Whether you are plugged into the mains at a marina or running your engine to charge the boat battery at sea, your boat will be using energy, costing you money and producing emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), that effect the environment.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce this impact without having to change much at all.
Use natural light and wrap up warm!
The temptation when down below is to turn on all the lights even if they are not really necessary. Make sure you keep you windows and hatches clean and free of salty residue to make the most of the light that does come in through them during the day. If you need a light then use one and make sure it is turned off afterwards. This will help towards saving precious battery power and in turn the fuel bills.
Wrap up warm and try to refrain from turning on the boats heating (if it has some). When on board the boat try and prevent getting cold in the first place by wearing suitable clothes and having enough extra layers to put on if it gets chilly. Check over the boat for drafts coming in through hatches or windows and fix any old or worn out seals to keep warmth in and water and cold drafts out.
Tips Out on Deck
- A running hose pipe uses 540 litres of water an hour. When washing down boats, sails or equipment gather everything you need to wash together before the tap goes on and remember to turn the tap off when you have finished.
- Trigger nozzles on hoses in marinas, sailing clubs and your gardens can save water by using it only when needed. This can save up to 225 litres a week.
- We're more likely to notice leaky taps indoors, but don't forget to check outdoor taps, pipes and hoses for leaks at your sailing club or marina.
- When washing down your boat or filling your water tank, try not to leave the hose pipe on pouring water over the side. An easy alternative is to fill buckets for the cleaning and scrubbing instead.
Tips In the Galley
- A dripping tap on your boat, either in the galley or the heads, could waste as much as 90 litres a week. If you are away from the mains supply cruising for a while and relying on your tanks that is quite a considerable amount of your water that is wasted!
- Kettles should be filled with enough water for your needs but not to the brim. This will reduce your fuel bills too!
- Whilst cruising or at home try to get into the habit of keeping a container of water (a jug or a bottle) in the fridge so that you don't need to run the water down the sink until it's cool enough to drink.
- Select the proper size pans for cooking whilst out cruising. Large pans require more cooking water than may be necessary.
- The most water efficient methods for cooking vegetables are microwaving, steaming or using a pressure cooker. Using lids that actually fit the saucepan also cuts down on the amount of water that just evaporates into thin air.
- Use a washing up bowl rather than the sink for the washing up and don't rinse the dishes under a running tap, all you have to do is use another bowl full of clean water to rinse.
- Check fridge seal regularly, if it is damaged then cold air will be escaping and wasting all the energy used to keep it cool.
Tips In the Head
- Brushing your teeth on board with the tap running, wastes almost 6 litres a minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off only uses an average of 1 litre.
- Whether you are onboard your boat, using shore side facilities or at home, just taking a five minute shower a day, instead of a bath, will use a third of the water, saving up to 400 litres a week but be careful as a swish power shower can use more water.
- If your shower can fill a 4 litre bucket in less than 20 seconds, then replace it with a water-efficient showerhead it s probably worth checking.
- Remember - you use less water by turning the hot tap down, rather than the cold tap up, if you require cooler water.
- Turn the water off while you shampoo and condition your hair and you can save more than 200 litres a week.