5 easy tips for a more sustainable boating life
Every boater knows the amazing environments we explore are special. This is why it’s so important to minimise our environmental impact on the waters we love so much.
Today, we’ve blogged 5 easy tips for a more sustainable boating life.
Keep it slow
Slowing down isn’t just safe. It also radically lowers your carbon footprint. Every boat has a cruising speed that fits it best. If you want to minimise your carbon foot print, find out what your boat’s most efficient cruising speed is, and don’t go any higher than that.
You can find the most efficient cruising speed for your boat by working out when your boat hits its highest ‘miles per gallon’ (MPG). This typically happens around two-thirds of a wide-open throttle.
If you’re not sure, put your boat onto plane, then incrementally increase your speed until the MPG starts to peak. Make a note of the RPM when the MPG peaks. This is your most efficient cruising speed.
Oil in the water is obviously terrible for the environment. To prevent oily discharges from spilling out, we recommend securing an oil-absorbent pillow or pad within your bilge, as well as beneath the engine where drips often happen.
Be sure to check the pads regularly, as you don’t want them to clog up your bilge pump. And of course, always dispose at a collection centre that deals with hazardous waste.
Service your engine
Ensuring your engine is well-maintained will not only lower your carbon footprint, it will also save you money in the long term, as you’ll travel further for a lower cost. Having your engine regularly checked or serviced is an easy way to ensure it runs smoothly.
It’s also worth performing a visual inspection on fuel tanks, supply lines and other elements of your propulsion system, just to make sure they are not leaking. If you see an issue, get it fixed ASAP. This includes your propeller, which can make your boat less efficient if it’s banged up or dinged.
Maintain on dry land
Performing maintenance on your boat on dry land is an excellent way to stop waste from spilling into the water. It’s also far easier and safer to perform boat maintenance on land, especially when it comes to tune-ups, oil changes and fuel-filter changes.
If you’re cleaning your boat on the water, use boat soaps that are non-toxic and phosphate free, so pollutants don’t enter the water. If you do need to use caustic chemicals, be sure to perform the clean on land, so you can easily contain potential mess or spills.
It may sound obvious, but making sure your waste stays onboard, and doesn’t go in the water, is so important – this includes hazardous waste, which should always be disposed of correctly. If you’re not exactly sure where oil, antifreeze and other hazardous wastes should go, ask someone at your marina, or do a quick Google search.
Want more sustainable boating tips?
For more great tips on sustainable boating, we recommend taking a look at this resource by Discover Boating. And if you need comprehensive cover for your boat, we can take care of this for you. Our marine underwriters provide free, no obligation quotes, so you can see whether our marine cover is the right fit for you.