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How to properly recycle millions of old yachts

The Netherlands – A yachting industry forum is to seek to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly growing number of end-of-life recreational boats.

Over recent years, most nations with significant leisure yacht ownership have been turning their attention to the economic and environmental challenges created by the boom years of the 1970s and 1980s when large numbers of vessels with an average lifespan of 30 to 50 years were mass-produced from composite materials.

A recent study carried out by the International Council of Marine Industry Associations has estimated that there are more than 6 million recreational craft in Europe alone. The study also revealed that, historically, disposal methods have been ‘crude’ and have generally involved chopping up composite structures into fragments for landfilling.

New technical and commercial processes within the yachting industry could expand recycling opportunities. Furthermore, naval architects, designers, boat builders and their sub-suppliers are expected to start thinking more creatively about how to construct yachts with sustainable recycling in mind.

Such issues will be addressed at the Future of Yacht Recycling Conference, to be held on November 16 at the RAI Conference Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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