It’s been a busy few months for Boatbreakers. Apart from getting boats back to our yard from all over the country we’ve also recently set up our new office in Portsmouth. Our team recently had the chance of a meeting with our local MP Caroline Dineage in Gosport. We met to discuss what we see is the growing problem of end of life boats and how we aim to try and help.

Boatbreakers are also in the process of trying to secure European Funding to help expand what we do and deal with the problem head on. Here is the proposal we put to Ms. Dineage which we think outlines the problem we think the marine industry is facing:

“How is an ‘end of life fibreglass boat’ recycled?

The recycling process:

Currently we chop up end of life boats and put them into landfill. The engine, masts and other items are recycled through selling off, metal recycling and reuse.

In Germany and Norway, they have already banned the process of landfilling the unwanted fibreglass. It’s just a matter of time that this will happen here in the UK…then what?


  1. We could continue putting crushed and chopped boats into landfill
  2. We could shred the waste into small ‘cornflake’ sized pieces and put into landfill – a huge saving of landfill space
  3. We could take the ‘cornflakes’ and grind them into powder and remix with resins and make chairs, gates, tables etc etc from the waste
  4. We could save up all the fibreglass waste and ship it to china – for reuse in roads etc – Costly
  5. We could send the fibreglass waste to Zajons in Germany – Costly

Zajons puts the fibreglass in a giant crusher and adjusts the calorific value by adding other types of recycling materials.

The production of cement is dependent on large quantities of sand. Sand is also the main constituent of glass, and thus also of fibreglass.

Fibreglass additionally contains polyester which can be used as an energy source in cement production, thereby replacing the use of fossil fuels.

The waste is sent to the cement manufacturer. This is then fed into the huge kilns that produce the finished cement.

Benefit: Recycling 1000 tonnes of fiberglass in cement manufacture saves up to 450 tonnes of coal, 200 tonnes of chalk, 200 tonnes of sand and 150 tonnes of aluminium oxide (Source: Holcim, 2010). And the recycling process produces no dust, ash or other residues.

UK Solution:

We need to develop option 2 and 3. The technology is available but in its infancy. We need funding to further develop this recycling process. £200,000 – £350,000

Where do we get the money from?

We are licenced, have a large yard in Portsmouth and are ideally positioned to champion this cause

As soon as we have the funding at Boatbreakers and we can really start to crush some boats, the price will come tumbling down and you average boat owner won’t have to foot the bill when they are the last person to own a boat in its life cycle.