Staying Green in the Blue

Putting in the extra effort to maintain a boat with smaller environmental impact not only helps the Earth – it can help your wallet, too. A well-maintained boat performs better, potentially saving you from costly repairs – and if your long-term plan is to eventually sell the boat, a “green” boat could result in a higher purchase price.

There are three keys to minimizing the environmental impact of your boat: research, maintain and prepare. The following tips come from Wyatt Hanks, Education Manager at the Marine Mechanics Institute:

RESEARCH: Educate yourself. An eco-friendly approach to maintenance can start before you even purchase your boat. Most pleasure boating manufacturers have to meet certain EPA requirements – all of which you can research before you even set foot in the store or at broker’s office. Depending on the type of engine, some boats have cleaner burning emissions than others. Typically, boat efficiency is shown using a star rating. The more stars, the lower the fuel emissions and the less of a “footprint” it leaves on the environment.

MAINTAIN: Follow a strict maintenance schedule. Once you purchase your boat, maintenance is a major factor in keeping it eco-friendly. A well-maintained boat is going to run and perform better, both of which result in a smaller impact to the environment. There are also a number of “green” cleaning products to choose from that can help make your environmental footprint even smaller.

PREPARE: Keep a safety kit on board. Accidents happen – but having a plan can help. In the event of a small leak or oil spill, having a safety kit on board will help you patch and clean it up fast. While these kits won’t fix the issue permanently – they do help to reduce the environmental damage in the meantime.

Wyatt Hanks is the Education Manager at Orlando’s Marine Mechanics Institute, a division of Universal Technical Institute. MMI Marine students receive real-world training on state-of-the-industry technology. Working directly on the latest models, students learn “hands-on” to trouble shoot, service and repair four- and two-stroke outboards, stern drive, rigging, fuel & lube systems, electrical and more.

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