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During the course of previous meetings, the term ‘End-of-Use’ has become adopted, as opposed to ‘End-of-Life’ boats. This is simply because one of the major barriers to progress is the virtually indestructible nature of GRP (Fibreglass.) This means that the hull, being the largest component part of the boat, has not actually reached end-of-life in the true sense, but has been consigned to end-of-use for various other reasons. These may include mechanical or rigging failure, old age / illness of owners, or simply a loss of interest in keeping the yacht maintained.
Various articles covering the subject have been written over the last few years by ourselves and others. In fact, an American yachting journalist Martha Blanchfield has been following our blog, and has written an article for the recent June edition of Points East boating magazine in the US. She has used some of our previously published information, supplemented with her own additional detailed research material.
Martha borrowed the words from the well-known Neil Sedaka hit song, and very appropriately entitled her piece: ‘Breaking up is hard to do! ‘
The article points out that the U.S. and Canada represent half the world’s boating market, yet the discussion on how to deal with end-of-use boats is hardly a hot top topic amongst North American sailors. Martha says, “we are behind Europe in addressing a growing stock pile of forgotten fiberglass, and putting it into land fill simply extends its life cycle by 400 years, leaving it for future generations to deal with! “
You can read the full article here for a very comprehensive background on how we got to where we are now, with the GRP / End-of-Use Boats challenge.
For a quick view on the overall situation we have produced a one page graphic.
For more content, see one of our earlier articles here ‘Can plastic boats be recycled'?