Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

10 Green Boating Tips for Cruisers, Alternative Cleansers, Protecting the Waterwaysgreen-boating-leafboat

1. Choose Green Products: Look for the EPA-certified “Design for the Environment” (DfE) label, which assures you that the product has minimal environmental impact and is safer for the person using it. Benefit: Safer products. Reduce water pollution.

2. Use The Right Prop: Use a prop with the right pitch so your engine reaches its designed wide-open-throttle RPM. An adjustable-pitch propeller allows you to dial in the optimum pitch angle in single degrees. Modular props, let you swap props while keeping the same hub. Benefit: Reduce fuel consumption, improve performance. [ flexofold.com ].

3. Add Alternative Energy: Solar panels and wind generators are getting more affordable and smarter. Most systems can be self-installed and will reduce your fuel costs significantly. Benefit: Reduce Carbon footprint & Reduce fuel consumption. Go to www.emarineinc.com for good comparison of the two options.

4. Keep The Bilge Clean: Avoid the accidental discharge of oily water by using a sorbent in each bilge area. Consider a bioremediation product designed to convert hydrocarbons into safe compounds. Benefit: Safer products. Reduce water pollution

WestMarine.com5. Retire That 2-Stroke Outboard: Although it may be possible to get a few more years out of your old-technology outboard, you’ll be much happier with the reduced noise, fumes, fuel consumption, and pollution of a modern injected four-stroke outboard. For an even quieter ride, try an electric outboard. Benefit: Save gas and reduce water pollution.

6. Recycle your Lead-Acid Batteries: 12V batteries are among the most recycled products in the world. Benefit: Save money and conserve resources. [ earth911.com ].

7. Prevent Fuel Spills: Use or install a device to prevent overboard discharges from your tank vent. Benefit: Save gas and reduce water pollution

8. Use an autopilot: Modern autopilots can steer better than most helmspersons—and they don’t have a limited attention span. Benefit: Reduce fuel consumption

9. Recycle Your Monofilament Fishing Line. If your harbor doesn’t have a recycling location, see the website [ fishinglinerecycling.org ].

10. Eat Responsibly Harvested Seafood: Choose sustainable seafood at a restaurants or grocery stores to ensure that the fish stocks are plentiful for your children and for generations to come. Go to eartheasy.com/eat_sustainable_seafoods.htm  for informational guide.


Support Yacht To Be Green!

More Tips:

Clean Boating at BoatUS Foundation

Florida Depart of Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Boating Practices

Vessel Cleaning:

Alternatives to Toxic Products

Product ➛ Alternative
Bleach ➛ Borax
Detergent & Soap ➛ Elbow grease
Scouring Powders ➛ Baking soda, or rub area with one-half lemon dipped in borax, then rinse
General Cleaner ➛ Baking soda and vinegar, or lemon juice combined with borax paste
Floor Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water
Window Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar + 1 qt. warm water. Rinse and squeegee
Aluminum Cleaner ➛ 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar + 1 qt. of hot water
Brass Cleaner ➛ Worcestershire sauce, or paste made of equal amounts of salt, vinegar and water
Copper Cleaner ➛ Lemon juice and water, or paste of lemon juice, salt, and flour
Chrome Cleaner/Polish ➛ Apple cider vinegar to clean; baby oil to polish
Stainless Steel Cleaner ➛ Baking soda or mineral oil for polishing, vinegar to remove spots
Fiberglass Stain Remover ➛ Baking soda paste
Mildew Remover ➛ Paste with equal amounts of lemon juice and salt, or white vinegar and salt
Drain Opener ➛ Dissemble or use plumber’s snake, or flush with boiling water + one-quarter cup baking soda + one-quarter cup vinegar
Wood Polish ➛ Olive or almond oil (interior walls only)
Hand Cleaner ➛ Baby oil or margarine
Head & Shower ➛ Baking soda; brush thoroughly
Rug/Upholstery Cleaner ➛ Dry corn starch sprinkled on; vacuum


Support Sailors Without Borders

Protect the Oceans!

According to the Ocean Conservancy, there are five general ways boaters can protect our oceans and waterways, and conveniently enough, each of the five tips starts with a letter that ends up spelling the word “BOATS”.

Be a leader in your community. Talk about marine litter prevention with members of your boating community, from your neighbor in the next slip to boating clubs and marina managers.

Offer your time. Volunteer in boat and marina cleanup programs, especially at sites only accessible by boat. And participate in Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer effort of its kind for the ocean.

Accidents happen. Be prepared with absorbent pads to clean oil or fuel spills. Dish soap doesn’t work. It just causes those liquids to sink and contaminate the bottom.

Take it all back to shore. Don’t allow cigarette butts to go overboard; small but significant, they are the most prevalent marine litter item found during the International Coastal Cleanup. Dispose of them properly onshore.

Set the pace. Recycle everything you can, from beverage containers to propeller-snarling fishing line or plastic bags.

Read more at the Daily Boater

Of course the greenest thing sailors can do is to just…………Sail!


