Company near deal on abandoned-boat recycling

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American Fiber Green Products announced this week that negotiations are advancing on a possible joint venture with Florida partners to facilitate the recycling of abandoned and salvage boats from Florida rivers and tributaries and the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 100 acres of land have been identified in west-central Florida to accommodate a fiberglass boat recycling operation, according to Ken McCleave, chairman of the board of American Fiber Green Products. The property’s owner has agreed to make the property available in conjunction with a third entity equipped with barges and other equipment required to raise the Coast Guard-estimated 9,000 boats that lie in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“Florida, like many other states, struggles with the number of boats left abandoned, both in the waterways and on land,” McCleave said in a statement. “Our ability to process fiberglass and recycle to new marketable products will be the catalyst to a successful business venture.”

It is anticipated that a boat recycling depot can be operating in the next 90 to 120 days. Many states have funds earmarked specifically for abandoned boat programs.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other storms, our coastal states have been littered with thousands of boats,” company president Daniel Hefner. “In the cleanup after the storm, salvagers stripped boats of their valuable electronics and metals, leaving the fiberglass shells behind as eyesores to the landscape and hazards in the shallow waterways.”


6 comments on “Company near deal on abandoned-boat recycling

  1. Maria Brandes

    This sounds like a great program. A local town with a small budget had an abandonded boat in a canal last year that was an eyesore but didn’t have the funds available to have it moved. I love the win-win for a new business and the enviornment!

  2. Reggie Good

    an additional source of income for this project could be selling parts and pieces and equipment from the salvaged boats, like an auto wrecking yard. Some auto wrecking yards are “self serve”. You go to the boats and find the part you want and remove it and take it to the desk to pay for it. An addidional business and job opportunity hers, and lots of folks with older boats are looking for used boat items, replacement hatches, etc.

  3. patriot

    I am so tired of boats that operate without insurance becoming issues that the state has to deal with. If you live or operate a boat you are responsible for that vessel in both good and bad times. The state does not need to be your mother.

  4. Eric W. Sponberg

    I have been tracking the technology of recycling fiberglass boats for over 20 years. I wrote two articles on it, the last being in Professional Boatbuilder Magazine, issue #60, Aug/Sep 1999, “Recycling Dead Boats”, the single most-requested article I have ever written. A copy can be downloaded from my website: Scroll down the list of article downloads; it’s about halfway down.

    Fiberglass is extremely difficult to recycle, but various people and organizations around the world are working on it. I maintain a cadre of articles, studies, and press reports on the problem as well as a Contacts List so that people interested in solving the problem of dead boats and fiberglass recycling can work with each other. Interestingly, one person wrote in recently predicting that a new source of used fiberglass that will be looming its head in about 15 to 20 years will be composite windmill blades–there are tens of thousands of them around the world, and eventually they will have to be discarded and replaced.

    If anyone is interested in receiving more information, I would be happy to forward what I have. You may contact me through my website at the link above.

    Eric W. Sponberg
    Naval Architect
    Sponberg Yacht Design Inc.
    St. Augustine, FL

  5. john

    i have a marina in portage indiana and there are alot of old abandoned boats i was wondering if there were any companies that buy and recycle boat fiberglass

  6. Denzel Hankinson

    1. Saw off the top
    2. Saw top into smaller chunks
    3. Toss them into the now-open hull
    4. Build a wood dock on the top the open hull (ballasted with deck chunks).
    5. Advertise it on Craigslist as a trailerable (of course)dock.
    6. Send me a thank you note.

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