Captain Happy On His Boat

SIMPLE STEPS TO BECOMING AN ECO-FRIENDLY BOATER

Appreciation for boating and marine life usually go hand in hand. Unfortunately, there are a lot of boating practices that cause harm to the environment. More and more boat owners are now becoming aware of this, and they’re doing their part in reducing their ecological footprint. You, too, can do your part in helping preserve our marine ecosystems. Here are five simple steps in becoming an eco-friendly boater.

UPDATE YOUR ENGINE

If your boat is still powered by an older two-stroke internal combustion engine, consider replacing your outboard as soon as possible. This kind of engine is deemed to be harmful to the environment as it uses more fuel, which, in turn, create more exhaust. It also spills unused fuel into the water.

A four-stroke engine or a fuel-injected two-stroke engine will be a more modern and efficient replacement. These engines use less fuel, have reduced emissions and produce a quieter and smoother performance. They’re also easier to repair. Though you may have to spend more on this, you’ll be doing a lot of good for the environment.

Another consideration when choosing a new engine is the size. Make sure that the engine is the right size for your boat. If you find yourself always throttling at full speed, then the engine is most likely too small for your boat. This also leads to increased fuel consumption and emissions.

AVOID OIL SPILLS AND GAS LEAKS

Oil spills and gas leaks are tough to clean up. When there are oil spills on the boat, it’s better to have oil-absorbent cleaning materials such as rags and mats on hand. You can quickly clean the boat and prevent the oil from being washed away by the water. The second oil hits the water, it has already posed a significant threat to the environment. If you cause any oil spills or gas leaks, contact the proper authorities immediately.

Gas leaks can also be avoided just by always refuelling at the dock and not while you’re already in the water. You must be aware of your boat’s gas tank capacity. Do not fill it to the brim as engine heat causes the gasoline to expand. This leads to gas leaks. You can add an automatic stop device to the funnel to prevent this.

USE ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS

Cleaning every nook and cranny of your boat is very tiring and time-consuming. To get the job done quickly, boat owners tend to use products with harsh chemicals. You can help preserve the environment by using non-toxic, water-based products. You can even use everyday household products such as vinegar, flour and baking soda for DIY solutions.

FREQUENT BOAT MAINTENANCE

Before heading out into the water, you should always check the condition of your boat. Make sure to clean and grease the electrical systems and check if the propeller is working correctly. By doing a spot-check, you’ll be able to see if any cracks may lead to leaks. Repair and replace all the affected components before your next boating trip.

PROPERLY DISPOSE OF TRASH AND SEWAGE

Don’t dump trash or sewage into the water — this should be easy enough to remember. You’re already probably aware of how plastic waste like straws and six-pack rings causes significant harm to marine animals. Even the grey water from the boats sinks and showers shouldn’t be thrown into the water. They contain dirt, food, grease and chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

It doesn’t take that much to become a responsible, eco-friendly boater. Though it may require some additional effort on your part, even the smallest contribution will have a significant impact. Everyone should do their part so that future generations can also experience the joys of boating and all that the environment has to offer. There is always more we can do to protect the environment.

 


 

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Martin White
martinw@dinga.com.au

Martin is huge on everything outdoors and is even bigger on driving and technology. He loves boats, new stuff and writing about it.