Abandoned and End-of-Life Boats

Andy Adams 2018

Mar 2, 2021

In this edition of Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest, we feature Part 1 of a two-part story about recycling fibreglass. There are many uses for fibreglass, but boats seem to be a big and conspicuous one.

For important environmental reasons, the Federal Government has announced Abandoned Boats Funding. The NMMA Canada is actively involved in this and all the marine trades associations are onboard.  

On February 16th, Transport Canada announced $1.7 million in new funding to recover abandoned boats in B.C. and Newfoundland & Labrador. The funding will go toward the removal of 51 abandoned boats and the assessment of 44 more boat removal projects. Unlike previous rounds which only covered 75% of removal costs, this new funding will cover 100% of costs (up to a maximum of $50,000 per project). (READ MORE)

NMMA Canada has been a leader in calling for more robust action to clean up abandoned vessels; in 2018, NMMA Canada president Sara Anghel spoke at a parliamentary committee studying abandoned boats legislation and NMMA had significant input into the final bill that was passed.

But what is a boat? Your wobbly, rotting 1980’s sterndrive cottage runabout is certainly a boat; probably an end-of-life boat, but the government puts the responsibility for disposal on the owner. I believe the “boats” they are presently looking at are larger vessels like cruisers, keel boats and commercial craft that will have a larger environmental impact. 

My question is how many smaller, derelict pleasure craft are abandoned in marinas and other (mostly) rural storage yards, or even in farm fields. Will the new Vessel Licensing program be a potential source of funding to dispose of these old boats?

When you read our Recycling Fibreglass story this week and next, you will see some of the ways fibreglass can be recycled, but it’s plainly a difficult and therefore expensive process. The government has turned its attention to this issue. I hope you are participating in the dialogue through your marine trades associations. Now is the time to speak up.

Andy Adams – Editor

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