DEEP: Abandoned Boats

Abandoned Boats

Public Act 14-57 - An Act Concerning Abandoned Vessels went into effect on January 1, 2015.   The process for claiming abandoned boats has changed and is summarized below.
When is a boat considered abandoned? 
In Connecticut, a boat is considered abandoned if it is:
  • Left on someone’s property for more than 24-hours without the property owner’s permission;
  • Found free floating and unattended on the waters of the state for more than 24-hours;
  • Improperly registered and left on the waters of the state for more than 24-hours;
  • Left at a mooring for more than sixty days since payment for the mooring became overdue;
  • Left at a commercial facility for more than one year since payment for storage became overdue; or,
  • Found during a declared public emergency in a public right-of-way.
Effective January 1, 2015, to submit a claim for an abandoned boat, you must:
  1. Have standing as designated by statute and described below,
  2. Fill out a Notice of Abandoned Vessel form and have it notarized, and
  3. Submit the notarized form and any required attachments including photographs to the DEEP with a $20 fee.
If the abandoned boat is not removed from the property where it was abandoned within 45 days after information about the boat’s abandonment is posted on the DEEP website, the person with standing will be awarded ownership of the boat. The person with standing may then keep, sell, or otherwise dispose of the boat.
Special Note:  There is an important exception: ownership cannot be transferred for abandoned boats that are currently registered or "documented" with the United States Coast Guard.  However, the owners of these boats can still be fined for abandoning the boat. Fines for boat abandonment will be between $300 to $500 dollars.
Who has the right or "standing" to submit a claim for an abandoned boat?
PA 14-57 designates the following as having standing:
  • The owner of the property where the vessel was abandoned OR any person that the landowner designates to complete the abandoned boat process;
  • Any harbormaster, police department, municipality or agent of the state that agrees to process the abandoned boat;
  • Any emergency responder who is responding to a declared emergency; or,
  • Any licensed motor vehicle dealer or marine salvager who is engaged by one of these persons to tow or transport an abandoned boat.
All boats that are reported as abandoned will be listed in the abandoned boat table.  The table will identify, among other things, the last date the vessel may be claimed by the owner or by someone with a lien on the boat or a security interest in the boat.  If one of these persons commits to removing the boat but cannot do so by the “Last Date to Claim Vessel”, that person has the right to ask for the date to be extended.  If this happens, an explanation as to why an extension was granted will be added to the table on the DEEP website.
Please note that there are safeguards built into the processing of abandoned boats to protect the interests of lien-holders or holders of security interests.  These safeguards require that various contacts be attempted or made if the abandoned boat is subject to a lien or security interest.  Posting of an abandoned boat on the DEEP website may be delayed while these contacts are attempted.  The individual who has submitted the claim for the abandoned boat will be notified if this is the case.
(Select the photograph to view larger image)
Number and/ or Hull Identification Number *
Make / Model  Length
Town and
Waterbody Nearest
Date Information Posted /
Last Date to Claim Vessel 
{An image of an abandoned boat}  CT2449AG/
14' Blue Westbrook/
Long Island
Jan. 8, 2015/
Feb. 22, 2015
  {Image of an abandoned boat}
O'Day 2
Long Island Sound
Jan. 21, 2015/
Mar 7, 2015
* The hull identification number, documentation number or vessel name and hailing port may be shown in lieu of a registration number.
Contact DEEP regarding a listed vessel by email or phone (860-434-8638).
Content last updated January 22, 2015.