As a boat owner, you’ll know only too well that you haven’t chosen the cheapest hobby. And with the doom and gloom of economic forecasts, you may well be wondering if you’ll still be able to afford it in times to come. Yes, there are many costs, but the good news is that with a few changes here and there – to help your cruising budget go further, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to carry on sailing through good and bad times.
Here, Mike James – an independent writer with Solent-based yacht-charter specialists Motion Charters – discusses ten of the best money saving tips…
- Get the most out of your moorings
If you’ve paid an annual mooring fee, and your insurance company will cover it, why not leave your boat in the water for the coming winter? Who knows, next spring or summer, you might be able to get a cheaper deal to haul her out and re-antifoul her.
Have you thought of subletting your mooring while you’re away? Before heading off on a cruise, try subletting your mooring to a friend, or advertise it through the harbour master. He may know of people who need a short-term mooring.
- No price is ever fixed
Talk to your marina about the coming year’s berthing fees. If you think the rates are too high, a spot of haggling may just get you a better result. If there are a number of other berthing opportunities around that you can throw into the negotiations, this may help your cause.
- Change your finance arrangements
If you used credit to buy your boat, now is a good time to try and renegotiate the terms of your contract, changer lender, or even pay off the loan early. AAACreditGuide.com offers a sofi personal loan review to give you an idea on the perks of changing to a new lender.
- Pay smart
If you pay boat insurance and marina berthing fees monthly, you’ll be charged extra for this (around 7%). Be smart and pay using a credit card that has a long period of 0% interest on purchases. If the card is paid off before interest is charged, you’ll have saved that 7% – which could turn out to be a pretty penny.
- Sell off surplus stuff
If you have a shed stuffed with old boating kit that you’re never going to use, why not liquidise the surplus assets? Ebay, Gumtree and your boating club’s noticeboard are the obvious contenders but there are many other ways to sell second hand boating equipment.
- Chafe avoidance
Chafe is the number one enemy of expensive marine ropes, so here’s a little money saving tip. Make sure your mooring lines have a fair lead and protect them with hose that slides neatly over. Avoid leaving lines rigged as slips for long periods of time, as these will chafe a lot quicker than you think.
- Looking after sails and rigging
It’s easier than you think to repair minor damage to your sails. All you need is a good supply of sticky-backed Dacron, a palm and some sailmakers’ needles. Mending small tears, adding chafe patches and reinforcing batten pockets are simple jobs and they give you the chance to inspect your sails to make sure there aren’t any major problems that need to be addressed.
- Watch out for flapping and flogging
Flapping, or flogging, is the biggest single cause of sail damage. The saying, ‘a flappy sail is an unhappy sail’ is a warning that all boat owners should take note of. Obviously, some flapping will occur when you’re hoisting the sails, tacking or reefing, but, in order to keep your sails in the best possible condition and retain their designed shape for a lot longer, our advice it that you keep flapping to a minimum.It’s a good idea to reef early – sheet sails on as soon as they’re hoisted, and don’t motor sail to windward with the mainsail flapping (doing this only means you’ll burn a lot more fuel as the sail causes additional drag).If you don’t think this tip will help save you money, it’s as well to remember that almost all top racing yachts log the number of hours each sail is used. They also monitor the number of tacks.
- Keep the sun off the sails
Sunlight can quickly destroy a good sail, so be wise and invest in a headsail cover to prolong the sail’s life. Many a fine sail has suffered an early demise through ultraviolet degradation. Also, when the boat is not underway, never be tempted to leave the boom cover off. PUT IT ON! And always check that your lazy bag system is zipped over the sail at all times when stowed.
- Extend the life of your halyards
If a halyard, or sheet, is looking a little worse for wear, either where it exits the mast or at the point where it’s held by a clutch, you may not need to spend money replacing it – you could rather consider end-for-ending it. Or you could also get it ‘sheathed’, with a sleeve that covers the area that uses the clutch. This will make for greater grip and lengthen the life of the rope.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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