What can you do with a boat you can no longer sail? Traditionally you’d burn it or take it to the dump. Not the most eco-friendly options. But what’s the alternative? Didier Toqué, creator of Bathô, a program that gives old boats a second life, hopes to change all that. The idea is to reuse rather than recycle old boats by converting them into vacation rentals.
Somewhere between a tent and a mobile home, these old boats will provide a unique environment by the water for those attracted by a nautical esthetic but who might not want to actually sleep out on the water. Toqué thinks that this project will appeal to the eco-slow movement and other forms of sustainable tourism such as cycling along canals and rivers. Not only is the context adapted to this kind of tourism, but so is the environmentally friendly nature of the rentals themselves.
After 10,000 to 20,000 euros worth of renovations, the boats will be ready to host their new occupants. This second incarnation will extend each boat’s life by 5-10 years. Toqué hopes that this will give the industry enough time to work on setting up appropriate recycling facilities. Bathô already has a production building and is currently working on reconverting a dozen boats from 6.5 to 12 meters long. The first three boats will be set up on the edge of the Loire river this spring.
Read more about boat recycling in our special issue #9: