Posts Tagged ‘environmental catastrophe’

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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Available Now! Get the App that revs up the fun factor in your boating lifestyle!


BoatUS – THE Boat Owners Association of the United States – knows boaters like to share with friends and family breathtaking cruising destinations, the hottest fishing holes, ‘uh oh’ grounding spots to avoid and best of all – their boats current location.

Use the BoatUS Towing App to easily send friends your phone’s GPS Latitude and Longitude with a Google map link. You can easily share your near shore boat location with a few screen touches. Even use it to notify friends on shore when and where you begin and end your float plan!boatUS-android-screen4

BoatUS also knows boats break down, go aground and trailer tires blow out when least expected. Who wants to fork out over $600 for a tow? That’s why this App also has similar features to a vehicles automatic locator. Press the “Call for a Tow” option on the home screen and a 24/7 crew mate of BoatUS will answer, knowing who you are, what boat you’re on and where you are. A key feature, since tens of thousands of the boaters who call for a tow unfortunately don’t know exactly where they are located.

Even though this app doesn’t replace good seamanship and navigation skills, it is a nice addition to add to your tackle box. And it’s free.

The BoatUS Towing App not only displays the phones latest nautical Latitude and Longitude right in front of you, it’s GPS function should still work even when out of cell phone range. What a perk if you need to relay it over VHF radio in times of need!

BoatUS Members who choose to buy Unlimited Towing are also prepared when the unexpected engine breakdown, non emergency tow, soft ungrounding, battery jump, fuel delivery and/or trailer roadside assistance is needed. BoatUS can pay the bill on the spot so you don’t have to!

BoatUS is the biggest, the best and the most trusted boat towing program available. Not to mention THE Association providing representation for recreational boaters on Capital Hill, the best boat insurance policies, 24 hour claims service, marina repair and fuel discounts at 900 locations coast to coast, rewards at West Marine stores, award-winning boating, fishing and trailering magazines and over 25 services for boaters needs.

Recently changed in this version

-Text or Email your boat’s near shore location to other boaters
-Share your raft up anchorage or favorite fishing hole instantly
-Show your boat’s near shore location on Google Maps
-Displays your Latitude & Longitude (even out of cell range)
-Call for a tow with the comfort of BoatUS knowing where you are
-Complete your boating tool bag with 25 other BoatUS Services
-Get the hottest boating news events from BoatUS Press Room
-Use the BoatUS App to easily send your phone’s GPS Latitude and Longitude with a Google map link.

  • Share breathtaking cruising destinations
  • Keep a log of where they’ve been on the water
  • Warn others of where to avoid ‘Uh Oh’ grounding spots
  • Have the comfort knowing they can call 24/7 for a tow

Download the free BoatUS Towing app today to try it out. At sea. On the Lake. In the River. On the Road. Also, call 800-888-4869 now to join BoatUS and buy Unlimited On-Water and Trailer Assist for less than you probably spend for your auto club. They don’t cover boats and usually don’t pay for tows of boat trailers!

Coming Soon for Blackberry! Read the News HERE!

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Laura on a sailboat. Courtesy of Toni Ralston

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 – “The Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) continues the search for Laura Zekoll”
– – From Caribbean 1500 News.

“Cruising Rally Association reported on Monday crew member search and rescue mission is continuing for sailing vessel Rule 62, crew member, Laura Zekoll. (Updated by Richard Ross at 3:30pm EST).

November 15, 2010…Cruising Rally Association (CRA), Hampton, VA…Steve Black, owner of Cruising Rally Association, announced today that crew member onboard sailing vessel Rule 62, Laura Zekoll from Atlanta, GA is the subject of a search and rescue mission by the US Coast Guard and The Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA).

The news of the search was received by CRA mid-day on Sunday, November 14, 2010 from boat owner, Richard Ross. The emergency contact information for Laura Zekoll, was communicated to the Coast Guard who notified her contact that a search was in process. The notice of the search was shared with the fleet on Monday morning, during the radio check-in at 07:00 hours AST (Atlantic Standard Time).

The owners of sailing vessel Rule 62, Richard and Debra Ross, also from Atlanta, GA, communicated earlier that they had made a decision to leave the fleet and divert to the Bahamas.  During the radio check-in on Saturday at 19:00 hours AST, Richard reported a position near the Bahamas.   According to the satellite transponder provided by the CRA to each vessel in the fleet, Rule 62 had stopped moving when the transponder reported at 20:56 hours AST Saturday, November 13.

