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BoatUS Counts Hurricane Sandy Costs

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

20 November 2012


The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) has estimated that over 65,000 recreational boats were damaged or lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy, with dollar damage to recreational boats expected to reach USD650m - the single-largest industry loss on record.

"We are all reeling from the huge impact this storm has had on communities and people's lives," said BoatUS Director of Public Affairs, Scott Croft. "We've never seen anything like it. 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," Crooft continued. "The tri-state coastline left no place for the surge to go, but up. While some boats that stayed in the slips did fine, other boats tied to floating docks simply lifted off too-short pilings and floated away - still tied to the dock. Some vessels never made it out of their slip and rest on the bottom."

While some New Jersey barrier islands continue to restrict access, delaying boat recovery efforts, some marinas, boat clubs and yards have recovered their customers' boats and put them back on blocks to undergo damage assessments. Meanwhile, many boating facilities, especially those on New Jersey's coast, Staten Island and western Long Island, sustained significant damage to infrastructure such as docks, workshops, clubhouses and equipment, which will likely have an impact on the 2013 boating season, the organization said.

BoatUS estimates over 32,000 boats were damaged in New York, followed by New Jersey's 25,000, Connecticut's 2,500 and 6,000 in various other states. Dollar damage to recreational boats in New York is estimated at USD324m, followed by USD242m in New Jersey and USD23m in Connecticut. Previously, in the 2005 storm season, Hurricane Wilma and Katrina's damage was estimated to have cost over USD700m combined.

TAGS: marine

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