|Intrepid motoring clean and quiet under electric power|
Is it safe to say that we became boaters because we love being out on the water? We don’t have to be reminded about how wonderful it is to go sailing, fishing or diving from our boats in a healthy marine environment, or how sad it is to see trash on the beach or oil on the water. The idea of Green Boating stems from our natural instinct to protect what we cherish. It is not a new fad, but an attitude that translates into behaviors that reflect our values.
Out on the water I also learned that the best and safest way also tends to be the most environmentally conscious way. Nobody wants to go swimming in a toilet. That’s why we’ve established NDZs (No Discharge Zones) to keep our waters clean of sewage. Some locales have gone as far as limiting the discharge of gray water by establishing ZLDs (Zero Liquid Discharge zones) because not everyone cleans their boat with the stuff that comes in the green package. Anchoring is another thing to consider. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of losing an anchor on a reef, you know that it can be a scary and expensive mistake. Not to mention, if you’re a diver you know that the damage isn’t only to the boat’s gear inventory. Green boating also considers such things as this.
|Think about the environment when doing boat work|
|Crystal clear waters of Tokashiki jima worth protecting|
Since my electric powered sailboat has limited range under power, I have had to completely re-think my philosophy about what it means to be sailing. Since I can’t use the motor if I don’t like the direction of the wind, I have to sail as much as possible. Having no choice but to sail has drastically increased my confidence and improved my sailing abilities. I have also discovered how to get the most sailing performance from my boat and found that she was actually designed to sail- imagine that! Of course, it should also be said that certain instincts and skills that all sailors should develop, like sail trim, trip planning and interpreting the weather forecast become very important and you must develop these skills even further when you go electric. For me, this personal transformation has led me to enjoy the sport of sailing so much more.
In the future we can expect pressure on the environment to inevitably increase, while we continue to be drawn to the water. The responsible and prudent sailor keeping a weather eye on the state of the world would be smart to think of “green boating” as just “normal boating.” With this change in mindset, you’ll discover that boating is just as much fun and can be rewarding on a much higher level.
Five things you can do right now to go green on your boat:
1.) Follow the laws regarding discharge of solid and liquid waste and the spilling of oil and other hazardous materials. Recycle your garbage, like you do on land.
2.) Wherever available, choose non-toxic paints, solvents and other environmentally friendly cleaning and maintenance methods. Do your boat maintenance on land if possible.
3.) Do something about your engine- keep it well tuned, prevent oil leaks, be careful when you re-fuel and minimize idle time. Combustion engines on a boat are probably the biggest environmental concern.
4.) Improve your sailing skills- the more you sail, the less you motor. You’ll enjoy being out on the water, you’ll go faster so less algae will grow on your hull, reducing the need to scrape toxic bottom paint into the water.
5.) Check out lots of other great green boating tips from these references:
Boat Green: 50 Steps Boaters Can Take to Save Our Waters,
Clyde W. Ford, New Society Publishers 2008
Sustainable Sailing: Go Green When You Cast Off, Dieter Loibner,
House, 2009 Sheridan
On the Internet: