Boat scrapping has been a topic of discussion here in Italy for years now. Often one sees real cemeteries of boats abandoned to their fate with owners who have forgotten their existence for years now. There are areas of Italy with expanses of half-destroyed boats, hulls in disrepair in country yards. There are also those who in defiance of the law and the environment decide to sink the boat.
Boat demolition: how do we get there?
Boats are made to last forever, at least in our dreams. But there are cases when the boat, for a variety of reasons or problems, becomes unusable. When the boat gets too old, it has problems and repair costs are high. Then there is also the mooring fee to pay. One solution could be “boat scrapping,” but few are doing it so far. Why? We asked Italian company PR Ecology to explain how it works, how much it costs, the problems, and how it could be solved.
Does the scrapping of a boat require a lot of paperwork?
“Bureaucratically it is not difficult for the company. Of course it has to be authorized to do this kind of work. For the owner it’s the same thing. Just bring all the documentation of the boat and take it out of the registry. Also the harbormaster has to check that the scrapping actually takes place and that everything is in order.”
Is there a registry of scrapped boats?
“No, there is no boat scrapping registry. So there is also no “certificate of scrapping” that exists in the automobile world instead. That said, there still has to be a trail with the boat’s name on it, because once it is scrapped otherwise, nothing would be known about it. In this sense, however, a boat is also difficult to frame as a type of waste.”
How does demolition work?
“In fact, the boat has to be brought to pure fiberglass. Everything on board such as upholstery, steels, and electronic instrumentation must be removed. A shipowner can choose whether to do this work himself, or outsource it to the wrecking company that will remove by type the different materials with subsequent disposal of them . If hazardous materials (liquids or solids ) are present on board a boat, the material will be sampled with subsequent analysis by an accredited laboratory.
When this procedure is activated, the time for demolition can take up to a month or so. If, on the other hand, it is known and proven that there are no hazardous materials on board and the boat is ready, it is all over in one or two days. A “ready-made” boat means one in which there is no refrigerator, no oils to remove, black water, and so on. As we explained earlier, it has to be only fiberglass. In any case, first the company undertakes an inspection to make sure everything is in order before demolition.”
How much does it cost to scrap a boat in Italy?
This is the real problem. We as a company do waste and disposal in general, but over time we have received many requests for boat demolition. We start the survey and then send the estimate. It depends from breaker to breaker. To get things right, however, the costs are necessarily very high.
A possible solution
To unblock this impasse, a solution would be there, and we have had it in front of us for years. They are called state scrappage incentives. Of course, at this particular time the priorities are other. It should not be forgotten, however, that boating is an important item in our country’s GDP, and giving an incentive that winks at the domestic market (and not just exports) could give an important boost.
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