A ‘boat euthanasia’ plea from yacht builders
NIEUWEGEIN _ The Dutch yacht building sector estimates there are 25,000 sail and motor boats in the Netherlands ready to be scrapped. The upkeep costs exceed the vessels’ market value. Dutch yacht builders want the government to start a fund to dismantle old boats and scrap them in an environmentally sound manner.
In Europe, France, Finland and Norway have the most advanced end-of-life rules for old boats. Finland, for instance, has end-of-life boat scrapping rules that mandate reusing recovered metal. The key problem is the fiber-reinforced plastic in boats, a key raw material that is lightweight, strong, watertight and easy to maintain.
Gerwin Klok, a yacht industry spokesman, told Dutch Radio that boat scrapping is a “small scale industry’’ in the Netherlands. “To raise that to a more significant level investments must be made. And for that we look to the government.. We cannot continue to ignore this problem.”
The EU has End-of-Life legislation for cars, but not old boats that are the bane of marinas and yards everywhere. Seeing no way out, their owners either neglect them or outright abandon them. A glut of old boats that cannot be sold is also hindering sales of new ones. In the view of the Dutch yachting sector, the disposal of yachts is the responsibility of boat owners. Ideally, they should be able to drop off their boat at a central point, surrendering it to a wrecker who handles the dismantling and sale of marketable components.