Boatbreakers may soon be involved in a British/French study in disposing of end of life boats. We were asked to write some text outlining what it is we do as a busniness. Whilst we wait to hear if the study will get the official go ahead we think the information in the statement might be interesting to read.
Boatbreakers are the market leaders in the UK for boat scrapping and boat disposal services. As well as the UK we deal with enquiries from all across mainland Europe. We specialise in yacht and motor boat removal and recovery for private and commercial owners, boatyards and insurance companies. For a number of years we have used our strong online presence to source and deal with thousands of end of life boats from our breakers yard in Portsmouth.
Our team deal with hundreds of enquiries every week from boat owners who need to dispose of a boat that may be beyond economical repair, that they can’t sell and they’re paying far more than the boat’s value in mooring fees every year for. In every Marina or Boatyard in the country there are at the very least 20% of boats that are ready to be scrapped, and this number will only rise as time catches up on the Fibreglass (GRP) boats made in the 1960s/1970s.
Whilst we deal with boats made of different materials like Wood, Steel, Ferro Cement etc. the biggest problem is definitely GRP. At the time of writing this there is no financially viable or realistic reuse for the waste GRP and it must be sent to landfill. With other European countries like Norway and Germany banning GRP going to landfill it will only be a matter of time before other European countries follow suit. Without a plan in place to deal with the waste fibreglass it’s not only the marine industry that could face huge problems but it will have knock-on environmental effects.
Boatbreakers are the only company in the UK and most of Europe (as far as we are aware) that are in the business of scrapping boats, especially GRP models. When a boat comes to us we will strip the boat down and remove any recyclable materials or items that can be re-used or sold on to other boat owners. These items are usually masts, engines, winches, covers and electronics.
Our current business model is that the boat’s last owner is the person who will incur the cost to dispose of the boat through us. This is something we’d like to help to change as many boats throughout their lifecycle will have many owners who simply pass on the problem to the next owner. As well as a solution for the end of life GRP this is a problem that we see needing urgent consideration in the future. Sadly the current situation means that it’s far too easy for boat owners to abandon their boats and just walk away without any repercussions, leaving local authorities like the council to foot the bill.
In terms of the proposed project our main role would be to source and arrange for the collection of a number of GRP boats to be used in the study. This is something that we do every day anyway so we feel we’re the perfect fit in the UK side of the study. We are experts in the logistical side of relocating and disposing of end of life boats. For example, in the UK there are not only boats around the coastal areas but also on the inland waterways. If a solution isn’t found for the end of life fiberglass the scrap boats will not only litter the coast but the rivers and canals too.