Environment Friendly Sailing!
by Simon White

On environment friendly sailing ... "The warnings are there and the evidence is all around.  But the message is not getting through. 

The environmental rape and pillage continues while we turn a blind eye to the fact that this beautiful and unique planet earth as we know it is in serious trouble ... mostly at our hands!"

by renowned sailor and adventurer, Sir Peter Blake

Nothing beats the fun and excitement of sailing ... Environment friendly sailing ... have you considered the impact of sailing on the oceans of the world?

Sailing a Green Hobby!

Sailing is a popular pastime - but what is the impact on the environment?

Sailing can be a fairly green hobby, but there are issues to be aware of. 

We have put together a handy guide to help you think about environment friendly sailing ... Green Sailing. By taking a few simple steps, you can keep future costs of sailing down and sustain high quality water both local and the oceans.

Fuel Oil and fuels are the most frequently reported pollutant of inland waters in England and Wales. Most damage comes from re-fuelling, engine emissions and oil leaks.

Environment Friendly Sailing Handy Hints!

  • Use a funnel when pouring fuel or oil - Good maintenance of fuel lines, connections and seals helps avoid leaks - A drip tray under the engine is a requirement on many waterways. If it starts getting oily, find and mend the leak!

  • Slow down your speed if you are causing excessive wash… it will disturb birds nests, erode the shoreline and kill vegetation.  Appreciate wildlife In the UK we have an abundance of thriving wildlife. It is our responsibility as sailing enthusiasts to ensure that we do everything in our power to protect it.  Environment friendly sailing protects what we love doing.

  • Find out if the areas you sail in are protected, and why. There may be vulnerable seabed species, so beware of dragging your anchor... Minimize the amount of soaps and detergents used in on board sinks, showers and washing machines.
  • Avoiding products which contain chlorine and bleach will reduce the risk of damage to flora and fauna. If you use cleaning products select environmentally sensitive ones.

  • Limit noise and exhaust fumes exhaust emissions are made up of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and various pollutants. The Government has stated that by 2005, 5% of fuel must come from renewable sources such as biodiesel.

  • A badly maintained engine consumes more fuel and expels more emissions than a well maintained one, so ensure your engine has a regular service.
  • Fitting noise insulation around you engine can reduce airborne noise by up to 85% causing less disturbance to wildlife and making life on board more comfortable.
  • When buying a new boat for inland waterways, consider an electric powered craft. They have no exhaust emissions and are very quiet Hazardous Waste Incorrect disposal of waste is unnecessary by using recycling facilities and reducing our waste, we are all contributing to a more friendly environment.
  • Cigarette ends can harm birds and last up to 5 years. Smokers should keep a small tin in their pocket to stub out and keep butt ends.
  • Invest in starch-based rubbish bags for short trips. They break down in 12-18 months rather than 20 years plus for regular plastic bags.

  • Prevent rubbish from blowing overboard. Remove excess packaging and recycle it at home.
  • Beware of alien species ... alien species are non-native species that have become established outside their normal habitat or native country. A growing cause of concern is fast-growing species such as Zebra Mussels. They can block engine cooling water intakes resulting in engines over-heating. 

 Save Our Oceans!

  • Clean all parts of the boat, trailer and equipment that come into contact with the water before leaving the water catchment. Remove any visible plant, fish, animal matter and mud.
  • Do not run through water plants and weed if avoidable. If caught up on the hull or propeller they can be transferred to another area.  Risks of acquiring invasive hitchhikers on the boat increase the longer the boat is kept in the water.

Why not consider keeping the boat in the water ONLY when it is needed.

Keep all these points in mind when cruising ... always be a 'green' sailor! 

We must work together to protect our shores. If in doubt, remember the...

3 R's  Reduce , Reuse and Recycle!


Visit his web site for further information on boat maintenance and to view thousands of boats for sale. Add your own winterizing tips to The Yacht Market's boat winterizing discussion and more.

Our oceans are precious and as sailors, women with a passion for the sea.... lets leave a soft foot print on the planet!

Sailing Etiquette and the environment go hand in hand be kind to the oceans we love and sail in.

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