Black said, “with great sadness, we report that Rule 62, a Jeanneau 46DS, was swamped while attempting entry into the Bahamas. Richard and crew Laura Zekoll were washed overboard and recovered. The life raft was launched. Richard, Debra, Laura, and a fourth crew member, David Sheppard from Ellsworth, Maine entered the life raft with life jackets on and attempted to row it to safety. The life raft subsequently overturned in swells. Richard, Debra, and David were separated from Laura and washed up on the beach”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the U.S. Coast Guard ended its search for the Laura Zekoll, 46, of Atlanta, Georgia.The Coast Guard employed a Jayhawk helicopter, Dolphin helicopter and C-130 airplane in its search and rescue mission. Chief Petty Officer Russell Tippets of the 7th Coast Guard District located in Miami, Florida stated, “After 25 hours of searching and covering more than 1,600 square miles, our search and rescue coordinators felt they had done everything possible to find this missing person.”

The boat is currently on a reef in the Bahamas. Richard and Debra Ross and Sheppard were airlifted to safety after their emergency signal was received by the Coast Guard.

The sailing vessel Rule 62, is part of a fleet of 65 sailing vessels, the majority of the fleet is still at sea.  The fleet departed Hampton, VA on November 8, 2010 in route to the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Eleven other boats left Hampton VA in the Bahamas Class headed for Marsh Harbor. This is the 21st year of the annual passage.”

Laura is a sailor and CEO & Founder at Advantage Computer Age, a website design company based in Atlanta. Friends and family took part in a vigil Tuesday evening at Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Midtown, lighting candles as it concluded.

In their SailBlog, the crew of S/V Sunrise who also participated in the Caribbean 1500 wrote, “Our hearts really go out to them as we had a taste of what they must have gone through. We diverted after only 24 hours, they were out for 5 days in very rough conditions, which is exhausting. We were able to let the Monitor Wind Vane steer, the four on Rule 62 had to hand steer for two days after their Autopilot failed (we heard them trying to trouble shoot it with another boat on the SSB). Hand steering in a big swell and gale conditions is physically exhausting. We had daylight to make our inlet, they were in the dark. We had current, wind and waves with us: Rule 62 had the current against the waves and wind… something that creates what the Bahamians call a “Rage”, very intense conditions.”

Watch Video from Fox Atlanta


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The reserach schooner Kaisei

Imagine an ocean filled with plastic…not a very nice image, is it? Fortunately, someone is finally doing something about this horrible fact.

Project Kaisei is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco and Hong Kong, established to increase the understanding and the scale of marine debris, its impact on our ocean environment, and how we can introduce solutions for both prevention and clean-up.

Now imagine you and three guests exploring the myriad uninhabited islands and secluded coves of French Polynesia for one week aboard ROCKET SCIENCE, a 50 ft. sailing yacht! Better, right?

Plastic trash in the global ocean is one the most serious problems facing the planet today. Help Project Kaisei continue its work.

Healthy Oceans Matter!

Purchase a ticket or two today! Grand Prize Drawing  August 28, 2010


S/V Rocket Science

Grand Prize – A week aboard Rocket Science in French Polynesia  (Includes all expenses paid for four people includes R/T airfare from anywhere in the continental US, all on board amenities, water sports galore and exquisite meals, plus $2,500.00 in spending cash!)

FusionStorm Foundation was established in 2009 to raise awareness about the complex environmental  issues facing the planet today. John Varel, CEO of FusionStorm, Inc, a leading systems integrator and managed services provider based in San Francisco was alarmed by the increase of plastic trash accumulating in the world’s ocean. The foundation’s first project is to support the work of OVI and its ocean clean up initiative, Project Kaisei.

Ocean Voyages Institute/Project Kaisei, established in 1979 by Mary Crowiey is a 501 (c) 3 organization based in Sausalito, California. Its mission is to raise awareness about the importance of ocean conservation and to take action to clean up and protect the global ocean. Over 70% of the planet is ocean and its health is important to the health of the entire planet and to our own health.

In 2009, Project Kaisei was established to increase the understanding and the scale of plastic marine debris, its impact on our ocean environment, and how we can introduce solutions for both prevention and clean-up. Project Kaisei derives its name from the 151 ft. brigantine, Kaisei which means Ocean Planet in Japanese and serves as the research vessel for the project. The project is focused now on the North Pacific Gyre, which constitutes a large accumulation of debris in one of the largest and most remote ecosystems on the planet. To accomplish these objectives, Project Kaisei is serving as a catalyst to bring together public and private collaborators to design, test and implement break-throughs in science, prevention and remediation.

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I’ve been watching the reports out of the Gulf (Louisiana, Mississippi), listening to fisherman and oystermen who somehow managed to survive Hurricane Katrina, only to face the worst man-made environmental catastrophe yet. It brings tears to my eyes, hearing them say how they never thought this could happen. Hell, BP has said the same thing and that makes me angry.

