This is a collaborative post.
When you’re cruising along the coastline or sailing across your favourite lake, you’re very much in the moment. With the waves against the hull and the wind in your hair, you’re not thinking of your expenditure, your emissions or fuel. You’re swept up in the beauty of nature.
Even so, the beauty of nature won’t last without efforts to preserve it. Without eco-conscious individuals like yourself, the coastlines and lakes would fill with litter and pollution from oil spills and chemical waste. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent this from happening.
We’ll touch on five tips for clean and green boating, easy ways to reduce your impact on the environment as you enjoy its incredible grandeur.
1. Clean With Nontoxic Products
One of the best methods for preserving the environment — and your boat’s appearance — is to engage in maintenance and cleaning. A good coat of wax on a fibreglass hull prevents dirt from clinging to its surface, reducing the need for toxic detergents.
So here are some natural cleaners which will easily replace store-bought products:
- A mix of lemon juice, vinegar and warm water can clean windows.
- The careful administration of baking soda and water helps with fibreglass stains.
- One part white vinegar and two parts warm water is excellent for plastic surfaces.
- Olive oil or almond oil act as natural moisturizers and polishing agents for interior woods.
- A solution of cream of tartar and water is effective on aluminium when using a soft cloth.
As you attend to your boat, restrict your dockside hull cleaning to above the water surface area only, from the boot stripe up. If you find light growth, sponges are ideal, avoiding the clouds of heavy metals which come with scrubbing. Afterward, rinse with fresh water.
2. Monitor Your Fuel Tank Levels
When you fill your tank, monitor its levels and ready yourself to stop the pump. You should have an absorbent cloth on hand to address any overflows. It’s also sensible to conserve fuel and reduce weight where possible, as you’ll enjoy better fuel economy when you have a lighter boat.
Here are other examples of proper protocol, in addition to watching your fuel levels.
3. Manage Waste While Onboard
After you enjoy a relaxing evening on your boat with friends or family, you could find yourself with plastic plates, utensils and cups. In planning for these excursions, bring along a bag to collect your trash, so you don’t have to dispose of it elsewhere. After all, many materials aren’t biodegradable.
Consider your batteries as well, from the ones operating your stereo remote to those which sustain your larger systems. If you don’t dispose of them properly at a recycling center, these batteries can harm the environment. Ask if your service department recycles things like shrink-wrap and old oil.
4. Steer Clear of Shallow Waters
The shoreline is sensitive, and you should show caution when approaching it with your boat. As you come closer to shore, reduce throttle to “no wake” speed to prevent erosion and the destruction of natural habitats. It’s best not to operate in shallow water, with the risk of stirring up bottom sediment and aquatic plants.
Among other rules for eco-friendly boating, these are some of the easiest to abide. Just steer clear of the shore and stay toward the middle of lakes, deep enough that you won’t disturb anything on their floor. As long as you keep this simple strategy for preservation in mind, you won’t cause any unintended damage.
5. Change Your Antifouling Paint
Most types of antifouling paint are toxic to marine life. Ablative or “sloughing” paints are partially soluble, its active ingredient leaching out to expose fresh paint. Hard antifouling has properties which limit leaching or sloughing of toxic metals, but no product is perfect. Even so, you have eco-friendly alternatives.
The SealCoat system uses biocide-free epoxy resin for bonding to effectively seal the surface of your boat. In terms of longevity, its micro-fibers can provide five years of continuous protection without harming the environment. Still, it’s expensive, and only a trained specialist can apply it.
Research Your Options Today
When you’re cruising along the coastline or across your favorite lake — the waves on the hull and the wind in your hair — you can remain in the moment. You’ll have no reason to concern yourself with anything else, as you’ll have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure your boating is clean and green.
With this in mind, look into some of the strategies above and see which ones you can implement today.