Nov 27, 2012

Leading the Way for Environmentally Friendly Sailing

Sailing is a very pleasant way to explore the world's waterways and discover new and exciting places, but all sailors have a responsibility to ensure that their travels have a minimal impact on the environment, preserving the clean, open water for many generations to come.

What are the threats?
Whether you favour inland routes or the wider coastal spaces, the waterways around the world are very beautiful and need to be well-looked after and never taken for granted if they are to continue to be enjoyed in the long term.

As more and more people opt to take sailing holidays, it stands to reason that there is increased pressure on the environment to cope. Extra traffic brings with it more emissions and while holidays are meant to be relaxing, they are never the time for complacency.

To minimise your impact think about what steps you would take in the event of an oil spillage, or vow not to disturb fragile wildlife en route to your destination. Be aware of your surroundings and follow advice when it comes to staying within certain limits or reporting occurrences of certain events. Read any information thoroughly and check restrictions.

Pollution is everywhere in the modern world, but thankfully people are much more aware these days, possessing the knowledge and know how to reduce it and ensure that travels are carefree, eye-opening and environmentally friendly.

A little more action
Some things present a greater threat than others and plastic is one of the bigger issues. Plastic substances remain a big threat to marine life and sea birds; the materials are hazardous to birds, fish, turtles and other sea life, as they are easy to ingest or get caught in, often with devastating results. For this reason it is important to use plastics responsibly, disposing of them safely and recycling wherever possible.

Another potential problem is the substances that seep into the water, such as sewage and waste. While some of this is unavoidable, there are still plenty of little changes that can be made to improve the situation.
Cleaning products used aboard boats will generally end up in the water and with this in mind it can be beneficial to seek out products that are free from phosphates to help improve overall water quality.

When it comes to a form of travel and seeing the world, sailing is doing pretty well on the environmental front and with a little thought and planning, everyone can play their part in keeping the seas and waterways clean and safe.

If you own your own boat ensure it is cleaned and painted regularly to remove any barnacles, algae or similar lifeforms, as such attachments can cause the boat to work harder, thereby reducing fuel efficiency. Anti-fouling is a responsibility of all boat owners and to do the best you can make sure your boat is cleaned and treated at a special facility that disposes of toxins appropriately, rather than allowing them to enter the water.

There are plenty of little things you can do to make sure your perfect sailing holiday need not interfere with the natural environment and the species which inhabit it. By being well-informed when it comes to all aspects of boating and knowing how to handle a potential difficulty, it's easier to relax and make the most of glorious water, stunning landscapes and the peace and tranquillity they bring.

Adriana Frederick writes regularly on the subject of tourism including sailing holidays for a range of influential travel websites and blogs. Having travelled extensively, she enjoys using her knowledge to inspire others to have fantastic holidays!

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