The Feds want to expand drilling as did the State of Florida, that is until Governor Crist decided it wasn’t really in our best interests. I’m glad he’s left the Republican Party for his run for the Senate. He is truly an Independent after all. And we need more like him. At least US Senate candidate Kendrick Meek is also against more offshore drilling. Who among the Gubernatorial candidates is also against such drilling. I just discovered (in a Miami Herald article) that the State Legislature was depending on those profitable oil leases to “fill a $6 billion budget hole expected next year.” Now it looks like the State is caught between a rock and a hard (if not sticky & oily) place.

In a recent interview with Wolf Blitzer, on the Situation Room, Meek said, “I’ve been consistent as relates to being against offshore drilling in Florida. I can’t say that by every candidate in the race. It was news flash as of two days ago that the governor switched his position once again on offshore oil drilling, and it’s important. There’s not one Chamber of Commerce along the Gulf Coast area, either be a Republican or Democratic county or what have you, they’re saying that they want offshore oil drilling. What has happened now in the gulf is the perfect example that can wreck Florida’s tourism economy, and we’ll continue to work with the administration on that issue.”

Crist made the right move and declared a state of emergency in the state’s panhandle ahead of a possible disaster.

“The oil slick is generally moving in a northerly direction and threatens Florida’s coast,” the executive order reads. “Oil continues to spill from the well as all efforts to stop the discharge have failed and may not succeed for an extended period of time.” (washingtonindependent.com). The warning applies to the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf.

Boaters and Marine Industry Will Be Affected

Florida has the highest number of registered recreational watercraft in the United States (988,652) and is a major recreational boating destination for non-state residents, with an estimated 350,000 non-registered boats actively using Florida’s waters in 2006. Recreational boating and its associated marine industry sectors, including manufacturing, sales, dockage facilities and marinas, and repair businesses generate a significant amount of economic activity. A study conducted for the Marine Industry Association of Florida estimated that the state’s marine industry had an economic impact of $18.4 billion and employed more than 220,000 Floridians in 2005.(Source: Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability an office of the Florida Legislature).

Here’s a link to an excellent animated image of the movement of the oil and placement of booms in the Gulf.

Map of oil spill in Gulf

Oil spill growing in the Gulf


Who Will See The Worst Of It?

A University of Florida professor and oceanographic expert says he believes the east coast of Florida might see the worst of the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In an article by Joe Callahan on www.gainesville.com, “…state health officials say the chemical-like smell reported to be wafting occasionally across parts of the state, including Alachua and Marion counties, has not been definitively linked to the oil spill but that they continue to monitor the reports.

Y. Peter Sheng, coastal and oceanographic engineer at UF, said the six-day ocean current models released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveal that the western coast of Florida, from the Big Bend to Cedar Key, could be spared.

The oil slick that’s growing south of the Louisiana coast could get caught in what’s called the “Loop Current,” which flows through the Florida Straits and becomes the Gulf Stream.

The Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current

Circulation of the Loop Current through the Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf Stream runs up the eastern coast of Florida. Sheng said he believes it is entirely possible, even probable, that this will happen, thus impacting the beaches from Miami to Jacksonville. The Loop Current is about 35 miles south of the slick, which currently is 125 miles wide and 40 miles long.

“I would say the east coast of Florida has the higher probability (of being impacted by the oil spill),” said Sheng, adding his opinion is based on NOAA’s ocean current forecast and wind direction.

Sheng said until the slick gets to shallow water, wind will not greatly impact the oil slick’s movement.

Lauren McKeague, with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said state officials are treating the encroaching spill as they would a hurricane and will continue monitoring its growth over the weekend.

Meanwhile, with officials predicting possible landfall of oil on beaches in northwestern Florida by Monday, NOAA has contacted UF Sea Grant agents in Panama City to determine how they can assist with the impending disaster.

Steve Theberge, one of the agents contacted, said NOAA hasn’t given them marching orders yet but is determining who can help and what their capabilities are, looking for everything from boat operators to those who can clean animals covered in oil.”

It’s possible that we will all have to get involved; to save our boats, to save our endangered wildlife, to save our beaches and to save our precious coastline.

In order to protect boats, the Boat Owners Association of the United States suggests:

  • If a marina or boat club puts oil containment booms in place, do not attempt to cross the booms with a boat. This will only spread the oil and damage the booms or possibly the vessel’s running gear.
  • If there is oil in the marina, refrain from running engines or other devices that have seawater intakes such as air conditioners or refrigerators.
  • Hauling out the boat will prevent damage, but it is unclear if these costs will be reimbursed by BP.
  • If the spill is sighted coming toward the marina or is already there, call the BP Community Information Hotline at 866-448-5816 to report it.
  • If your boat comes in contact with the oil, call your insurance company to file a claim. Uninsured boaters can call the BP Hotline at 800-440-0858 to file a claim.
  • Damage to a BoatUS-insured vessel caused by the oil is covered. BoatUS members can call 800-937-1937 to file a claim.

Has the Oil spill affected you or your boat? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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