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Insights, Advice, Community, Environment

Eco-friendly boating tips to boost sustainability

The boating industry benefits enormously from long summers and hot weather as more and more people look to invest in boats and spending time on the water. However, due to climate change, we are now experiencing extreme heat that can even make sailing uncomfortable, and in some cases, dangerous. For example, the summer of 2018 was labelled the “joint hottest summer of record”, whilst temperatures surpassed 40C in the UK for the very first time in July 2022. Therefore, it is vital that the entire sector prioritises sustainability and plays its part in the fight against climate change.

Val Wyatt and the SME Climate Commitment

As part of our pledge to preserving the environment, we signed up to the SME Climate Commitment, whereby we are targeting net zero emissions before 2050, whilst sharing our progress each year. Our efforts in this field also saw us become the first marina in the UK to receive an award for our decision to remove single-use plastic from our site. We are also proud members of British Marine, and as part of this, we are fully behind The Green Blue, a joint environmental initiative between the organisation and the Royal Yachting Association.

Top sustainability tips for boat owners to consider

Here are our top sustainability tips for boat owners wanting to remain as green as possible:

Recycle, recycle, recycle

This tip is rather obvious but making sure you recycle is an important part of any effort to be as sustainable as possible. If you’re heading out for the day with friends and family on a larger boat – for instance the Interboat Intender 950 Cabrio – you’ll want to ensure they are well fed and hydrated, especially in the summer time. As a result, it is likely you’ll end up with an abundance of bottles, cans and cartons at the end of the day. We have recycling stations within our marina, but if you don’t have access to such facilities, you could use an online directory like www.recyclenow.com – which is a brilliant website.

Cut pollution

Boat owners should also be aware that washing water from their vessels will go into the same rivers and broads that they are using. As a result, boat owners should look to use phosphate-free detergents and other non-toxic products when cleaning the cutlery, crockery and glassware after a day on the water. Grey water, which also includes waste from onboard showers, is a major polluter of the marine environment. Also consider how you dispose of your sewage from your boat too.

Eco-friendly products

Our expert team delivers a wide portfolio of maintenance solutions, and where possible, we avoid using products that are not environmentally friendly. We continue to test a variety of biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning products to ensure we are minimising our own impact on the environment.

We are currently exploring alternatives to anti-foul paints, including ultrasonic systems, and look forward to bringing those solutions to market soon. We are delighted to stock recycled plastic dock lines from Marlow Ropes too.

Reduce fuel usage

Reducing the amount of fuel that your boat uses will benefit the environment and this doesn’t mean cutting down on trips.

How a boat is maintained will have a huge bearing on fuel consumption and sustainability. For example, if a boat is not  regularly anti-fouled it will suffer from a build-up of marine growth, which impacts speed and performance. As a result, the engine will have to work harder and will use more fuel in the process.

An effective maintenance programme

Fuel usage and engine maintenance is also directly linked.

As part of your annual maintenance programme, we encourage boat owners to have their engine professionally inspected. We have written a detailed blog on what you can expect, as well as other tasks that you can carry out yourself to protect your engine.

Outboard engines have progressed a long way over recent years and there are now more and more options readily available to prospective boat owners that offer greater levels of cleanliness and efficiency. Why not talk to our expert team about the latest options.

Carefully consider where you stop

If you enjoy sailing offshore then research proper anchoring techniques to prevent damage to the seabed, including to important ecosystems and wildlife. If you are staying with in-land waterways then use common sense before mooring your boat. Whilst in most cases a boat is normally allowed to moor almost anywhere alongside a towpath in the UK, it is vital that the riverbanks are protected at all times and, when possible using a fixed pontoon is even better.

Choose a marina that prioritises the environment

A marina is more than just a place to store your boat. For example, at Val Wyatt Marine we have built a community where customers become friends and share their experiences. We recommend choosing a marina that focuses on sustainability and utilising green technologies. For example, we have installed EV chargers for those boat owners with electric cars, whilst we regularly hold social events designed to improve the environment, including river clean ups.

Do you want to know more about our commitment to the environment? Do you have a question about our range of boats or the services we provide? Speak to our team of experts by filling out this form, or by calling 01189 403211.

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