How to Make Sustainable Choices as a Boat Owner

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How to Make Sustainable Choices as a Boat Owner. Image Unsplash.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

How to Make Sustainable Choices as a Boat Owner

Being a boat owner can be rewarding. You’re able to see the world from the water, exploring different coastlines and getting a glimpse of wildlife that you don’t get to see on land. As it’s your boat, you’re also able to take charge of the routes you take. 

However, being a boat owner can also present challenges when it comes to caring for the environment. Awareness of the waterways and the impact of boats and sailing on them is something that many sailors actively promote.   

By making a few conscious choices before you buy, and picking up some responsible practices when you’ve bought your boat, you can minimise your impact and sail sustainably. Here are some factors to be aware of as the owner of a boat. 

Sustainable materials

Choosing a boat that’s made from sustainable materials is easier when purchasing a newer model. This is because the latest versions are made by companies that are investing in greener materials. 

If you can, look for manufacturers that prioritise sustainable sourcing. Opt for boats constructed from eco-friendly materials such as reclaimed or responsibly sourced wood, recycled plastics, or aluminium. 

While sustainable boats may come at a higher cost initially, they provide long-term benefits for the environment. If you do spend a lot on a boat that’s built with sustainability in mind, you should research how best to care for it so you can prolong your boat’s lifespan.

Eco-friendly cleaning products

Many cleaning products used to wash boats contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic to fish and detrimental to the overall marine ecosystem. When investing in cleaning products, choose biodegradable, non-toxic alternatives that are specifically designed for marine use. 

Responsible maintenance

Proper maintenance is crucial for promoting a sustainable boat. Regularly inspect your vessel for leaks, drips, or any other issues that could contribute to water pollution. Also, use non-toxic paint to prevent the growth of marine organisms. There are types of paint available that won’t release harmful chemicals into the water, so it’s worth researching before you buy. 

Additionally, ensure your engine is properly maintained. This will minimise fuel consumption and emissions. Keeping your boat insurance up to date could help you keep on top of things.

Practice proper waste management

Keeping the water clean is essential for environmental protection. It’s also beneficial for tourists who visit the coast and the wider tourism economy. 

To do your bit, introduce a strict waste management system on your boat: 

  • Install and use onboard recycling bins for plastics, glass, and any metal cans. 
  • Dispose of hazardous waste, such as batteries or oil, at designated recycling facilities to prevent contamination of water sources. 
  • Never throw rubbish or debris overboard and try to encourage your passengers to behave responsibly while onboard. 

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