the part you’re looking for at the yard, especially if you have a popular boat model.
- The salvage yard offers you the most affordable option for purchasing spare parts for your boat.
- You can inspect the part properly before buying it.
- Some yards have manifestos of their inventory, and you can call in to find out if they have the part you need.
- You can find parts no longer produced by the manufacturer.
- Most yards are “pick-and-pull,” requiring you to find and remove the parts you need from the boat yourself.
- You need some technical knowledge and handy skills, especially if you’re stripping a motor.
- There is no warranty on the parts.
- The yard won’t give you any advice on the right parts.
Top Boat Salvage Yards in the United States
There are yards up and down the east and west coasts of the United States and Canada. Here are a few options for the best yards in the following cities and boating hubs.
The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Florida
Don’s Marine Surplus and Salvage
Don’s has a great selection of new and used boats and a huge selection of boats ready for salvage. The lot sits on more than 17-acres, and you’ll find whatever you need at Don’s in Florida. Founded in 1979, Don’s is a local landmark and well-established in the boating community.
- Address: 5601 126th Avenue North, Clearwater, FL, 33760
- Contact Number: 1-727-576-8577
The Best Boat Salvage Yard in California
San Diego Boat Movers
This company specializes in moving boats in and out of the water. They also pick up plenty of boats that end up in the salvage yard. The company also offers boat disposal, so they have plenty of inventory on hand, and you’ll probably find what you need without any trouble. SDBM also provides insurance certificates to fast-track filing for liability coverage.
- Address: 6996-A Mission Gorge Road, San Diego, CA 92120
- Contact Number: 1-619-582-0700
The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Texas
Check out Bradwell Boats in Texas, from sunken and recovered boats to boats with bad engines or in states beyond repair. This company offers boat hauling, and they also have one of the best collections of retired boats available in Texas and the Southwest.
- Address: 21010 Mockingbird Ln, Spicewood, TX 78669
- Contact Number: 1-210-601-6118
The Best Boat Salvage Yard in New York
This boat removal company in New York services Long Island and the surrounding areas and waterways. They have a great reputation in the city, and one of the biggest yards in the state, with everything you need for your salvage project.
- Address: 14 Deer Park, NY, 11729
- Contact Number: 1-631-544-8000
The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Illinois
This company specializes in buying scrapped boats. If you’re looking for specific parts, call them and ask them if they have them in stock. If they can’t help you over the phone, talk a drive there, and you could find a gem in the mud.
- Address: 14 North 2nd St., Altamont, IL, 62411
- Contact Number: 1-618-9499
The Best Boat Salvage Yard in Louisiana
American Marine & Motorsports
With a 30-year legacy cementing the company’s reputation in the local market, AM&M is a dealer, and they have one of the most impressive inventories of used spares for boats in the state. They do the salvaging themselves and sell through their store. You might spend a little more, but it saves you the time and hassle of sifting through the salvage yourself.
- Address: 830 E Green Bay St., Shawano, WI, 54166
- Contact Number: 1-920-445-8995
Best Boat Salvage Yards in Canada
Kawartha Marine provides salvage services for boats of all makes, models, and lengths in Ontario, Canada. The company also has boat disposal services and a huge salvage yard to dig through.
- Address: 9 Wychwood Crescent, Fenelon Falls, Ontario K0M 1N0
- Contact Number: 1-705-559-4191
Premium Marine Wreckers & Recyclers
This company has a 40-year reputation as one of the best salvage yards in British Columbia. You’ll find anything you need in their yard. The company also offers long-term boat storage facilities.
- Address: Salmon Arm, British Columbia
- Contact Number: 1-205-306-7892
Why Look for Used Boat Parts in Salvage Yards?
Save Money on Your Parts
Salvage yards parts can save you up to 90% of the cost of buying them from used spares dealers.
Source Hard-to-Find Parts
Find parts on outdated models and manufacturing brands that went out of business.
Have Fun on a Scavenger Hunt
Spending an afternoon digging through old boats can be fun!
Tips for Sourcing Used Parts from Boat Salvage Yards
If you’re heading to the salvage yard to see if you can source a spare part or two, follow these tips for the best scavenger experience.
Look for Salvage Yards Close to You
Stay close to home, especially if you’re sourcing larger spares.
Look Up the Salvage Yard Online and Read Reviews
Check what people say about the yard on social media before driving out there and wasting your time.
Call the Yard and Speak with the Manager
Call the yard and speak with someone about finding the parts you need. Many yards strip popular models for spares. If the owner can’t tell you if they have the spare on hand, they should be able to tell you if they have the boat you’re looking for in the yard.
Marine Consignment Stores
The next place to check when buying used boat parts is the marine consignment store. These stores aren’t as widespread as salvage yards, but there are usually a few of them around major cities.
How it works
These retailers purchase their inventory from old boat owners, salvage yard auctions, and liquidation companies. They then sell the parts to the private market at a small markup. Some consignment stores may even offer you a limited warranty on the spare.
What you’ll find
This chandlery will have great deals on plenty of parts across many manufacturing brands and models. Call ahead and speak to someone to find out if they have the part you need for your boat.
What are the Pros and Cons of buying Used Boat Parts at Marine Consignment Stores?
- Excellent prices compared to other used spare dealers.
- Most stores quality-check items and offer limited warranties on some parts.
- Items are organized and easy to find.
- You can trade in old boat parts.
- You can inspect your parts before buying.
- The staff can advise you on the right parts.
- Parts cost more than they do at the salvage yard.
- Most items don’t come with warranties.
Online Boat Spares Websites
There are several ways to source boat parts online. Craigslist offers you a huge classified site with plenty of ads for boat spares. You’ll probably see many of the salvage yards advertising in the classifieds on the site.
How it works
You get a user-friendly browsing experience and easy identification of the parts you need. The seller will usually ship to your door, so there’s no need to drive around town to the salvage yard or the consignment store.
What you’ll find
You’ll find a huge selection of parts online, from anchors to propellers. However, it might be expensive to ship heavier spares.
What are the Pros and Cons of Buying Used Boat Parts from Online Stores?
- An affordable strategy for sourcing parts.
- Plenty of selection for models and brands.
- Shipping included to your door.
- You can find specialized and discontinued spares.
- There will be shipping costs, and heavy items can be expensive.
- No way to view or inspect the parts physically before purchase.
- Limited advice.
Boat Salvage Auctions
Sometimes, salvage yards and other boat removal companies may host salvage auctions where you can bid on parts through live or virtual events.
How it works
Look online for vendors and the dates they hold their auctions. You turn up at the venue or log into the site online and bid on the parts. Usually, the listing for the auction will give you the boats they are salvaging for spares.
Some sites will salvage boats and sell them at auction, while others may require you to purchase the whole boat, usually at a very affordable price.
What you’ll find
You can find anything you need, from seized to damaged or repossessed boats.
What are the Pros and Cons of buying Used Boat Parts at Boat Salvage Auctions?
- Buying an entire boat could be cost-effective for sourcing the parts you need in the future.
- Live auctions let you view the boat physically.
- Auctions are exciting!
- You have to buy a whole boat, and that leads to storage problems and costs.
- You might not need the entire boat.
- Parting out a boat takes time.
- There are disposal costs involved after you finish parting out the boat.
- You need tools and knowledge to complete the task of parting out the boat.
Unless you have a new model boat you bought in the last ten years, chances are you’re going to have to end up using one of these methods to source the spares you need for your boat. Give them a try and see what works for your boat and your budget.