We are ephemeral but our actions will leave a permanent and lasting impact behind us. What we do for the environment will leave an indelible mark forever. For better, or for worse.
With more and more boats on our seas, protecting our oceans is vital for us and for future generations.
In this new section, Eco Boating, we will be sharing actions, articles and small tips, which will help make your boat and boating more environmentally friendly.
10 Tips to make your catamaran more eco-friendly.
1 - Keep the engine in good condition
Boat engines can leak oil and fuel directly into the sea, creating damage to the environment that is difficult to repair.
Inspect and maintain your boat’s engine in good condition.
This will prevent any spillage. Remember that oil is highly toxic to marine life.
By keeping your engine in good condition, you will not only contribute to the care of the environment, it will also help you consume less fuel and make sailing more efficient.
2 - Take care of waste water management.
Untreated water from sinks and showers and sewage discharges easily contaminate seawater.
Each country has its own laws regarding the treatment of black and grey water. Find out about and follow these regulations.
A good option for composting toilets and holding tanks is to comply with the regulations wherever you sail.
3 - Keep an eye on cleaning products
Even if you install efficient grey water tanks, remember that some of the water you use on board can end up in the ocean.
Just the water you use to wash the boat deck or the products you use for showering are also dangerous for marine life.
Therefore, always choose non-toxic and non-polluting cleaning and sanitising products.
4 - Be careful with the Antifouling you use
Most antifouling paints available in workshops around the world are harmful to the environment, especially those containing copper oxide.
Studies have shown that non-biocidal paints, which contain a silicon compound, cause less damage to the ocean, are easier to clean and last much longer than standard antifouling paints – between 5 and 10 years.
Plan ahead for Lelias antifouling treatment. Ask our experts for help and you will not only help to care for the ocean and its rich marine life, you will also increase the duration of the treatment and save money.
5 - Keep the Sentinel in good condition
Over time, the bilge accumulates toxic liquids.
You should be aware that it is illegal to discharge bilge water into the sea because of its potential toxicity.
Inspect the bilge regularly and place an absorbent filter under the engine to catch any oil spills.
Any small spills you notice should be picked up with a sponge and disposed of properly.
6 - Make use of renewable energy
There is no easier place to generate clean and free energy than the sea. The sun, water and wind will help you achieve this.
Install solar panels, wind turbines, solar sails or hydro-generators.
Here too you are doing double duty: you are helping the environment and your boat.
By using sustainable energy, you will need to run your engine less, generating less pollution and extending its life.
Ask our experts about all the technical possibilities for using renewable energies on your boat.
7 - Be careful with anchoring
If possible, always anchor in mud or sand and avoid sensitive ecosystems such as corals or sea grasses.
Find out in advance or use your navigation chart to know where you anchor.
8 - If you fish, make it sustainable.
Again, sustainable fishing is regulated by each country.
However, there are some general rules that you can keep in mind.
Always follow local regulations and use approved techniques at all times.
Here is some information on European regulations regarding sustainable fishing: Towards more sustainable fishing in the EU: state of play and orientations for 2021.
9 - Use an environmentally friendly sunscreen
Not all sunscreens are safe to use in the sea.
Some brands contain chemical additives that can cause reproductive problems in fish.
If you go swimming in the sea, much of the sunscreen will be washed off into the water.
That’s why it’s important to choose a product with an environmentally friendly SPF.
Read the ingredient list of your sunscreen before using it on your boat.
10 - Don't disturb marine wildlife
If you notice that you are sailing close to marine animals, be sure to slow down, put the engine in neutral and move out of their path.
Stay at least 90 metres away from the animal.
Never chase them for fun or separate a mother from her young.
Finally, in shallow water, always make sure you don’t touch the bottom. Not only will you preserve marine life, you will also extend the life of your boat.