Vessel Donations

Boat and vehicle donation program:

Many, in all income tax brackets, have discovered that donating their quality vessel to a qualified charity can be a sound financial and savvy strategy.

Donating your boat to a “Qualified User Non Profit” like Challenged America, and the keyword here is “user”, you could receive a much higher tax deduction.  Depending on the condition of the donated boat or vehicle, and if we use it in our program,  you could get a tax deduction as high as the appraised or market value of your boat, see IRS publication 526 on charitable donation, under exception #1 (page 8, column 2)

We would be happy to put you in contact with our CPA who can give you all the  information and new IRS rules to help you make an informed decision and receive the most benefits from your donation.

Vessel Donation case Studies

#1 William R. – Boat Owner with damaged vessel.

William loved his racing sailboat, and then, he hit a submerged object that caused quite a bit of damage. His insurance company “totaled” the boat and paid the insured amount. Instead of trying to sell his damaged and unseaworthy vessel, he had a boat yard repair the keel and other below-the-waterline damage, at a fraction of his insurance company’s payment. He then donated his vessel to Challenged America, getting a certified appraisal first of the newly- repaired boat, and receiving a tax write-off of that new, higher appraised value. A win-win          donation, for both the Challenged America charitable program, and William. He was then able, with the extra cash from his insurance company’s payment and the newly-found tax  write-off, able to purchase a newer and larger racing sailboat.

#2 Yacht Broker James L.

James had a vessel that he was having difficulty in selling. With the listing almost ready to expire, and knowing that the vessel’s owner would not lower the price, he was convinced that he would lose the listing, and the client. Hearing about Challenged America’s boat donation program, he decided, as a last-ditch option, to investigate if his client would consider talking with his accountant to see if there might be a financial advantage to donate his vessel to an established charity that would use the vessel in the program, receiving the maximum tax advantage possible. James talked to his CPA and discovered that depending on the certified appraisal amount, if Challenged America used his vessel donation in their program, it may prove more financially beneficial than selling his boat, at its current listed price. The end result was that the appraisal came out most favorable for his client and the vessel donation was made to Challenged America. James’ client soon purchased another vessel from him. “Another satisfied client,” James proudly says.

#3. Tom & Mary, a two boat owner

Tom & Mary fell in love with another, larger and more updated racing sailboat, and put a deposit to purchase with a yacht broker, subject to selling their existing vessel at a minimum dollar amount. Quickly realizing they would never get the price they felt their boat was worth, within the time frame needed to acquire the new vessel, they decided to donate their racer to Challenged America right away. A quick and easy turn-around, and with their newly-found tax deduction (for the full appraisal price) well in hand (and the ability to carry-forward to following years any unused tax deduction amount), Tom & Mary were able to take possession of the newer and faster racing sailboat immediately. Tom & Mary, the yacht salesperson and broker, and Challenged America were all happy.

#4. Donald R.. – Yacht Salesperson/Broker

Donald has been a yacht salesperson for many years with a long-list of clients, as he specializes in vessels in the higher price range.
One of his clients wanted to replace his yacht’s chase boat with a newer model, and asked Donald to sell the boat for him. Realizing that smaller vessels were not his market or of interest to him, he suggested to his client a donation to Challenged America, and take advantage of the tax write-off potential. The end result was a most happy donor, and a yacht salesman who had a most-pleased customer.
Note: Donald R. has been working with the Challenged America program for years, positioning vessel donations as a marketing and sales advantage, and as a financial strategy for some of his clients.

#5. John W – Boat Owner Behind on Bills

John has had difficulty keeping up with the cost associated with boat ownership. Recently
losing his job, and having experienced a divorce in the previous year, his financial situation was dismal, as he fell behind in his bills, and his once-prized powerboat lay at the marina not being used and cared for.
John tried to sell his boat, but only received offers at pennies on the dollar.
Before his bills piled up even more, John donated his boat to Challenged America, and felt good that he was helping others with his donation.

#6. LM Marina, Betty S., Dockmaster

LM Marina had a tenant who had maintained his payment of his 40 foot cruising sailboat slip
fees for years. But then, suddenly, and unexpectedly, the vessel became neglected, regular hull cleaning was not evident, and the boat’s owner was not seen on the docks. And with this, slip fees became delinquent, as the dockmaster, Betty, was unable to reach the boat owner.
Finally, just before legal proceedings were prepared, Betty discovered that the boat’s owner
had suddenly died, and the heirs had no interest in the boat or paying the past-due slip fees
The marina took possession of the vessel, and immediately donated it to Challenged America, and they (Challenged America) continued paying the slip fees, cleaning up the boat, and eventually sold the vessel to help support the program.

Vessel and vehicle donation program frequently asked questions (FAQ):

Q. What determines if you will accept a donated vessel into the Challenged America program?
A. With each boat donated (sail or power) we first evaluate if it can be used in the program, and what the cost will be to make the vessel accessible and accommodating to our needs. If the vessel is not “program oriented,” we then assess its value to market the boat (or vehicle), with the proceeds to support financial needs to carry out our mission. Thus, in most instances, if the vessel has market value, we will accept the vessels donation, depending on the donor’s requirements and location of the vessel.

Note: Challenged America has had dozens of vessels donated over the past 34 years, from inflatable dinghies to a 68-foot motor yacht. All vessel donations are entirely in-house, and we do not use any outside fundraisers or agents in the vessel donation program; thus, all revenue (100%) derived from the sale of a vessel goes directly to support the Challenged America Program.

4 thoughts on “Vessel Donations

  1. I have a Morgan Nelson/Marek 36R in good condition, with newer sales. I believe it is worth $25,000, but there is no market for it in my area. Tired of paying the storage fees. You want it?

  2. I have a 1982 US Yachts 27 that I want to donate. It is in sailable condition. Has new running rigging, stove, vhf, stereo, lectrasan sewage treatment system, interior lights and a battery charging system. A comfortable little cruiser

    • Hello Gary- Thank you for considering the DBA’s Challenged America Program for your vessel donation.

      Unfortunately, we are now only seeking a larger, offshore racing vessel that we can modify in our current innovation program to test new designs and devices for competitive sailors with disabilities.

      If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me directly at .

      All the best,
      Urban Miyares, DBA Volunteer President & Challenged America co-founder

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