Circular Economy

In November 2016, the European Commission published its study on the Nautical Tourism, with the contributions and support of EBI. End-of-life boats are mentioned as one of the main challenges for the nautical industry which might pose a threat to the environment and a recycling challenge.

The study confirms that the yachts' average lifespan has been estimated at 30 years, although in some instances this may stretch to 40-45 years. This lifespan has further increased over time due to the use of stronger materials, such as fibre reinforced polymer (FRP), 'reinforced plastic'. It is thought that between 1% and 2% of the 6 million boats kept in Europe, in other words at least 80,000 boats, reach their 'end-of-life' each year. However, not all of these are dismantled.

For the full study: Assessment of the impact of business development improvements around nautical tourism


Boat DIGEST dismantling map

On 23 September 2015, EBI hosted the final Boat DIGEST conference in Brussels, which presented the general overview on the end-of-life boats (ELB) and the main project outcomes. While challenges are still remaining, especially when it comes to financing models of dismantling ELBs, the Boat DIGEST project gave more visibility to the work carried out in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and UK (consortium of 9 partners from these countries). As the inititative's main activities have been to identify boat dismantling locations and practices in those countries in order to understand the common problems, accidents and hazards that can be encountered in Europe.

After studying key issues relevant to recreational craft owners related to ELBs and analysing training needs for dismantlers in the past months, Boat DIGEST has come up with four sets of "Guidelines" targeted to marinas, associations, schools, repair and refit companies. The "Guidelines" (available in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish) target various audiences: boaters and nautical associations, marinas and leisure harbours, repair & refit companies, and boating schools. They also 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. They can be freely distributed to all interested parties, as long as they are not modified in their current format.

Boat DIGEST also developed an online and free of charge training course for the professional staff working at waste management facilities and having to treat boats. The training contains four units covering administrative, financial and practical issues. An online test verifies the dismantlers' knowledge and if over 70% of answers are correct, a certificate is issued by University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland), one of the project partners. Another useful outcome is the dismantling network map which helps identify and locate professional dismantling sites in Europe.

The above-mentioned and other tools, such as an awareness raising module for users, educational videos or posters are all accessible via www.boatdigest.euYou can also the boat dismantling network map created by the project.

Paris Nautic 2015Mirna speaking on stage

On 8 December 2015, the conference “Boat’s end-of-life, truly the end?” was held at the Nautic – Paris International Boat Show - jointly organised by EBI, the French federation FIN and Reed Exposition. The event gathered a large audience made of exhibitors, companies, visitors and public authorities eager to learn more about the current approaches to boat dismantling across the world and discuss how to make this activity viable in the long term.

Watch the video spot.


End-of-life Working Group with the European Commission

EBI and the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs (DG MARE) jointly lead a Working Group on end-of-life boats. The aim of the collaboration is to develop an EU roadmap that EU countries can follow to set up their own dismantling systems. It has a wide approach tackling all relevant issues, as well as involving stakeholders and national authorities. Stakeholders currently involved are the European Boating Association (EBA), the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), the European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA) and other associations representing end-users of composites.


The figures

Currently there is no european inventory, therefore the figures are estimation

Fleet characteristics: 7 to 8 meters, made in fiberglass and polyester resin

Average lifespan: 30 to 40 years

Number of end-of-life boats: 80 000 units

Abandoned: 6000 to 9000 units, which means 90% of the boats are not abandoned.

Current projects

Current European project involving EBI:


In a nutshell

Duration: 18 months

Project's objectives

To maintain biodiversity and natural ecosystems through strengthening the management and networking of protected areas.
The project aims to capitalize on existing projects addressing the potential conflicts and/or synergies between MPAs and the Maritime industries and to produce specific recommendations for the Mediterranean context that can support authorities in charge of MPA management, MSFD, Maritime Spatial Planning and ICZM implementation. In particular, the following sectors and their relationships with MPAs will be addressed: offshore oil and gas, maritime transport, cruise, offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, leisure boating.

Key expected outcomes

  • Production of specific sector guidelines/recommendations on the links between MPAs and Maritime Economic Sectors.
  • Replication mechanism for disseminating these guidelines/recommendations through the MedPAN network and the Barcelona Convention
  • Memorandum of Understanding with organisations representing maritime industries
  • Memorandum of Understanding with specific MPAs and MOU with IUCN Green List
  • Reference to these guidelines/recommendations in MSP frameworks, at national, regional and transnational level

Blue Generation

In a nutshell

Duration: 4 years

Project's objectives

The Blue Economy employment demand is set to more than double by 2030, young people are not being attracted to maritime careers (European Commission SWD (2017) 130) and maritime businesses cannot find the required workforce, skills and profiles. On the other hand, the EU has 4,6 M € unemployed young people, 6.6 M NEETs in the age group of 15 and 24 plus 7.4 M of young people between 25 and 29 years who encounter strong difficulties entering the labour market.
The objective of the Blue Generation project is to inspire and engage youth between 15 and 29 years that are NEETs ((Not in Employment, Education or Training) or at risk of becoming NEETs, to consider and pursue a sustainable career and new opportunities in one of the Blue Economy growth areas: coastal tourism, aquaculture, ocean energy, marine biotechnology and maritime transport.

