Beware of Hurricane BoatsBarry Goodyear of Ra Kon Marnie Surveyors in Innisfil, Ontario was telling us about  a boat he recently surveyed. Severe electrical problems prompted the owner to re-wire an accessory. A 6’ length of wire was carefully stripped and even in the middle of the insulated area, there was the tell-tale green “fuzz” corrosion that results from saltwater exposure.

The boat had sunk in saltwater. Years later, the damage was coming to light.

The BoatUS organization is a major American marine insurer and the administrators there have estimated that Hurricane Sandy caused more than US$650m in damages to boats across the US. The US boater association also expects that more than 65,000 recreational boats were damaged or lost as a result of the storm.

"We've never seen anything like it,” said Scott Croft, BoatUS AVP of Public Affairs, in a statement. “The scope of the damage to boats is unprecedented, affecting large areas from the Atlantic seaboard as far inland as the Great Lakes, with the majority of damage in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. The combination of boats stored ashore at low elevations and record high surge levels caused hundreds, if not thousands, of boats to float away into neighborhoods, parks and marshes. The tri-state coastline left no place for the surge to go, but up.”

Any Canadian buyer who is looking at a brokerage boat should use the services of an expert surveyor. Also, check the HIN number and engine serial numbers to learn where the boat was first sold and registered.

Other records are sketchy. There is no registry of insurance write-off boats and Hurricane Sandy struck many nice late model boats near Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario.

Buyer beware!

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Hurricane Boats