Future of Boat Demolition

Last week the Boatbreakers team hosted representatives of a number of governing bodies in the marine industry.

Boatbreakers discussed the future of boat demolition with representatives from the RYA, MCA, British Marine Federation (Green Blue) and Sail Training International.

Boat Demolition Yard

At our scrapyard in Portsmouth, we discussed the future of boat destruction in the UK. Boat demolition is an issue that hasn’t really been on the agenda for most of these organisations.

However, as the problem worsens and as boats are always getting older something needs to be done. The issue of Boat Disposal won’t just go away.

We want to make sure boat demolition is firmly on the agenda when these institutions meet to discuss the future of boating.

GRP Problem

It is not enough to just discuss recycling and plastic use in terms of environmental issues anymore. People need to remember that the glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) that boats are made from is also a major problem.

Our team were happy to see how responsive the visitors were to the issues we presented to them. A number of questions were raised about how they could help and advice they could give.

Raising Boat Demolishing Awareness

Boatbreakers thinks that’s the way the RYA, MCA and BMF can help, is simply by raising awareness to both the public and the government. With these types of organisations behind us more people should become aware of the boat wrecking issue.

Once more people are aware of the issue about boat demolition in the UK and globally and we hope that the governing bodies and governments will be forced into doing something about it.

Currently, Boatbreakers receives no help for funding to develop the processes we use when disposing of a boat.

Unsustainable Future

The only funding we get is from each individual boat owner when they have to scrap their boat. We know that this is probably unsustainable because of how easy it is for both owners to walk away from their boats and not be traced.

We hope that the RYA or BMF could help implement a system where boat registration will make this a lot harder to do. It would probably be an unpopular decision at first with boatowners due to the extra paperwork but it would make a real difference in helping to stop people abandoning boats.

During the meeting we also discussed getting marinas to suggest boat demolition if they think a boat is close to end-of-life. Too often boatyards and marinas will happily keep an old boat to keep the money coming in. Then let it rot away. This usually means that they are left with what they think is an asset but in truth is a financial burden.

Slick Boat Demolition Process

As boat demolition grows as an issue in the UK and awareness rises we hope that Boatbreakers can grow with it.

Boatbreakers is continuing to get busier year on year. We have a fairly slick process in place for boat disposal in the UK. From collection to demolition. So we feel that if new legislation was put in place to make boat disposal easier we could really make it easy for boat owners.

However, the major issue in the background that needs attention and research from other institutions is what to do with end-of-life GRP.

Looking to the future

We look forward to hearing if our meeting has any impact on future RYA, MCA or BMF meetings. And whilst we know any developments will take time, it is definitely a step in the right direction.

During the Southampton Boat Show we also had productive meetings with the British Marine Federation. We are excited to see what the future holds.

Boat Demolition Meeting - Steve Talking about Boat Demolition
Boat Demolition - Luke talking about Boat Demolition