When holidaying at sea, your actions can make a lasting impact on the marine environment. Follow our tips below to have a sustainable sailing holiday this year.

Fuel & Fuelling

Although the fuel used in yachts is relatively light, it is still toxic to many kinds of marine life. Even in low concentrations, exposure can result in adverse effects to the growth, reproduction and feeding of many aquatic plants and fish.

To minimise the amount of spray caused when fuelling your yacht it’s best to refuel earlier in the morning, when the fuel will be colder and less dense. This can reduce the amount of steam and spray caused when fuelling. It also usually means the fuel tanker has had time to settle, avoiding residue deposits from entering your fuel tank.

In order to save fuel find your yacht’s optimal performance speed. This is usually 20-25% lower than the yacht’s maximum speed. Keeping your cruising speed at the optimum level improves fuel economy, reducing pollution and your need to refuel! Often navigational aids on-board can advise you as to how to find this speed.

Waste Water

Discharge of boat sewage to coastal waters is regulated under MARPOL Annex 4 for recreational craft carrying 15 or more passengers, but smaller vessels can cause large amounts of damage if not treating waste water responsibly. Black and grey water discharge can kill algae, and strip the natural oils from fish gills.

Where possible, opt for environmentally sensitive products free from chlorine and bleach when selecting detergents or soaps for use on your yacht. Or make use of sea friendly detergents and cleaning services when you dock.   

Invest in an environmentally friendly black and grey water system, which treats waste water before it is discharged into the sea, to destroy harmful bacteria and prevent contamination. Atlantic Pacific Marine can supply installation and maintenance for black and grey water systems to ensure your vessel meets and surpasses any environmental regulations.

Boat Maintenance

Pro-actively maintaining and updating the systems on your vessel can help reduce your environmental impact. Routine engine maintenance such as removing particles from fuel filters and cleaning exhausts not only optimise sailing quality but can help ensure higher water quality.

When changing batteries, ensure you recycle the old ones.

 Checking your bilge regularly is important to prevent oil sneaking into the sea along with your bilge water. Ensure you change oil filters often and check seals, clamps, gaskets and filter connections for leaks and drips. If you see any fuel, oil or other liquid spills, wipe up immediately to prevent them getting into the water.

Sustainable Sailing Habits

And for everything else, applying the same sustainable logic you’d use on land when at sea.

  • Stock up with sustainable supplies before sailing; metal straws, re-usable water bottles etc.
  • Where possible source supplies for your kitchen responsibly, using sustainable seafood and local produce.
  • Invest in biodegradable rubbish bags. They break down in 12 to 18 months rather than up to 500 years
  • Prevent items from blowing overboard and inform your crew of measures to prevent loss due to the boat’s movements.
  • Use wildlife friendly SPFs and suncreams to prevent harmful chemicals entering the water when you go for a dip.  

For more information on sustainable sailing practices visit Sailors for the Sea for tips from their green boating guide. If you’re looking to update your vessel to make it more eco-friendly get in touch with our expert team who are happy to help and advise you.