No more boat graveyards! There is a solution: it is the scrappage incentives


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What was once the most beautiful boat in the Mediterranean is now a pile of rubble in Palma de Mallorca (Balearics): the 40-meter My Song by Pigi Loro Piana, which fell sensationally off a freighter last May off the Balearics (HERE the reconstruction of the incident) had sustained too much damage as a result of the accident and a full refit would have been too costly: demolition was inevitable.

What should be avoidable, however, are the costs of scrapping boats
: in one of our investigations we had taken stock of the process to be followed when deciding to entrust your boat to the scrapper and how disposal works.

Bureaucracy aside, if it comes to spending up to 7,000 euros to dispose of a 40-footer, that’s when we can understand why so many things happen. Because there are areas of Italy (river mouths come to mind, such as that of the Arno or Tiber rivers) that are real graveyards of half-destroyed boats, because you find junked hulls in campaign yards (and maybe the space has been rented off the books, much to the chagrin of the IRS), because there is Who, in defiance of the law, decides to sink the boat rather than face the cost of demolition and berth rental.

The solution would be there and has been in front of us for years. They are called state scrappage incentives.
They are the ones we are used to in the automotive world-they are the ones that make you say, “but yes, now is the right time to change your car,” and turn the economy around.

Think of the benefits: by giving back your old obsolete boat, in addition to forgetting about the paperwork and the “greenbacks” you would be forced to shell out to scrap it, you could take advantage of a discount on your new one.

This would breathe new life into a market, that of sailboats, which is in Italy is still a niche. Not to mention the boost to the sector of companies specializing in scrapping (to date, very few), which would then have a strong incentive to find eco solutions for the disposal of fiberglass.

And goodbye boat graveyards. As any barroom economist could teach, it is all connected and the solution is very simple. It is up to the government to implement it, perhaps knocking on the doors of the European Union for funds.

Then, of course, one could think of additional eco-incentives for those who buy boats from sustainable shipyards that fit “standard” green solutions (solar panels, electric motors, etc.), but that, perhaps, is the second step.

Eugene Ruocco

(opening photo by JL92S appeared at



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