Boating is enjoyable, educational, and relaxing. It’s good wholesome fun that the entire family can enjoy.
Bear in mind, though, that boating can be hard on the environment if not managed properly. If you are reckless or careless, you can pollute the water and disturb marine habitats. To keep your boating experience enjoyable as well as environmentally sound, follow the tips below:
1. Bring a trash bag: One of the basic rules of nature is that you take nothing but memories (or pictures) and leave nothing but footprints. Everything you bring in, you have to bring back out.
2. Stop fuel drips: Slow and steady are the words to remember when refueling a boat. Avoid spills by using a rag to catch any extra fuel dripping around the nozzle, and never top off the fuel tank. Leave 10% of the tank empty to further minimize chance of spilling.
3. Perform maintenance on land: Whenever possible, avoid doing any sort of maintenance on a boat if it is in the water. Wait until you are back on land. It is far better for paint chips, fuel, or debris to fall on land than into the delicate aquatic ecosystem.
If you take your boat out of the water for all maintenance tasks, this goes a long way toward protecting the environment.
4. Consider paints carefully: You might not think of the toxicity of a paint when you choose what color or finish to use, but you should. There are paints that are specifically made to be nontoxic and safe to use on watercraft – always choose these.
Cheaper paints are especially likely to be toxic. Check ingredients to gauge whether a paint should be used on a marine craft.