Pontoon boating is a favorite past-time for Americans of all ages. But in recent years, this boating has become less environmentally safe. Each year, our oceans, lakes, rivers and streams experience 15 times more oil and hydrocarbon pollution from recreational boats than as part of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. How can we focus on enjoying our favorite summer sporting activity, yet make it environmentally friendly pontoon boating?
5 Environmentally Friendly Pontoon Boating Tips You Should Know
Below are some easy ways to make environmentally friendly pontoon boating your priority without sacrificing fun.
Prevent Oil and Fuel Spills
One of the least environmentally friendly pontoon boating behaviors is that of enabling oil and fuel spills. About 30 percent of oil used in two-stroke boat engines is accidentally lost to the water. However, you can keep your boat’s oil and fuel where it belongs by following a few key tips:
- Always fuel the boat at the dock, not in the water
- Avoid filling the tank to the brim
- Look for fissures or cracks in the tank that can cause leaks
- Repair tank cracks before putting the boat into the water
- Immediately report any leakage or spills to help reduce the damage
Control Other Pollutants
For environmentally friendly pontoon boating, it is important to remember what people and pets contribute to water pollution. Human waste, pet waste and cosmetics harm the environment when released into the water. The same is true of paints, such as those used on your boat and potentially spilled or paint from other items you put in the water.
To avoid these detractors from environmentally friendly pontoon boating, consider these tips:
- Use a Marine Sanitation Device or other appropriate solution for the disposal of human and pet waste
- Take all maintenance chemicals, such as paints, off your boat before putting it in the water
- Rinse lotions, cosmetics, insect repellants and other body treatments off of your skin before entering the water
Manage Your Garbage
Garbage is one of the biggest problems when it comes to environmentally friendly pontoon boating. This is particularly true, in that pontoon boats are called “party barges” for a reason. Everyone loves to eat, drink and enjoy their pontoon boat. This enables garbage to get a bit out of control on a typical summer day.
Animals and fish frequently ingest garbage, as seen in the oceans. Lake and river creatures are curious about garbage and try to eat it, too. Besides hurting animals and fish that swallow plastics or other garbage items, this trash also affects other marine life. In many cases, plants, birds and fish die because of garbage lost overboard.
Garbage includes a wide variety of items, ranging from paper, clear wrap, foil and plastics to fishing lines and hooks. Trash also includes children’s toys, water floats and other recreational gear.
To enable more environmentally friendly pontoon boating, never dump trash into the water. Make a rule of storing garbage until you land back onshore, where you dispose of it in a designated container. Keep plenty of garbage bags and bins on your boat. Also keep containers specifically for fishing gear and toys.
Be Watchful for Environmentally Friendly Pontoon Boating
For environmentally friendly pontoon boating, simply be watchful of the things on your boat and what goes into the water. Keep track of the people on board and in the water and take pride in maintaining the habitats of your boating environment.
Avoid boating in “no-wake zones,” shallows or where sea grass grows. Also avoid stirring up the sediment. Doing so tampers with the habitat’s mineral composition. Do not go out on the water at night if you are new to boating. Avoid consuming alcohol while boating, as this causes many problems with judgment, including disposal of garbage, oil or fuel spills and other issues preventing environmentally friendly pontoon boating.
For Speed, Consider a Hydrofoil or Hydrofin
Many boaters want to increase the speed of their craft. For environmentally friendly pontoon boating, consider the installation of a Hydrofin or hydrofoil system. A Hydrofin actually speeds up your pontoon boat while improving its efficiency. You can respect the environment more through up to 50 percent fuel savings while also attaining 40 percent higher speeds! Schedule a call with Hydrofin today to learn more about the hydrofoil system.