Derelict boat sinking in a lake.


Pennsylvania does have laws that address abandoned and derelict vessels and a formal program in place to register and title ADVs, and to register “junk” vessels. However, Pennsylvania does not have a state-run program dedicated to removing and disposing of ADVs.

Legislative Summary

Pennsylvania Code, under Title 58, allows for a person to register and title abandoned vessels found on private property with the state’s Fish and Boat Commission. The provisions under Title 58 also address the registration and titling requirements for abandoned vessels found on public property, the notification process, and give the Commission the authority to sell, destroy or salvage abandoned vessels in its jurisdiction.

Funding Summary

Pennsylvania does not have a dedicated funding source for dealing with abandoned or derelict vessels. Pursuant to Title 58 of Pennsylvania’s Code, the proceeds from the sale of an abandoned boat are used to reimburse the Fish and Boat Commission or the salvor, as applicable, for the costs of removing and disposing of ADVs. Pennsylvania has also established a Boat Fund, under Title 30 of the state statutes, which is used to carry out the functions of the Commission as they relate to boats and boating, but not necessarily to ADVs. Monies from the fund can be used to cover administrative and operating expenses, boater education and safety programs, and other expenses as defined under the statutes.

POC Summary

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has the authority to issue rules and regulations, pertaining to junked, destroyed, lost, stolen or abandoned boats, and to administer and enforce them.

Last updated Tue, 03/19/2024 - 05:42 pm EDT