Key expected outcomes

 To reach this aim the Blue Generation project will:
1. Organise a seminar between experts and youth organisations to share knowledge about skills needed, open jobs position and existing training.
2. Increase awareness of the Blue Career opportunities among the Target Groups through the planning and organization of Promotional Activities and the development of a Blue Career Guide.
3. Increase the professional and educational interest of youth by specifically targeting and engaging high schools, adult education centre, NGOs, unemployment services and local associations.
4. Direct interested youth through skills validation and personal mentoring to suitable opportunities.
5. Increase the transnational engagement and inspiration of interested youth through short International Blue Exchanges.
6. Increase the number of employment and training among youth through jobs and internships on the Blue Career Job Platform.
7. Facilitate the transferability of the Blue Generation Program by writing a Blueprint guide and organising two International Conferences.
8. Strengthen the transnational relationship between youth and the maritime sector by developing the Blue Career Job Platform and creating a Network to ensure the lasting effect of the project.
As result, it is envisaged to reach up to 39,000 young people with the promotional activities and convert at least 2,000 of them to employment or training in the Blue Economy.





EU projects

In order to defend the interests of the European leisure marine industry as efficiently as possible, EBI take part in several european funded project.

In a European project different policy organisations, stakeholders from several countries in Europe come together for several months to collaborate, learn from each other and address policy issue of common concern.

Participating in a European project presents some undeniable perks:

  • Extend our sector network
  • Finance our research
  • Reinforce ourimage and renown toward the European sector
  • Participate in EU policies
  • ...

In “EU projects” section, you will learn all about the projects European Boating Industry participates in and consult the results.

Take a look at our current EU projects

  • Blue Generation

Read the archive of our past projects

  • Boat DIGEST

Past EU projects

Archive of past projects:


 Boat Digest logo

In a nutshell

Time period: 2013 - 2015

Visit the project website:

Read the project outcomes and results


Project's objectives

The Boat Dismantling Insight by Generating Environmental and Safety Training (Boat DIGEST) project aimed to improve the Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) standards of recreational craft dismantling practices. It addressed skill gaps, while at the same time raising the awareness of end of life responsibilities and options for recreational craft owners and professionals. This was achieved through transferring innovative products, tools and training from previous research activities into vocational education and training (VET) for those involved with the dismantling of recreational craft and an awareness module which provides end of life guidance for those who own recreational craft.


Key outcomes

  • Guidelines on end-of-life recreational craft

After studying key issues relevant to recreational craft owners related to end of life boats and analysing training needs for dismantlers, Boat DIGEST has come up with four sets of "Guidelines" targeting various audiences: boaters and nautical associations, marinas and leisure harbours, repair & refit companies, and boating schools.

Because your national language is important, these "guidelines" are available in 5 languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish.

  • Training modules

Boat DIGEST also developed an online and free of charge training course for the professional staff working at waste management facilities and having to treat boats. The training contains 4 units covering administrative, financial and practical issues.

An online test verifies the dismantlers' knowledge and if over 70% of answers are correct, a certificate is issued by University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland), one of the project partners.

  • Dismantling network

A regularly updated dismantling network map helps identify and locate professional dismantling sites in Europe. 

You can see a boat dismantling network map created by the project.


TCC-SCV Logo TCC-SCV final-small


In a nutshell

Time period: 2014 - 2016

Visit the project website:

Read the project outcomes and results


Project's objectives

Despite a single internal market and greatly simplified administrative procedures for EU citizens to live and study anywhere in Europe, certain professional qualifications are still not accepted by various Member States and this is why an EU-funded project called TCC-SCV (TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels) was initiated.

TCC-SCV kicked-off in Palma de Mallorca in November 2014 and finished in August 2016 with its main outputs presented at the "Skippers Working Without Borders" conference on 16 June 2016 in Brussels.

The project has been looking at the problem of restricted working mobility with regard to professional skippers on small vessels within the European Union (who unlike merchant seafarers don’t enjoy worldwide mobility). The initiative has gathered 10 partners from 9 countries, namely Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and UK.

TCC-SCV expanded its comparison software (back then 3 sets of qualifications), developed in 2011 with TRECVET project, to 7 national qualifications now from Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovenia, Spain and UK. The comparison software (providing transparency and simplicity when comparing similar qualifications from different countries) will also contain information about the commonalities and differences of all 7 qualifications. This information will be used to inform and assist the maritime administrations in Czech Republic and Romania, where work is in progress to develop the relevant legal framework for the profession. The detailed analysis of both theoretical and practical fundamental elements of each national qualification carried out by the TCC-SCV project will provide the information needed by maritime administrations to understand other national qualifications.


Key outcomes

Two main outcomes of the TCC-SCV initiative are: the Online Comparison Tool and the Common Core Curriculum. The Online Comparison Tool showed that today 80 to 90% of the 7 analysed qualifications are identical. It means that differences are far less than commonalities and that generally speaking the various qualifications are already very similar. This tool brings the much needed transparency and details about the content of each qualification, making it easy to understand what additional training or competences would be required when working for another Member State’s flag.
The Common Core Curriculum was designed based on the current common base. Based on the identified differences among Member States, the additional knowledge and competences would be proposed as modules. This way, each skipper can personalise his training needs according to the common core and the necessary additional modules requested by individual Member States. Therefore, the additional compensation measures would be limited to the truly different competences required by the destination Member States.

For more about the project, take a look at the TCC-SCV project website.

Even though the project has officially ended now, the research and work are being carried out to extend the project findings to other EU Member States to get an even better picture at the problem in the entire EU and find the right solutions.


Our calendar displays the events and meetings organised by European Boating Industry and those in which we participate, as well as most of the boat shows organised in Europe.

If you feel we should publish an event you are organising, please send us an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a short description of your event. Thank you.

Events calendar

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