Concrete solutions for end-of-life boat dismantling

Boat dismantling is a tricky and contentious issue. Photo courtesy of Gwynnie Griffiths
Boat dismantling is a tricky and contentious issue. Photo courtesy of Gwynnie Griffiths

How to approach the global problem of boat dismantling was under discussion at the recent ‘Boat’s end-of-life, truly the end?’ conference.

The event, held at the Nautic Paris International Boat Show on 8 December 2015, was organised by the European Boating Industry, the French federation FIN and Reed Exposition.

It brought together exhibitors, companies, visitors and public authorities who all heard the clear message that concrete solutions were available for boat’s end-of-life while more work was necessary at EU level to address remaining technical, legal and financial issues.

Opening the conference, Yves Lyon-Caen, president of Nautic and FIN spoke of the challenges ahead.

“Boat dismantling is complex for three reasons: there is an imbalance between the historic and current markets posing the challenge of fleet renewal; the boat is one of the products with the longest lifetime; and the same boat will on average change hands from 6 to 7 times,” he said.

Mirna Cieniewicz, secretary general of the European Boating Industry, said: “It is striking to note that the operational boat dismantling schemes current active, namely in Japan, Finland, France and recently Sweden, were established with the boating industry.”

Benoit Ribeil from the French dismantling network APER, announced the inception of APER PYRO, a sister organisation that will manage the destruction of expired pyrotechnics, free of charge.

He said: “What remains to be done is not technical but rather finding new recycling alternatives for fibre reinforced plastic waste, improving the legal framework to dispose of abandoned boats and developing the financial conditions to lower the cost for the boaters.”

Following the presentations came a lively exchange between speakers and the audience where hot topics such as financing, fiscal incentives, new boat dismantling practices and administrative or operating models were keenly debated.

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