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There is now two months to go before the inaugural Future of Yacht Recycling Conference takes place in RAI Amsterdam on Monday 16 November. The organisers have announced further details of confirmed speakers and panellists who will present their experiences and lead debates on the subject of End-of-Life Boats (ELBs) and how their growing numbers can be practically dealt with in the coming years. Being staged at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre and timed to take place the day before the 2015 METSTRADE show opens, this dedicated one-day forum will attract delegates and participants from all sectors of the international leisure marine industry.
The event is fully sponsored by METSTRADE and supported by ICOMIA, which has provided the chairman for the day in the shape of its secretary general Udo Kleinitz. Having been closely involved with the marine industry for well over 20 years, Kleinitz brings a great deal of personal and professional interest to the subject matter. As qualified master boatbuilder, he has held technical management positions with ICOMIA and the British Marine Federation (BMF).
Carla Demaria, president of Monte Carlo Yachts, president of the Board of the Italian nautical industry association UCINA and a speaker with acknowledged in-depth experience of the boatbuilding industry, will deliver the keynote address. She will set out her views on why the global yachting industry has to seriously engage in the process of dismantling and responsibly recycling the boats of yesterday in order to make way for the boats of tomorrow.
Mirna Cieniewicz, secretary general of the Brussels-based European Boating Industry will present an overview of the Boat DIGEST project. This collaboration between several EU-based partners has been designed to create a working platform that facilitates the safe and environmentally responsible dismantling of boats which have reached the end of their working life.
A number of other confirmed speakers will bring a varied and insightful contribution to the interactive panel discussions, which will be structured to deliver details on practical and relevant solutions to the challenges presented by End-of Life Boats, now and in the future.
For example, members of the GS4C (Go Sailing, for a Change) project will share how they are addressing the issue of sustainability for the boating industry. Since starting GS4C in 2010, the founders - both of whom have America's Cup experience - have been engaged in the challenge of producing a 100% recyclable sailing boat where the hull, rigging and sails are made entirely of a single sustainable and recyclable fibre.
Another ongoing project entitled 'FRP up-cycling', designed to deal with the practicalities of processing redundant fibreglass (GRP) hulls, will be presented by Antimo di Martino from UCINA, and Mario Malinconico who works with the Italian Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (IPCB). Pierre Barblou, who manages the established APER boat dismantling network in France, will give details on how their scheme has been set up and share the latest developments they have experienced as part of the EU Boat DIGEST project.
A welcome speech by HISWA Association managing director Geert Dijks will be followed by contributions from HISWA's membership director Jeroen van den Heuvel and the Netherlands-based specialist companies such as the Yacht Recycling Foundation. This will ensure plenty of topical input from a Dutch perspective into how the country’s significant leisure marine industry is approaching this challenge to the boating world.
With an eye on the future, accepting that yachts will have to be built with more sustainable and recyclable materials than they have been historically, there will also be an exclusive chance for conference delegates to have a 'sneak peek' at the Materials Xperience display. This has been specially arranged with the METSTRADE show organisers, allowing entrance to the presentation on the day before the show officially opens.
The Materia exhibition showcased 125 innovative materials at the METSTRADE show last year including diverse lightweight and fire retardant materials, along with luxury interior finishes, honeycomb panels, foam materials and bio-composites. In addition, practical finishing materials including the latest veneers and surface materials were on show. The Materials Xperience is sure to be of interest to boatbuilders, designers, naval architects and all who appreciate modern and futuristic marine construction components.
Early bird registration for The Future of Yacht Recycling is now open at a special price of 275 euros for the day. By kind arrangement with METSTRADE & ICOMIA, the first 35 delegates to sign up will also receive complimentary passes for entry to the METSTRADE show, the exclusive Breakfast Briefing and the evening Happy Hour on Tuesday 17 November.
Online delegate registration can be accessed at: www.regonline.co.uk/RECY15.
The Future of Yacht Recycling Conference, Exhibition and Reception will be held in the new Elcium Building at RAI Amsterdam, which quite appropriately has been acclaimed for its environmental sustainability. Irene Dros, Maritime Domain Manager at RAI said: “We are really looking forward to host this event at METS 2015. It gives added value to the total programme of the METSTRADE show, and it completely fits with our stated environmental objectives for making this world a cleaner place” The RAI has won several awards for its approach to sustainability, and in 2013 achieved the distinction of enabling 100% recycling of all its generated waste.
For full details, updated agenda or to register online go to www.quaynote.com.
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In recent years most nations with ownership of significant numbers of leisure yachts amongst their population, have been turning their attention to the ELB phenomena which has been exacerbated due to the boom years of the 70s and 80's, when large numbers of yachts were mass produced from long-life composite construction materials. And due to the fact their average life span is 30 to 50 years, they are now presenting the yachting industry with some economic and environmental challenges, in fairly large and annually increasing numbers.
In simple terms, the future growth of new boat sales will depend to a large extent on effectively dealing with the boats of yesteryear, in much the same way as the automotive industry has developed its own solutions to the problem!
A study carried out by ICOMIA (The International Council of Marine Industry Associations) has estimated that there are more than 6 million recreational craft in Europe alone. This also revealed that historically, disposal methods have been crude, and generally involve chopping up composite structures and reducing them to fragments that can be sent to landfill, which is considered unsustainable in the long run. The conclusion? Recycling is the only realistic option for the future...
As far back as 1999 the US based naval architect Eric Sponberg wrote an article entitled Recycling Dead Boats, in which he said: “Boat builders cannot produce a new boat that is competitively priced with its used counterpart. And added to that, “the industry has ‘shot itself in the foot’ by building boats out of such a durable and almost indestructible material as fibreglass (GRP.)”
Sponberg elaborated further: “What we need is a disposal pipeline for old boats. Take them out of the market, cut them up, grind them into little pieces and use them for something else. If old boats go away, the market and marinas automatically have space for new boats, and business booms. Recycling of course is the answer.”
So, now there is a new technical and commercial process in the yachting industry that will undoubtably develop and expand into the future. Not only that, but naval architects, designers, boat builders and their sub suppliers will start to think more creatively about how to construct yachts, taking into account the eventual prospect of sustainably recycling them.
Note to the editor (not for publication):
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