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Green Boating Basics

Posted January 18th, 2010
by BoatInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

greenboatingYou’re a conscientious person, and you’re concerned about the world around you. You don’t want to be a part of the global pollution problem – you want to be part of the solution. Yet, you also love being out on the open waters. Boating is one of those recreational activities that tends to have a pretty significant impact on the environment. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to lessen that impact and go green with your boating.

To get a handle on your environmental impact, start with these practical tips:

  • Catalog your energy outflows. The biggest contributor to environmental damage is the use of energy. Your boat runs on fuel, and that fuel gives off pollutants when it burns. Create a list of the specific types of activities and components of your boating endeavors that use power. You’ll find some of those power uses are discretionary, and some are constant and necessary. Beginning to understand the difference between your wants and your needs is the first step in conservation, not only on your boat but in your home and in your car as well.
  • Consider green usage alternatives. Take the refrigerator, for example. If you’re a casual boater who goes out for a few hours at a time, you can do with a simple cooler to keep your beverages cold. You might even consider going without refrigeration altogether, and write it off as an unnecessary luxury. Alternatively, you could look into the Isotherm DC electric refrigeration system. The idea behind this system is that it’s more efficient to keep the “cold” stored when more electrical energy is available. It uses voltage sensing units to maximize battery usage for your boat’s refrigerator.
  • Look at the big picture in lighting. Yes, the trend is toward using more energy efficient light bulbs, and that’s a good start. Still, you need to think about how all of the lighting in your boat is configured. A single light in the right location is better than three lights in the wrong spots. You can even consider an oil lamp for mood lighting – just be careful, as you don’t want to wind up filing a boat insurance claim when a lamp tips over and sets fire to your boat.
  • Look into alternative energy sources, too. Putting a few solar panels on your boat can create plenty of power for your boat’s batteries, and will probably take in more power than your boat can even use during those toasty summer days.

Photo via Orangeadnan

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