Boats In Harbour

HOW YOU CAN BECOME A CLEAN AND GREEN BOATER

There’s nothing like going boating on a Saturday after a week of stressful deadlines and hectic work meetings. The ocean is a calming and beautiful place, but it won’t stay that way for long if people ignore the proper care of the environment. This is why it’s important for boaters like you to do as much as you can to avoid damaging it any further. It’s not enough to call yourself an environmentalist – you must be proactive. To help you get started, here are some tips on how you can be a clean and green boater.

CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE

It’s only natural to want to take care of your boat. After all, you did buy it with your hard-earned money. However, it’s important that you do your boat cleaning and maintenance at a boatyard as much as possible. You risk contaminating the water if you do your cleaning and maintenance elsewhere. Even if you only accidentally spill cleaning fluid in the water, you’re still to blame.

THE OCEAN ISN’T YOUR BIN

You must keep a bin in your boat at all times for any rubbish that you need to dispose of. If you don’t have a bin, stow your rubbish onboard until you get back on land. This includes fishing lines, cigarette butts, water or glass bottles, paper and the like. Don’t ever toss any waste in the water.

PROPER WASTE DISPOSAL IS CRUCIAL

If you want to become a clean and green boater, you must dispose of your waste properly. This ranges from any hazardous waste, like batteries and paints, to human waste.

Unless you’re a robot, you’re going to have to relieve yourself at some point or another while you’re on a boat. Most larger boats now come equipped with toilets, but the important part is to know how to discard the waste safely. Some toilets have built-in marine sanitation devices to help make it easier for you. However, you can also utilise composting toilets instead. Find a solution no matter how small your boat is or you will have to wait until you get back. The ocean isn’t a toilet.

REDUCE GREYWATER

For those who are unaware, greywater is essentially untreated water that originates from showers, sinks and the like. Water used to clean your boat also falls under this category. Just because it’s water doesn’t mean you can pour it out into the ocean like it’s no big deal. Greywater can be harmful due to the chemicals present in it.

USE NON-TOXIC PAINT

The bottom of a boat is usually coated with antifouling paint to prevent wear, but many are unaware that most brands of this paint are bad for the environment. These antifouling paints contain copper oxide, which can harm marine life. Sure, the bottom of your boat is going to be in tiptop shape and barnacle-free, but you must realise that you’ve put aquatic life at risk.

To avoid this, opt for non-toxic antifouling paint, or at least, a less toxic one, or an alternative.

USE THE RIGHT BOAT ENGINE

It may come as a surprise to you, but your boat engine plays a huge part in all of this. Some older boats have two-stroke engines, which are more harmful to the environment. If you’d like to be a clean and green boater, you must make sure your boat engine is that of a four-stroke kind. The best boat motor is an electric one.

Engine size also factors in greatly into the whole equation. If you’re using a smaller engine for a large boat, you’ll require more fuel to power the vessel. This is hazardous to both the environment and your wallet.

OIL SPILLS ARE A BIG NO-NO

There’s a reason why the entire world stops when news of a large oil spill breaks. This environmental disaster affects a vast amount of wildlife, and the results can’t be completely undone. Even the smallest of oil spills are gravely condemned.

If you don’t want to contribute to pollution, make sure your engine is always tuned to prevent any leakage. It’s also a good idea to invest in an oil absorbent pad you can secure to any place where there may be leaks.

SLOW DOWN ON THE FUEL

Fuel spills are just as bad as oil spills. If you’re filling your tank up with fuel, don’t do it in a haphazard or rushed manner. Take your time with it. Make sure none of that fuel – not even a drop – goes into the water. As with the oil trick, you can use an absorbent pad to catch any drips. It’s also advised not to fill up your tank all the way to make room for expansion as your fuel heats up.

It doesn’t take much to become a clean and green boater, though it does require effort and some conviction. Follow these tips and you’ll quickly find that there’s more to eco-friendly boating than just hype. There is still more to be done. With all the harmful things in the world right now, mother nature deserves a break. You must be the one to start the movement and call on other boaters to do the same.

 


 

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John Steele
johnsteele@dinga.com.au

John loves cooking at home and outdoors, travelling, fishing and discovering a new life. He's got loads of experience he wants to share while he adventures through retirement.