Top 10 Green Boating Tips
Green Boating helps to save our blue backyard AND it can save you money too! Keep these 10 Green Boating Tips in mind both on and off the water this season!
- Keep Your Engine Well-Tuned, Maintained and Inspected: A well-maintained engine improves fuel efficiency helps to reduce your carbon footprint, it also saves you money since you’ll go farther on every gallon of gas. Inspect your boat’s propulsion system for leaks in fuel tanks and supply lines. Inspect your propeller, bent blades or dings will cause a drop in your boat’s efficiency.
- Maintenance in the Water: Even the simplest maintenance chores, like cleaning the boat, can have an impact on the water, so be sure to use non-toxic, phosphate-free boat soaps. It’s almost always much safer and easier to perform regular maintenance tasks like oil changes, fuel filter changes, and tune-ups with the boat out of the water.
- Fuel-Up Carefully: Prevent spills by filling slowly and don’t “top off” your tank, leave 10% empty to allow for fuel expansion. Use an absorbent bib or collar to catch drips, and if you do spill fuel or oil, don’t use soap to disperse it. Store spare oil-absorbent socks, pads and pillows onboard your boat for this purpose. Notify marina management for assistance, they should have equipment on hand and a procedure to address the problem quickly. Also, contact the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 for clean-up advise.
- Slow Down, and Wake Responsibly: You will vastly reduce your carbon footprint if you run your boat at its most efficient cruising speed. Generally speaking, this will be around two thirds or so of wide-open throttle. You’ll also save money by reducing trips to the fuel dock!
- Reduce the Use Toxic Bottom Paints: Try alternative antifouling paints that are less toxic, these may also save money as they typically last longer than copper-based paints.
- Dispose of Trash and Hazardous Waste Properly: Paints and used brushes, batteries, antifreeze, cleaning products, oil, oil filters, old fuel, and other hazardous wastes need to go to the proper local facilities, not the trashcan in the marina parking lot.
- Use Your Head, Manage Sewage Waste Properly: Use a Marine Sanitation Devise with a holding tank to store waste properly between trips to pump-out stations. Remember, it is illegal to discharge treated or untreated sewage within 3 miles of shore.
- Be Moor Kind to the Bottom: When choosing where to “drop the hook” for the night, look for available mooring buoys instead. Boats and anchors can have dramatically adverse impacts on marine life. Propellers rip scars in shallow weed beds, churn muddy bottoms and disturb shellfish beds.
- Clean, Drain and Dry: To stop the spread of invasive aquatic species, wash down your boat, drain the bilge and any system holding water. This will help to prevent the transfer of “hitch-hikers” from one body of water to another.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plastic pollution poses the greatest risk to our blue planet. Limit single use plastic items including water bottles, plates, flatware, shrink-wrap and fishing line. Recycle glass bottles, cans and paper as you would on land.
Information Sources: Discover Boating and Sailors for the Sea