What do you do when your old boat won't float anymore? - InfoNews

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What do you do when your old boat won't float anymore?

Old boats need to be dismantled and recycled.
Image Credit: Facebook/ Beth Groenink
April 24, 2019 - 10:31 AM

KELOWNA - The Okanagan is a mecca for boating enthusiasts who revel in the thrill of racing up and down lakes from Osoyoos to the Shuswap.

But these boats don’t last forever.

“They all end up in somebody’s back yard,” Wayne Costa, owner of Premium Marine in Salmon Arm told iNFOnews.ca. “They’re usually landlocked somewhere. They’re in the back 40. They’ve just fallen out of love with them.”

Sometimes the derelict boats are sold with the property and the new owner is left to deal with what can be an expensive disposal problem and an environment hazard if they’re leaking engine oil or marine fuel. On the coast, they may strip the registration numbers off and sink them but that's not a real problem locally.

That’s why Don Prittie, the president of Boating B.C. is coming to the 24th annual Kelowna Boat Show this weekend, trying to educate boaters that they have a responsibility for taking care of their old boats.

“We’re trying to promote boating,” he said. “We work with different levels of government to have logical legislation and regulation. The more we can do, the better we can make it for everybody. And that includes the environment.”

That’s where people like Costa come in. He’s one of a very few boat recyclers listed in the Boating B.C. directory. And he thinks much more needs to be done with better regulations and enforcement.

The big problem with disposing of worn out boats is the fact they are often made of fibreglass which, at this point in time, is not recyclable.

Costa’s company will rip apart 10 to 30 old boats a year, salvaging parts and metal for resale but being forced to haul the fibreglass to landfills.

That can cost $500 to $1,000 for a small runabout (under about six metres). The price just goes up as the boats get bigger.

A few years ago, Costa pitched the Columbia Shuswap Regional District on the idea of crushing the fibreglass for road beds or landscape material – since it’s mostly glass – but that went nowhere.

Such a program could go beyond marine fibreglass, since it’s used in many other applications, like tub surrounds.

“I was just trying to get to the first stage with the product," Costa said. “Then take it to your universities and science centers and let them figure it out.”

Prittie said Ontario looked into a fibreglass recycling program but there is nothing in B.C.

It’s a big problem on the Coast where boats are often abandoned along river banks and in the ocean, but Costa estimates there are hundreds in Okanagan back yards.

The boat show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Kelowna Yacht Club with more than 150 new and used boats, wakeboards, kayaks and paddleboards.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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