What’s the future for derelict GRP boats?

It's the elephant in the cabin, the big question that's been looming for decades: 'What do we do with old GRP boats?' writes Nic Compton.

Anyone who has been for a beach walk in popular boating areas in the UK can't help but have noticed the growing number of abandoned boats accumulating on the foreshore or collecting moss up some leafy creek.

Most boatyards and marinas have their fair share of 'derelicts' which are clearly beyond economic repair.

The cost of disposing of old boats is the biggest barrier. Credit: Boatbreakers

And yet the answer to the question of how to deal with this growing problem has been a resounding silence, simply because there wasn't an answer.

Now, there are at last signs that solutions are beginning to emerge. And just in the nick of time.

But first, let's remind ourselves of the scale of the problem.

According to a recent survey, there are an estimated six million boats in the EU alone, 95% of which are made of GRP (glass reinforced plastic).

Every year, around 1-2% (60,000-120,000) of these boats reach the end of their useful life.

Of these, only 2,000 are recycled, while 6,000-9,000 are abandoned.

by Nic Compton, Yachting Monthly,  April 19, 2021

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