79A.65.020  <<  79A.65.030 >>   79A.65.040

Sale of abandoned vesselsNoticeRedemption of vesselsUse of proceedsDisposal of vessels.

(1) The commission may provide for the public sale of vessels considered abandoned under RCW 79A.65.020. At such sales, the vessels shall be sold for cash to the highest and best bidder. The commission may establish either a minimum bid or require a letter of credit, or both, to discourage the future reabandonment of the vessel.
(2) Before a vessel is sold, the commission shall make a reasonable effort to provide notice of sale, at least twenty days before the day of the sale, to each registered owner of a registered vessel and each owner of an unregistered vessel. The notice shall contain the time and place of the sale, a reasonable description of the vessel to be sold, and the amount of charges then owing with respect to the vessel, and a summary of the rights and procedures under this chapter. A notice of sale shall be published at least once, more than ten but not more than twenty days before the sale, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the commission facility is located. This notice shall include: (a) If known, the name of the vessel and the last owner and the owner's address; and (b) a reasonable description of the vessel. The commission may bid all or part of its charges at the sale and may become a purchaser at the sale.
(3) Before a vessel is sold, any person seeking to redeem a secured vessel may commence a lawsuit in the superior court for the county in which the vessel was secured to contest the commission's decision to secure the vessel or the amount of charges owing. This lawsuit shall be commenced within fifteen days of the date the notification was posted under RCW 79A.65.020(3), or the right to a hearing is deemed waived and the owner is liable for any charges owing the commission. In the event of litigation, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
(4) The proceeds of a sale under this section shall be applied first to the payment of the amount of the reasonable charges incurred by the commission and moorage fees owed to the commission, then to the owner or to satisfy any liens of record or security interests of record on the vessel in the order of their priority. If an owner cannot in the exercise of due diligence be located by the commission within one year of the date of the sale, any excess funds from the sale, following the satisfaction of any bona fide security interest, shall revert to the derelict vessel removal account established in RCW 79.100.100. If the sale is for a sum less than the applicable charges, the commission is entitled to assert a claim for the deficiency against the vessel owner. Nothing in this section prevents any lienholder or secured party from asserting a claim for any deficiency owed the lienholder or secured party.
(5) If no one purchases the vessel at a sale, the commission may proceed to properly dispose of the vessel in any way the commission considers appropriate, including, but not limited to, destruction of the vessel or by negotiated sale. The commission may assert a claim against the owner for any charges incurred thereby. If the vessel, or any part of the vessel, or any rights to the vessel, are sold under this subsection, any proceeds from the sale shall be distributed in the manner provided in subsection (4) of this section.


Effective date2002 c 286: See RCW 79.100.901.
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