Project Summary

What problem are we addressing?
Waterway managing organisation observe an increase of the number of abandoned pleasure boats or wrecks on their waterways and in marinas.

The boats are abandoned because their owners are not capable of paying the costs anymore for mooring and maintenance, and they have limited options to have it recycled. The average costs of conventionally dismantling is €800 to as much as €15,000 for boats of over 15m. Their numbers show an extensive problem and predict a lot of waste and pollution in the near future. In the 1970’s it became possible to build boats in a production line and they became relatively cheap and a lot of them were sold. The  average age of these crafts is now 30 years. 142.000 of which are at the end of their useful life.

 When it is abandoned, the waterway and marina owners are left with it and responsible for disposing of it. This is contrary to the Polluter-Pays Principle.

What is the objective?
The project extends the former Boat Digest project which formulated existing boat disassembly methods for SMEs and promotion to boat owners. However to solve the entire problem of the abandoned boats, the problem must be addressed on multiple levels. First of all, an integral approach must be implemented  for the disposal and recycling of existing fleet of end-of-life boats.

In addition, the recurrence of the problem with the new fleet must be avoided by creating a sustainable life cycle for boats, supported by a self-supporting financing system jointly developed by all partners. 

Therefore, a Corporate Social Responsibility of all involved is needed to create a circular economy for the entire boating industry and its customers. The technology and the urgency of the problem of the current end-of-use fleet allow to make progress now. 

The boating industries sustainability can be increased by decreasing the ecological footprint from building to end-of-use dismantling. It is confirmed that the Yacht building Industry realize that the availability of building materials is absolute not sure for the future. A boat should be manufactured in a way as to allow reuse, recycling and recovery is ensured without losing quality and safety standards. 

?Why do we need transnational cooperation?
If a country deals with the issue alone and and would set a fee for boat owners or other expenses, they would drive the boats overseas to another country and abandanon it.

?What kind of partners are we looking for?
All involved in the life cycle: public, private parties, SMEs, knowledge centres, etc.) could contribute to create this circulair economy.

Lead partner

Organisation Email
Waterways Netherlands

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