Canadian Yachting May 2016 - (Page 4)
Wood You Ever Go Back?
It's almost a certainty that as a Canadian Yachting magazine reader, you own at least
one fiberglass boat. Perhaps you are in the market today for a new boat, or perhaps
you're still enjoying an older one and thinking about the day you might replace it.
If you are interested in a new fiberglass boat, you might do well to move quickly.
Just like the recycling or disposal fees that are applied to new tires or a new car
battery, or in fact, the much larger but hidden cost applied to a new car at the
manufacturer's level, "end-of-life" and recycling fees are being applied to the original
purchase price of more and more new items.
Recently, end-of-life fiberglass boats have been drawing more attention. Wherever
you travel in Canada, from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island, it's common to see
derelict fiberglass boats out behind many marina and repair yard facilities and also in
farmer's fields, backyards in the city, or out behind the cottage at the lake.
In what some people might call the "good old days", boats were made out of wood.
Over time the wooden boat becomes leaky, the wood starts to rot and the owner either
undertakes major repairs or watches the hull rot away, ultimately leaving little more
than the engine and the hardware. From there, recycling is not too difficult and there
is little left over that can't be melted down and re-used.
By the way, aluminum boats are highly recyclable, so maybe aluminum will become
the boat building material of the future.
But, fiberglass boats do not rot or deteriorate even over many decades.
In a recent issue of Professional Boatbuilder magazine, assistant editor Melissa
Wood tackled the subject of dismantling unwanted or end-of-life boats in Europe. The
reality is that some percentage of these boats are still usable (and even seaworthy to
some extent) but their owner no longer wants them and they have been unable to
attract a new buyer.
The end-of-life for a fiberglass boat may simply mean that nobody wants it anymore
and it winds up being discarded.
In her article, Melissa Wood speculates that the average life expectancy of a fiberglass boat is in the vicinity of 35 years. However, long before the 35-year mark, the
engines are likely to need extensive repair or possibly rebuilding, and especially for
boats used in salt water, the electrical system and wiring will have to be replaced.
Masts, shrouds, chainplates and sails will all need replacement too.
Major repairs are expensive and the resale value of an older boat is typically quite
low, meaning that it's hard to justify a big repair expense for an old boat. Additionally,
the person who now owns the old boat is often not the wealthy person who bought it
new, and may not have the personal resources to cover major expenses, even if they felt
the boat was good enough to justify those costs.
What all of this adds up to is the concept of putting an end-of-life, or recycling fee
on the initial cost of a new boat to deal with the unwanted or derelict boat.
That could significantly increase the cost of the new boat. But what if new boats
were manufactured out of wood?
If a new wooden hull could be built to serve well for 10 or 20 years and then it rots
and is easily recycled, there might be no huge environmental impact like there is with
Would you be willing to pay an up-front recycling fee? Or would you prefer to buy
a new wooden boat?
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C a n a d i a n Y a c h t i n g MAY 2016
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Yachting May 2016
Vantage Point: Wood you ever go back?
Waterfront: Marine News
Club Profile: Midland Bay Sailing Club
Boat Handling: Embarrassment-free Docking Tips - Docking your boat is not rocket science but it also can be intimidating. Follow these clearly outlined techniques to improve your docking performance. By Brenda and Doug Dawson
Shafts and Propellers: Props Part 2 - Part 2 focusses on the other parts of your drive system that can be critical to either maximizing your propellor’s effectives, or robbing it of the ability to perfom its best. By Rob MacLeod
Destination: Azores - The Shards take sabbatical in the Portuguese islands of the Azores in the middle of their transatlantic crossing. Offering stunning landscapes steeped in history, this traditional provisioning waypoint for pilots and sailors is now a blossoming charter destination. By Sheryl Shard, Photos by Paul and Sheryl Shard
Behind the Scenes: MJM Yachts - Made exclusively by Boston BoatWorks, learn how MJM combines old principles of boat design with modern techniques to produce, light, stable and extremely fuel-efficient yachts. By Kate Fincham
Sail Review: Marlow-Hunter 31
Power Review: Jeanneau Leader 46
Power Review: Everglades 230 CC
Crossing the Line: The 180-second Workout
Canadian Yachting May 2016