Page 8 - IAMI Review Magazine September - December 2015
P. 8

Recycling Abandoned
Leisure Craft and Boat Wrecks
In Europe but also in the US and other parts of the world a great number of Recreational craft are reaching their end of lifecycle. Recent studies in the Netherlands resulted in an estimate of 15,000 craft today and 35,000 craft in the nearby future only in the Netherlands in which there are approximately 300.000 end of lifecycle craft (EOLC). If we translate this to the rest of Europe we are talking about hundreds of thousands of craft that have come to the end of their lifecycle and therefor need to be dismantled and recycled.
These EOLC are, in contrast to other objects such as cars, never designed nor build to be dismantled or recycled. This results in a costly procedure and therefore EOLC are often abandoned in marina’s waterways and on beaches.
Due to demographic evolutions in Europe and general age of Craft in Europe an increase in numbers of EOLC will take place. If the EOLC are left in the water they will pollute the water. Oil and fuel can leak from the craft and also asbestos , which is used quite often in the ’70, will get in to the rivers, lakes and sea. Also GRP boats will slowly disintegrate into plastic micro beats, which on it self is a problem because this way plastic ends up in our food chain through marine live.
Why do people leave their once so beloved craft behind? If you talk to marinas, yacht brokers, ship service companies or owners in Europe, you will often hear the same story. The water sport industry has reached its peak. The time that marinas are overbooked, and you had to wait in line to pass a lock or a bridge because of the high amount of craft, are gone. Demographic trends and economic recession are probably the most important reason of this situation. Harbour fees and maintenance costs are often high and the older boats are hardly to sell. Young people are no longer interested in the old boats because of maintenance costs. The value of the craft is often higher than the annual fees. Crafts are then easily abandoned. Many young people who do like water sport will often hire and the possession of a craft is no longer seen as the epitome of freedom and happiness. This also results in the decrease of, a foundation for yacht recycling in the Netherlands says, in the ’60, ’70 and early ’80 tens of thousands of people bought themselves a yacht. This generation becomes older and are not capable to sail their craft any more. Also the craft that they bought are getting older and these boats are almost impossible to sell. If the craft is sold for a few dollars the new owner experiences the cost of owning a boat. These latest owners of the boats are often not the wealthiest in the line of owners but they are left with the problem of getting rid of now EOLC which, as written before, is costly. Again a reason EOLC are left behind. Therefore it should be more honest that all the owners in the complete lifespan of a craft should pay a reasonable amount to recycle the craft in the end of life.
So lost of situations do create an increase of EOLC that are abandoned.
Luckily the water sport industry noticed the problem and the first discussions of building cradle to cradle are started. Here we see a great responsibility for yacht designers and boat builders. Designing and building a boats that is just as rugged as most modern boats, has the same lifespan of approximately 30 years (Europe) and will be easy to dismantle and durable recycled will be the challenge but results will only be seen after 30 years.
fffffpossibilities to sell wrecks to wholesale buyers after damage. f

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