Owners who want to write their boats off against tax liabilities can now do so - literally - but only if they are in the USA.

Owners who want to write their boats off against tax liabilities can now do so – literally – but only if they are in the USA. And only if they don’t want them back, because the boats are donated to a US Coast Guard-funded Accident Investigation Program and are used to stage deliberate collisions to help train accident investigators.

Although only trailer boats are used, they include fishing boats, open runabouts, cabin cruisers, speedboats, and personal watercraft. Remote control equipment is fitted before the collisions are staged, under strict safety conditions, on the James River by Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Afterwards they will be taken to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) training academy to be studied and used as training aids. Their once proud owners, however, will have the satisfaction of receiving a verified donation form acceptable to the US Internal Revenue Service.