BOATING GREEN
With rising gas prices and the environment top of mind for today's consumer, boaters are using their boats in different ways than in years past.

 

 
  • Boaters are considering ways to reduce fuel consumption while on the water, including reducing cruising speed, tuning the engine and taking shorter trips.
  • Unlike driving a car, a boat's engine is often idle or turned off while anchoring, floating or at the dock (all three of which are some of boaters' favourite on-the-water activities).
  • 64% of boaters use about the equivalent of 3 tanks of gas for an SUV to enjoy an entire boating season.
  • Be sure to buy an engine that will complement your boat and properly meet your needs. Consider the activities you want to enjoy and follow the manufacturers guidelines for engine size, being sure not to overpower or underpower your boat. For example, if an engine has to be run at near or open throttle most of the time, it may not be the right size for your boat and consequently the combination of load and fuel consumption may cause you to exceed normal emission standards.
  • Click here to read tips for reducing fuel usage.
TOP TIPS FOR GREENER BOATING
When choosing cleaning products, look for the EcoLogoM label which is a registered mark of Environment Canada. These products have been assessed for their environmental impacts across their entire life cycle and are considered to be the "best in class". For more information about EcoLogoM visit the Environmental Choice Program. There are a wide array of products available now and you can be sure that those products that carry eco-labelling have minimal environmental impact and are safer for you and your family.
Be sure when painting your boat to use legal bottom paints and biodegradable cleaning agents and ensure that no paint or cleansers enter the water.
Use or install a device to prevent overboard discharges from your tank vent. Such products will give you a warning and work to prevent spills when your tank is reaching its fuel capacity. Always fill your fuel tank slowly and only fill to about 90% capacity of the tank. Fuel naturally expands as the temperature rises and leaving a bit of space at the top of your fuel tank will help to prevent fuel from overflowing when its warmer outside.
Be sure that your engine reaches its designed wide-open-throttle RPM by choosing a prop with the right pitch. Adjustable-pitch propellers and modular props help to keep your boat running efficiently and ultimately reducing fuel consumption. Make sure your boat, engine and propeller blades are in good condition to avoid wasting fuel and minimizing the chances of any oil, gasoline or other hazardous materials entering the water.
Study your navigation charts and get to know the waterways so that you are familiar with the existing marine environment. You’ll be able to prevent boat propellers from potentially damaging habitats or injuring marine life, as well as consuming less fuel if you take a bit of time to plan your trip in advance and thereby avoid confusion and misdirection. Take advantage of the autopilot feature if you have it, as it can maintain a longer, continuous attention span and even steer better than some captains!
Properly dispose of paints, batteries, antifreeze, cleaning products, oil and other hazardous wastes at a waste collection facility when you return to land. 12V batteries are among the most recycled products in the world. Some marine accessories stores even offer a credit on a new battery when you return your used one. Never discharge your sewage when you are near the shore. Check local rules and regulations for specific restrictions. Nearby pump-out stations and shore-side facilities are available for proper waste disposal.
Protect marine life by properly disposing of monofilament fishing line at nearby marine accessories stores and shore side recycling locations.
Consider a bioremediation product such as BIO-SOK to convert hydrocarbons into safe compounds.
Keep your trash onboard and never throw cigarette butts, fishing line, or any other garbage into the ocean. Take advantage of shore-side facilities to recycle plastic, glass, metal and paper. Recycle your winter storage shrink-wrap at local marinas, dealers and suppliers.


Marine generator manufacturers have also made significant investments to develop and market products that limit carbon monoxide emissions - in some instances by 99%. Manufacturers also offer marine exhaust mufflers and catalyst systems to protect boaters and our waters by removing hydrocarbons from generator exhaust.

Boat builders and manufacturers have begun constructing environmentally friendly boat building shops, using green engineering to be energy efficient in every practical way to achieve the latest cutting edge composite construction technology. Such buildings will also incorporate waste water collection systems, pumping it to engineered wetlands where the water will be treated naturally before being discharged.

Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Products
Many marine cleaning products developed today demonstrate a commitment to clean water. Companies have developed non-toxic based biodegradable boat soaps, which have a minimal impact on the aquatic environment. We've also seen the introduction of colour safe, oxygen release gels and cleansers that remove spots off of boats without using bleach or other hazardous materials.
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Environmentally-Friendly Marine Aftermarket Accessories
Innovative companies in our industry have developed ways to extend the life of batteries in harsh marine environments. Some products are designed to reduce premature battery failure caused by periods of inactivity. These systems utilize the power of the battery and return it as a surge or pulse. These products can also revive many older batteries back to their original state.
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Improvements in Marine Sanitation
Marine sanitation manufacturers are providing consumers with new products to protect the marine environment from boat sewage. Manufacturers have developed and marketed innovative technologies that treat, store and contain waste more effectively.
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Boaters and anglers are the original conservationists - they are the ones experiencing our nation's waterways first hand. Marine engine manufacturers have invested billions of dollars to develop cleaner, more efficient engines - direct fuel injected (DFI) two-stroke engine technology and four-stroke engines and more recently catalyst and onboard emissions diagnostic systems for stern drive and inboard engines.
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