marine scrap metal image

What Marine Scrap is Really Made of

The Most Common Metals Marine Scrap Yields

Marine scrap includes all the metal components used in the operation of a ship or boat. As a category, it’s a growing need as we enter a world without borders. If you wish to scrap marine vehicles confidently and intelligently, read on.

In this post, we introduce the main components of a standard marine vessel which you will find in shipyards and on abandoned boats. We go beyond this by identifying which metals you will find in these common parts and why.


what marine scrap is really made of

Because it must be strong, large, and non-corrosive, you will find the hull (or body) of most marine vessels made of aluminum. While aluminum is a less pricey metal, it also is weighed by the pound. The hull of a ship can weigh thousands of pounds, making for a nice return.


In the inboard and outboard engines, you will also find aluminum since it resists water damage. Again, though you may not get much for a pound of aluminum, you will get a nice return on a weighty engine.


Like many other machines and vehicles, marine vessels rely in part on batteries. Batteries come in different sizes and weights according to the boat or ship, but in most cases, you will find much lead used inside.


For securing lines, boat cleats sit heavily on the outside rim of boats. Typically, they are made from steel or iron, both being strong, resilient metals. Since they must absolutely hold, you will find pure and heavy deposits of these metals in cleats.


In fact, propellers can be made of many metals, but most of them are alloys. Some of the metals you will find in a ship propeller alloy are aluminum, steel, and bronze. Depending on the specific propeller, you may get a higher price than for straight-forward aluminum.


Anchors come in many shapes, styles, and weights. As such, they are also constructed out of many kinds of metals. You can find anchors made of aluminum as well as iron. Most modern anchors rely on their shape rather than weight to hold the ship, making antique anchors more valuable.


Like other machines and homes that rely on electricity, you will find a good amount of copper wiring in the standard ship. This wire will likely get you the highest price per pound, but you must be vigilant in collecting it.


Finally, the décor of the ship or boat, depending on the time period, may yield bronze or brass fixtures and details. Since they are copper alloy, do not neglect to collect these as you scrap down a ship or boat.

In all, when you approach your next boat, ask yourself two questions:

  1. What function does this metal serve?
  2. Which metal meets that need?

For help in answering these questions, it may be helpful to review one of our articles on where to find the five most common scrap metals. In each article, we discuss the features and traits that make that metal tick. They will help round out your understanding of marine scrap metals as well. Here they are:

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