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Last night I saw a report on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams called “Living Better With Les.” In the report they featured a few viewers who have “gotten back to basics” by ridding themselves of a lifetime of accumulated “stuff.” Could it be that Americans are starting to catch on? Is Consumerism on the wane? Lord, let it be so…


Saga is visited by a ulu in the San Blas Islands. N.Birnbaum©2004

Perhaps it’s my hippie roots, but I’ve always considered rampant consumerism a sickness. Like overdoing it with drugs or alcohol, Americans just can’t say no when it comes to buying useless stuff. I guess that’s why I took so easily to the Cruising Lifestyle. When Jann & I met in 1998 (doing the Baja Ha Ha Rally) and decided to go cruising, i set out to rid myself of 27 years of accumulation. Five garage sales and one flea market later, I had indeed separated myself from almost all my worldly possessions. Friends would ask me, “How did you do it?” or “You must have cried!” But actually, it was liberating, a feeling most of those interviewed for the NBC piece, also reported. Jann on the other hand had unwillingly lost all of his possessions in the 91′ Oakland Hills Fire, when he lost his house and all that was in it.

It’s hard to say which is harder, getting rid of your stuff willingly or unwillingly. Both have their inherent pros and cons. I was happy to have some control over how much my stuff sold for, though i wouldn’t recommend garage sales in the hills of Marin Country where I sold my stuff! Of course, I donated lots of it to charities, which felt good to do. We’ve done the “land-thing” and started over twice since we set off on our cruise in 1999, each time acquiring new stuff, just to sell it or give it away before setting off again. Sometimes it can’t be helped. For us it was ill parents that required a temporary move back to the States with new jobs, new apartment, and new stuff that one must get. We’ll do it again. Soon, I hope!

Cruisers are either good at doing more with less or perhaps they just learn from experience. Of course some keep their stuff in storage when they head off on a long voyage. Some have rental properties in which they’ve wisely converted a small room into a locked storage space. And others, like us, try to squeeze all their stuff onto a small boat! In fact, folks often told us that we had a 55′ boat crammed into our little Alberg 35! Cruisers know how to conserve. They know that they can only use as much power as they can put back into their onboard batteries; they often have alternative power such as solar or wind generators; they install watermakers, and don’t waste much. When they are cruising pristine islands with no trash disposal at hand, they have pot lucks around a trash burn bonfire! They NEVER throw anything overboard that can’t spend the remainder of its life as a home for a sea creature at the bottom of the ocean. They usually don’t take souvenirs off the beach


Visiting Cruisers anchored in the Banana River for the SSCA Gam. N.Birnbaum©2008

(well, maybe just a couple of pretty shells!), and never leave trash behind. And, there’s one more thing that cruisers know how to do…something that really speaks to the whole concept of Living Better with Less…cruisers know how to fix s&%t. A lost art in America, though common in third world countries. We don’t just toss it when it breaks, we fix it! Or as the old cruising adage goes, “If it breaks and you ca

n’t fix it, discover why you didn’t need it in the first place!”

I write this as I am going through our storage unit looking for all the old cruising gear that we’re not using so that I can take it up to the Annual SSCA Gam this weekend in Melbourne, FL and get into the hands of this years cruising fleet at the flea market. I’m dedicated to recycling. Sometimes I think I’m the only one around here that is.


Saga's Settee Storage Re-do

So here’s to living better with less. We’re looking forward to getting our next boat — a catamaran (which we won’t be able to overload with stuff!), and getting back out there. I’m pleased to hear that Americans are finally catching on!

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I just had to share this amazing story with all of you…



“The Whale… If you read a recent front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same”

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

I pass this on to you, my friends, in the same spirit.



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armchairanglers_logoNEWS FLASH!

A non-profit organization in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has launched a new website and fund-raising effort to help physically challenged anglers get back on the water. The stated mission of Armchair Anglers is to provide world-class fishing trips for the physically challenged on a fully accessible, stable catamaran boat, in an effort to bring the healing that only time spent on the water can provide.

Executive Director and Founder, Jim Hargaden, who helped design this unique and customized fishing boat, did so in order to make this dream a reality.

“Our goal, to provide a safe and comfortable day of fishing and to provide education and smart catch & release techniques promoting conservation of our most valuable resources to this over-looked segment of the Disabled Community, is unique,” said Mr. Hargaden. “Our Fund Raising efforts have begun in earnest and we will be working on gathering sufficient funds for the construction and rigging of this exciting venture with your help.”

“We encourage you to join our efforts by visiting www.armchairanglers.org and supporting this worthy Non-Profit in any way you can!” added Hargaden. “Your donation, no matter what level you choose, will serve to provide lasting memories for those with physical challenges.”


Founder, Jim Hargaden

Those interested in receiving the Armchair Anglers Newsletter can sign-up on the website and receive $10 worth of tackle as a Thank You Gift!

All donations are Tax Deductible. To donate go to www.armchairanglers.org and click on the “Join Us” tab.

Armchair Anglers, Inc is a part of the Network for Good by GuideStar – “Give with Confidence”.  Donations can be made safely online via PayPal using any credit card or your PayPal account. You can also download a donor form to mail in a check.


Cobia courtesy of Pat Ford Photos

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