We were inspired to write these tips for sustainable sailing after following Plastic Free July. It is a global movement encouraging people to reduce their use of single-use plastics and be more mindful of how their actions affect the environment.
1. Sail! Don't use the engine if you can avoid it
Do what your boat was designed for and if the prevailing conditions are suitable, hoist the mainsail and unfurl the jib.
Nothing beats the quiet stillness of travelling by the power of the wind only, with no engine noise. And a bonus – it is the most environmentally-friendly way to travel!
As always we recommend to do whatever you feel comfortable with considering your level of knowledge and experience, taking into account the wind conditions.
You can join a carbon offsetting scheme which would mean you are supporting projects around the world that reduce carbon emissions – for example, tree planting projects. The easiest thing to do is to make use of your airline’s carbon offsetting scheme, but there are other options available.
Carbon Footprint has a comprehensive guide if you’d like to learn more about offsetting carbon emissions.
Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world and using eco-friendly sunscreen is an easy way to be more environmentally friendly when on a yacht charter. Standard sunscreens often use ingredients which can be harmful to coral reefs and marine life.
Anchor in water deep enough to avoid grounding your vessel with tide change.
If possible, anchor in sand or mud and avoid sensitive ecosystems.
If anchoring ashore, carefully place the anchor to minimize coastal damage. Avoid sand dunes and don’t tie your rope to a tree, they both protect inland areas from the destructive forces of wind and waves
8. Row, don’t use the outboard
Modern four-stroke outboard engines are more environmentally friendly than their older two-stroke counterparts.
But there’s an even more sustainable way to get ashore – use the oars and row. It might take you a bit longer but you can make it fun and even get the kids involved.
9. Go slow and take in the view
On your yacht charter it might be appealing to go full speed ahead under engine to your next destination, but there are lots of benefits to taking it slow.
Not only does it make you more mindful of your surroundings, reducing engine power by as little as 10% from full throttle will save 20% in fuel costs, according to Sailors for the Sea.
10. Respect the rules about emptying holding tanks
Each country has different rules about this so make sure you check with the operator when you check in. Each country has different rules about this so make sure you check with the operator when you check in.
Depending on where you moor up for the night you may be able to use the pump station facilities at the marina or port.
But it goes without saying that holding tanks should not be emptied near beaches, where people are swimming or where there is an abundance of marine life.
For more information
To find out more about being sustainable on a yacht charter or boat, go to these websites:
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