Five Ways to Take Greener Boating Trips

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Boats by Connie Ma via Flickr

Making a decision to be more environmentally friendly doesn’t mean that you have to give up a few of your favorite pastimes just because they use energy and emit greenhouse gases. It simply means recognizing the impact that your activities have on the environment and making a few changes to improve that. When you choose to go boating for sport, you’ll want to consider the ways your boat may damage the environment and what you can do to improve that.

Fortunately, the world and its manufacturers are shifting toward a greener future. They’re recognizing the impact of certain practices on the atmosphere and seeking ways to change every aspect of life to more eco-friendly alternatives. As you consider ways to make your boating experience greener, you’ll want to give these strategies a try.

1. Use Green Paint

“Green,” of course, refers to the eco-friendly nature of the paint rather than the color. It takes a special kind of paint to protect your boat from water, minerals, and rust. Because of that, the chemicals and waste from the paint can leave a toxic mark on the environment.

As a general rule, avoid using copper-based paints, which has been considered the standard for many years for the bottom of boats. Copper is extremely toxic to aquatic plant and animal life. Instead, choose a high-performing, anti-fouling paint, and follow instructions to apply the paint properly before going on the water.

2. Replace the Engine

The engine is an important factor in environmentalism for boaters. When the engine and its surrounding parts aren’t properly tuned and maintained, it can lead to fluid leakage and a lack of energy efficiency.

It’s important that boaters buy engines that are made for their boats. You can tell that your engine isn’t a good match if it must be run at or near open throttle for the majority of the time that it’s running. This leads to increased fuel use and excess waste sent into the water.

3. Improve Fuel Efficiency

Aside from updating the engine, boaters can improve the environment by taking a few simple steps while boating. Turning the engine off when not in use, going easy on the throttle, and driving at a slightly faster speed when going long distances can improve your fuel economy.

In addition, it’s important to focus on the aerodynamics of the boat. When it’s loaded down with unnecessary weight, the vessel will require more fuel to go the distance. In addition, when a boat isn’t properly cleaned and maintained, and the bottom is dirty and covered in barnacles, the efficiency is challenged.

4. Practice Eco-friendly Maintenance

The cleaning products and services that you use for your boat can also challenge environmentally-friendly boating. Switch to organic, Earth-friendly cleaning products to get the job done.

Performing regular maintenance in and of itself is the best way to ensure that your boat is helping the environment. Be sure that your boat, ending, and propeller blades are in good condition before going on the water to prevent wasting fuel, fluids, and other hazardous materials.

5. Seek Alternative Energy Sources

Your boat may be run through alternative energy sources. If you live in a place that receives a lot of unhindered sunshine, such as California, relying on solar panels is an excellent way to fuel your vehicle without using gasoline.

More and more boats are also looking for ways to use renewable wind energy through turbines that charge engines when they dock. They’re quiet and have fewer vibrations than a typical wind turbine, which makes them the perfect option. It can lower electric bills and reduce the amount of non-renewable energy wasted on each boating trip.