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How to handle your end-of-life boat: Boat DIGEST guidelines released

Boat DIGEST is an EU-funded project started in October 2013 and due to finish in September this year, addressing the problem of the end-of-life craft. The project’s main activities were to identify boat dismantling and recycling practices and locations across Europe and also to gather dismantlers and boat owners’ opinions in order to better understand the existing problems faced by them. A set of online training and awareness materials addressed to dismantlers and their staff and to boat owners have been developed and will be tested shortly.

Four sets of “Guidelines” are now published on the project’s website in English and Spanish. The French, Italian and Turkish versions will soon be available too. They target various audiences: boaters and nautical associations, marinas and leisure harbours, repair & refit companies, and boating schools. The “Guidelines” explain the situation of the end-of-life boats and offer information on the actions that can be taken by these four groups and the role they play in raising boat owners’ awareness about the issue.

Understanding the safety and environmental risks and raising awareness among all players in the boating world is crucial to efficiently tackle the complex issue of boat’s end-of-life. The “Guidelines” aim to serve as an information tool, they also touch upon the current boat owners’ practices and stress the fact most of them are against abandoning the craft. Unfortunately, the document does not yet offer – what troubles owners the most – the best financing model for disposing of an old craft. The “Guidelines” can be freely distributed to all interested parties, as long as they are not modified in their current format.

In order to help owners and other interested parties easily find both boat dismantling facilities and the national contact point responsible for boat dismantling activities, a regularly updated map has been set up and is available here:

The released document also advises all interested parties to follow closely the activities of the European Boating Association Working Group on End-of-Life Recreational Craft created in 2012, focused on both environmentally sustainable activities and economically-related issues. For more information, please write to