5 Practices For Sustainable Boating


Photo by Luke Bender

Boating is an exciting and fun hobby that you can take part in year-round for business or simply, leisure. While boating is a relaxing and enjoyable activity, it can cause harm to marine life and the environment if you aren’t cautious. That said, boaters need to do everything possible to practice boating in a sustainable way to keep the surrounding waters and ecosystems healthy.

Hobbyists like you can easily do your part. For example, you can decide to invest in a new eco-friendly boat and shelf the old one if it’s time to upgrade or you can communicate to passengers to not throw things into the water. Actions both big and small can go a long way in conserving the environment.

As far as sustainable boating is concerned, it goes beyond what you do while in the water. It also includes how you treat your boat from its daily use in peak season to when it is stowed away in boat storage.

Here are 5 tips to help you boat sustainably.

1.Avoid Throwing Trash Overboard

It’s easy to think that a banana or orange peel thrown overboard won’t harm the massive ocean. Come to think of it; it’s only an insignificant peel. Unfortunately, you might fail to notice that all the trash thrown into the ocean, lake, or sea will build up within no time. In a few months, the trash will become an island amidst the water.

It’s important to note that plastic waste takes up to 500 years to breakdown. As a result, marine life feel the impact, and so does the environment.

To avoid leaving a negative impact when boating, ensure to play your part. Have trash bins in your boat and encourage other travelers to use them. Avoid emptying bottles into the water and secure trash bins to prevent the trash from being blown away.

2.Limit Chemical Use

Boaters use lots of chemicals that can harm marine life and people in the water if not managed properly. For instance, most boaters use anti-fouling paint to keep organisms from their boats’ hulls. Unfortunately, as much as this chemical can help maintain a boat, it contains toxic metals such as copper and mercury. Once these metals get into the wildlife’s bloodstream, it can be incredibly toxic.

When cleaning your boat, use detergents that don’t contain chlorine, ammonia, and phosphate. Instead, use gentle cleaners such as baking soda, vinegar, or borax. After sanding or scrapping the boat, don’t leave the scraps lying around. Dispose of them immediately to prevent them from soaking into the ground and consider rinsing your boat each time you use it to avoid regular more intensive cleaning.

3.Always Keep Solvents And Fuel Contained

As the saying goes, ‘water and fuel can’t mix.’ Instead, the fuel forms a blanket or cover on the water, preventing fresh air from penetrating. In such a case, marine life in the surrounding areas can be deprived of oxygen, resulting in dangerous and deadly consequences.

For this reason, it’s important to ensure that no solvent from your boat’s engine comes into contact with the water. Always check the bilge before pumping it, and use a bilge sock to contain fluids. You should have an absorbent as well to collect as much fuel as possible if it spills into the water. After which, you should immediately get out of the water and have the boat repaired to avoid further pollution.

4.Be Watchful Around Wildlife

When boating, you should watch out for wildlife to avoid killing or injuring them. If you’re fishing, do so in ares where it is permitted and avoid hunting endangered species. Be careful around huge creatures and provide a wide berth to prevent your boat from touching them.

5.Invest In A New Eco-Friendly Boat

While your old boat might still have a long way to go, the fact is that it isn’t likely as fuel efficient as you’d want it to be. For this reason, it might be a good idea to take advantage of newer technology that ensures boats are fuel-efficient and much greener, also helping you save on fuel costs. Even if your older boat is fuel-efficient, it might still have toxic coating seeping into the water, while new ones are constructed with environmentally friendly materials that can prevent this.

Final Words

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sustainability is the state of developing and maintaining conditions so that all creatures and nature can co-exist to support current and future generations. In the same way, sustainable boating refers to maintaining practices that don’t harm the waters and everything depending on it for future betterment. 

If you’re ready to take the leap into sustainable boating practices, consider the points mentioned above to start contributing to greener and healthier marine ecosystems.

Sea Going Green works with the marine tourism industry to provide solutions to save you money while increasing your positive impact on the marine environment.

Talk with us to see how you can make an impact

 Boating is an exciting and fun hobby that you can take part in year-round
for business or simply, leisure. While boating is a relaxing and enjoyable
activity, it can cause harm to marine life and the environment if you
aren’t cautious.

Keep reading for 5 tips to help you boat sustainably.Read MoreSustainable Living, Yachts, EducationBlog – Sea Going Green


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