THINK GREEN THIS BOATING SEASON
The days are getting longer and strength of the sun is becoming stronger, and with these, one’s mind starts to turn to another Boating Season and getting ready to Go Boating. Before we do that however, we need to turn to a new page and begin if we have not already done so to “think green.”
Like many, your boat may be stored outside, and is covered with a plastic cover called "shrink wrap". Have you thought about either reusing this product for another year or more? Or have you taken the time to find out how your marine storage facility disposes of this product? Probably not.
Hopefully, you are in an ECO friendly marina, one where they participate in the Clean Marine Program and have be successful in meeting the environmental levels of operation to be considered good environmental partners. If your marina is not in Clean Marine, and they are only sending the plastic wrap to a landfill site, then contact Bob Eaton at the Ontario Marine Operators Association and find out how you can dispose of your winter wrap so that the impact on the environment is lessened or stopped entirely.
There are many organizations that now pick up and recycle products like this where only a short time ago the wrap was of no value. By doing this now, we are helping to save the environment first and we are all working towards making it a better place for our children and grandchildren. However, by taking this step you have only just begun.
As you take the time to assess your “summer treasure”, you will see that there is a lot of work to do to get the boat ready for summer fun. Cleaning is the job that probably is next at hand and care can be taken here to make sure we are being ECO friendly.
Many companies have made a strong effort at bringing environmentally friendly products to the marine marketplace. Alex Milne and Captain Phab have both being doing this for years and both have been a long way ahead of the curve in this regard. Another newer line of products that have the ECO approval symbol comes from Winning Brands. Their products are easy to use, easy on the nostrils and hands and when you are done using them you will have a sparkling clean boat. In addition you will also be an good environmental steward, doing your part to make the world better in years to come. Winning Brands Marine Products are available through Boatcan and can also be found in many Marine stores. At the very least, demand that your Marine Supply Store has ECO friendly cleaning products available for you to purchase and use on your boat.
It does not matter whether you are doing your cleaning at the marina, in your driveway at home, in a field where the boat is stored, or while in the water for the season, the runoff and residue will get into the environment, through the ground into the ground water or into our waterways. So let us all be responsible and do what we can to help protect the environment whenever we clean our boats.
The next issue at hand will be the preparation of the bottom of the boat for launch. If your boat has a bottom coat or anti-fouling bottom paint, then you know what a nuisance this can be. It is interesting that all of the effort we take to prepare the bottoms of our boats more than 95% is underwater and really only seen by the fish, that if we are responsible we are trying to protect.
Often you will have friends in the marina who will talk about how cheap they were able to buy bottom paint. Usually this paint is not approved in Canada and that is for VERY good reason. Our Canadian Standards are among the highest in the world as we are making every effort to help the environment.
There are many ECO friendly bottom coverings that are available at your marine paint purchase point so take the time to buy one that is safe, approved in Canada, and less harmful to our waterways. Then just smile and do the job so you can be ready for the water on time.
An area we often leave until later or neglect altogether is engine tune-ups done by certified marine technicians. Many issues can arise if you are not diligent in this.
A marine engine that is poorly tuned will use more fuel. This is more costly to you and the result is that unspent hydrocarbons are released directly into the water. Fuel costs are high enough as it is so why waste it when this is unnecessary? A well tuned powerboat will return the tune-up investment in a very short time.
The tune-up makes good sense since you save fuel, save money, help the environment while being more certain of a safe return home under your own power when you have a certified marine technician do the work. The technician will only repair or replace what needs to be done and you always have a boat that runs well and is safe for all on board.
Most of the boats on the water have been used in seasons gone by... in other words they are not brand new. As such, often little spills here and another drop there will collect in the bilge of the boat. It becomes a mess and not only is it potentially dangerous, but the possible environmental impact could be considerable.
The Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada, indicate that over 50% of the spills investigated on the Great Lakes in the past few seasons have come from Pleasure Crafts. Not all are intentional, and most are avoidable. Cleaning the bilge is important, but it has been very difficult until now.
Most methods for cleaning the bilge have used strong chemicals to break down the hydrocarbons in the bilge, they encapsulate the molecules and then are flushed into the lakes and rivers to become part of the water column or food chain for wild life and fish.
A product used commercially is soon to be available to boaters. It combines a degrading agent and microbes to environmentally eliminate the mess of the bilge. Yes... eliminate!!! By simply spraying the bilge with this product, the substances are broken down first and then the microbes / enzymes eat the oil based molecules leaving behind environmentally safe water, that can be flushed out of the boat in an ECO safe manner instead of oil and other contaminates being pumped out with the bilge water into our lakes and rivers.
This new and exciting product will be available from Boatcan and hopefully your Marine Supply Store really soon. Contact Boatcan at email@example.com for more information about this exciting new product; it truly is a product EVERY boat should have on board.
Finally.... THINK GREEN throughout the ENTIRE SEASON. When you use your boat, when you do your dishes, when you shower or do anything in the cleaning mode, use ONLY ECO friendly products. The whole world is getting more environmentally conscious and therefore as Responsible Boaters, and Good Stewards of the Environment, each of us must do our part.It may seem like a very little bit of soapy water from the dishes, or the shower or the washing of the boat. However, if you multiply that by the number of pleasure craft on the waterways each season, the amount is enormous.
Consider only one litre of oily bilge water from one boat. Then multiply that by the number of boats in your marine. Now multiply that by the number of marinas in Ontario, Canada, North America... The World.... The impact would be not only major, but potentially catastrophic...
So be a RESPONSIBLE BOATER and do your part to save, protect and keep the environment clean for all generations to come... when you do... we all WIN.
THINK ABOUT THIS... Without a BOAT, 75% of the Earth’s Surface is Wasted!!!!
Author: Dave McPhail, President of Boatcan