End-of-Life Boats (ELB’s), where are we now?

It has been described as a ‘challenge that won’t go away’ for the leisure marine industry, and it has been the subject of several conferences in Europe over the last few years.

For sure these events have resulted in a lot of information gathered and a higher level of general awareness regarding the scale of the problem.

A quick recap on what has led us to this point.

Put quite simply, the composite construction of boat hulls from GRP (fiberglass) created a manufacturing boom starting out in the late 50’s, which led to large volumes of virtually indestructible boats flooding the market. And now hundreds of thousands of these boats are coming to the End-of-Life, or End-of-Use stage, at around the same time, and in most cases for reasons other than deterioration of the composite hull.

A one-page graphic, illustrating the scale of the problem globally, and some of the practical and economic challenges that it presents can be viewed here: 


Fibreglass challenges in the USA.

In some parts of America, disposal companies are dropping composite hulls into landfill at a cost of just $35 per ton. They say that commercially, this is their only option, when the most they can get from an owner (even if he is willing to pay, or can be found) is $90 to $100 per ton.   

Tom Dammrich the President of NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) in the US, has stated that he is determined to keep the topic firmly on the agenda, and to move forward with better solutions.    https://www.nmma.org