It seems like everyone is concerned about the environment these days. While many people may criticize boaters and assume that they are not friendly to the environment, the truth is that boaters are some of the most earth-friendly folks on the planet. Fishermen and hunters were some of the first groups to come forward with workable ideas that could be employed to help protect natural environments, so when it comes to green boating, many boat owners are already ahead of the game.
Today we are going to talk about how staying on top of basic engine repairs and mechanical services, using professional underwater maintenance for in-season cleanings and some basic common sense can all help to reduce your impact on the local environment. There are many things that you can do to reduce pollutants and help keep Buzzards Bay and the South Coast area clean and beautiful. If we all do our part, we will be able to pass on the enjoyment of these local waters to future generations.
Oil and Fuel
Two of the most common areas where boats can put pollutants into the water is through oil and fuel. Keeping your engine properly tuned through annual engine repairs and mechanical services at a trusted provider can help prevent oil and fuel leaks from the bilge. To protect your boat from leaking throughout the season, purchase an oil absorbent pad and secure it in the bilge or under the engine where the most common types of leaks can occur. Check on them regularly throughout the season and, if the drips are small enough to wait until the off-season, go ahead and have them fixed while in storage over the winter.
If you must do an oil change during the season, hire a professional or at least use an oil change pump to transfer the old oil to a container that is spill-proof. You can also use absorbent pads around the oil filter itself to prevent the oil from spilling. Absorbent pads can also be used to catch any spills during fueling. Do not top off or overfill your gas tank, as it cause fuel to get into the water. It is important to understand that fuel expands as it warms up with the engine temperature, so it pays to leave about 5-10 percent of the tank empty to allow for that expansion to occur safely without causing drips, leaks or spills.
Cleaning Your Boat
Another common contributor to local pollutants is the soap and chemicals used in cleaning a boat while out on the water. Your Southeastern Massachusetts winter boat storage service will clean your boat before putting it away at the end of the season and will likely take care of any preparatory cleaning just prior to launch. If you need underwater maintenance to remove barnacles or other build-up from the hull or propeller, make sure to contract professional dive services to come out and take care of it for you. The one-stop marine services in Dartmouth and Mattapoisett from Triad Boatworks can help you with all of your year-round cleaning and maintenance needs.
The bulk of your maintenance work should be done at the boat yard in the off-season. If you must perform cleaning or work while out on the water, make sure to contain your waste as much as possible to minimize the impact on the local waters. Hiring a pro will yield the best results and will protect both you and your boat from accidental spills or incidents. If you have any hazardous materials that you need to dispose of while cleaning your vessel, such as batteries, cleaning products, oil filters or antifreeze, make sure to do so at an authorized hazardous waste collection center.
Sewage and Waste
In addition to hazardous waste, there are a lot of other things on a boat that need to be disposed of properly. It pays to have a plan when it comes to discharging sewage waste, which should never be done within three miles minimum of the shore. Harbor pump stations and other professional shore-side facilities can be used to properly dispose of sewage for cleaner and greener boating. Greywater discharges should also be reduced for doing dishes or washing up while out on the water. Purchase soap that is biodegradable and phosphate-free to minimize the impact that greywater can make on the natural environment.
Other types of trash, such as food garbage, fishing line, wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and paper products should all be disposed of properly. To further your “green” experience, make sure to take advantage of recycling opportunities on the shore for plastic, metal and glass waste. Create opportunities on board to stow trash or collect recyclable materials and make sure to educate your passengers about the importance of respecting the environment. Part of taking people out on your boat is having the opportunity to inform and educate. The more people become aware of the importance of protecting the local environment, the more likely they will be to take action when the time comes.
One-stop marine services in Dartmouth and the surrounding area through Triad Boatworks can help you to achieve your goals and increase your season by taking care of many of the annual repairs and maintenance while your vessel is in Southeastern Massachusetts winter boat storage during the off-season. The more work you do when the weather is foul, the more time you will have out on the water where you really want to be when perfect boating weather is upon us. To find out more about our underwater maintenance, engine repairs and mechanical services, hauling and storage or mooring services, give us a call at 508-758-4224.