From the Junk File: How We Made 7 Boats Disappear

Trash and Stash graphic about removing junk boats

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From the Junk Files: Sail Away

The time a property manager called us to haul away 7+ junk boats.

We got a call from a property management company in Tega Cay/ Lake Wylie. Their client purchased a self- storage complex and needed a cleanout. Rents were low and the property was in disrepair. Improvements were necessary before rental rates could be raised. Junk removal was the fastest and most powerful way to demonstrate meaningful improvement.

They had a lot of junk.

le of discarded boats

We’ve seen junk. But I don’t know if we’ve seen a pile like this.

At some point in the property’s history there was a boat repair shop. And I guess, when the boats were not repairable, they’d just throw them in the woods. That was our task.

We were brought in to remove a literal “pile of boats” in the woods. Besides the boats, we had to haul off construction debris, organic material (dirt, branches & leaves), trash and an old “Olympic style” trampoline amongst other varied junk.

All and all, here’s what our haul looked like…

  • 7 Boats. 2 Jet skis.
  • 1 Fully assembled “Olympic” Trampoline.
  • 30 Yards of organic debris/ dirt.
  • 3 Trailers of Construction Debris.
  • 1 Shipping container.
  • 3,120 lbs of metal.
  • 5 Tires.
  • 3 Car batteries.
  • 2 Propane tanks.
  • 6, 8 ft. CFL bulbs.
  • 1 AC Unit.
  • 2 Fully Stuffed Storage Units (10ft x 10ft and 10ft x 20ft).
Discarded trampoline to be broken down and removed
boats and decking material scattered in woods.
old tires and AC unit to be thrown away

How we did it.

We brought in tools and a network of pros. Our team arrived with Zane, our F-350 Super Duty pickup and a 12 ft. dump trailer. We also brought in two 20 yd dumpsters.

Then, we called our friends at Earth Friendly Recovery who brought an excavator and their own 20 yd. dump trailer.

We first cleared a path for the excavator by hand loading some of the construction debris into our dump trailer and getting it out of the way. With a path cleared, the big machines got to work. We first thought we might be able to pull the boats out whole, load them into the dumpster and crush them with the excavator’s bucket. We quickly realized this was not possible. The pile was too mangled. The boats were too brittle and honestly, the 20 yd dumpsters were too stubby. We also realized the boats were not empty hulls. They still had wiring, fuel tanks and 2 of them still had motors. So, the excavator started chomping away. Bite by bite. In between, loading the organic material into the dump trailers. 

Once we had the dumpsters loaded, we even had the Crushr truck come out and flex a bit. The hope was we could make some more room in the dumpster, but the truth was the excavator did a great job of compacting as it went. The excavator was on the clock for 7 hours. By the end of the day, the pile of boats was gone and so was most of the construction debris and organic material.

Some sights from that first day.

Excavator loading debris into dump trailer
Excavator Tearing Boats apart
Crhusr truck compacting dumpster
Job site in Tega Cay after junk boats removed
After boats have been removed from storage complex in Tega Cay

The next day, we were back at work. We finished clearing any remaining debris we couldn’t fit in the dumpsters after day 1. We then started our more traditional junk removal work. We stripped the trampoline, leaving just the metal frame. We gathered all of the random and scattered junk and trash from around the job site and we cleared the storage units. By the end of the day, we made 4 trips to the dump.

storage unit overflowing with junk
storage unit with water damage

The next day was slightly weather impacted but we kept at it. We made an early morning trip to the recycling center. We properly disposed of the tires, CFL bulbs, car batteries and propane tanks. We had a crew come out and cut up all of the metal including the trampoline and then sent the dump trailer to collect all of the metal.

Our final day on property started with a trip to the scrap yard. We offloaded 2 boat motors and all of the metal we had cut up and collected over the previous 3 days. In total, we delivered 3,120 lbs to recycling.

With an empty trailer we came back to the storage complex and collected the last of the junk. This included the 2 jet skis, a boat canopy that needed to be cut up because a tree grew through it and an 8 ft. chalk board we found buried under the leaf litter. We also got rid of a steel framed shipping box that needed to be cut up and disassembled. But we weren’t finished yet. One item remained. 

scrap yard claw removes metal from bed of truck

The excavator helped us chew up and dump 6 boats. But there were 7 boats in total for us on the work order. The last was not in the pile. It was down the hill, behind the storage unit. And it was intact, full of mud, water and trash. So, we put a tow rope to work. Here’s what we did.

  1. We disconnected the trailer and pulled the boat out of the mud so we could work on it.
  2. We then reconnected the trailer, raised the bed and backed up. The tilted trailer bed was now positioned under the nose of the boat.
  3. We lowered the dump trailer which lifted the front of the boat off the ground. 
  4. We backed up a little more, pushing the boat further into the trailer and then lowered the trailer a bit.
  5. We disconnected the truck from the trailer again. Turned the truck around and connected the tow rope from the boat to the truck.
  6. We then pulled the boat fully into the trailer.
  7. With a 14ft boat in a 12ft trailer, we safely and securely tied and tarped the boat into place for its final voyage to the transfer station.
Pulling a boat from the mud
Trash and Stash pulls a boat onto their dump trailer
Intact boat on trailer


We’ll be back. This is a great a property with lots of potential. As repairs continue and tenants turn over, more storage units will need to be cleaned out. In just 4 days though, we made a world of difference. The owners and property management company is happy. They now have room to work and their tenants have seen marked and immediate improvement.

The final removal tally was:

  • Dumpster #1: 2.86 tons
  • Dumpster #2: 2.98 tons
  • 2, 20 yd dumpsters of dirt
  • 3,120 lbs of metal (1 trip to scrap yard)
  • 1 trip to recycling center
  • 10 trips to the dup (12 ft trailers)

Here’s what it looks like now.

Photo after trash and stash removed boats in Lake Wylie
Cleaned out storage unit (10 x 10)
after photos of Trash and Stash storage cleanout.
Empty 10 x 20 storage unit
after we cleaned the storage property
After trampoline has been removed.

Give & Save

Get 10%* Off junk removal & moving help when you donate $25 or more to the Isabella Santos Foundation. Help increase the survival rate for kids with rare pediatric cancers.
Special offer

*Up to $100 discounted from Junk Removal & Moving Help total.

Photo of Isabella Santos

Give & Save

Get 10%* Off junk removal & moving help when you donate $25 or more to the Isabella Santos Foundation. Help increase the survival rate for kids with rare pediatric cancers.

*Up to $100 discounted from Junk Removal & Moving Help total.

Cameron Ungar

Cameron Ungar

Junk removal was not my first career choice. It was my best choice though. I used to run events for a living. I did that for almost 15 years until a global pandemic launched me into the junk removal business. I’m an expert in operations, team building & creating incredible customer experiences. And... I love helping people simplify their lives.

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