Electronic Motor wins marine design award!

Torqeedo Deep BlueThe 22nd Annual Design Award for the Marine Trade Show Competition recently concluded.  We are very excited to see the overall winner of the awards was an electric motor!

The Torqeedo for the Deep Blue Electronic Outboard premiered this month and is the latest advancement from this innovative company. Torqeedo also offers smaller outboards for dinghies and lightweight boats. They also have solar panels that can charge the engines battery so you do not have to rely on plugging in. This latest engine however could allow larger power boats – such as race committee boats – to make the switch to electric!

Here is what the jury has to say on why this product was the overall winner:

“The Jury believes that the new DEEP BLUE large electric outboard from Torqeedo GmbH is an exceptional example of groundbreaking research and development – one which will bring great benefits to both the users and builders of marine craft. Through substantial financial investment Torqeedo have successfully combined two established yet distinct technologies – the large outboard engine and electric motor – for the first time. In doing so they have created a revolutionary integrated propulsion system that is striking in its styling and highly notable for its innovation. In bringing this truly original product to the marine market, DEEP BLUE’s designers have achieved a first-class package that offers convenience, price worthiness and performance. It also promises to provide a cleaner, quieter and more economical boating experience for many people in the years to come.”
Tell us – would you purchase an electronic motor for your boat?

Environmentally friendly bottom paint

Getting ready to put a fresh coat of bottom paint on? Have you considered using environmentally friendly bottom paint?  While this might seem like a study in contradictions, there are many companies that offer environmentally friendly bottom paints that keep the fish alive and the bottom of your boat clean.

Traditional antifouling paints use copper as the biocide to control fouling. The Port of San Diego has done extensive research into copper bottom paints, and have found that the copper in the paint is a biocide that leaches into the water, causing contamination that is harmful to marine life, including fish and sea lions.

In the world of environmentally friendly bottom paints you essentially have two options. Alternative biocide hull paints that use zinc or other chemicals to act as the biocide instead of copper, and Non-biocide hull paints that contain no polluting chemicals. They protect the boat hull by creating a slick surface or hard protective layer.

From Port of San Diego: Jerry Jerome, salesman for HullSpped High Performance Coatings, paints a Hornblower hull at Knight & Carver for the paint testing. (Courtesy: Dale Frost)

The EPA provided funding for the Port of San Diego to conduct a study, which evaluated a variety of alternative hull paints. The study concluded that alternative hull paints are environmentally friendly, work well and can save money over the long-term because they last longer than copper hull paints. See the results here. They also created a great document to help you decide which type of bottom paint is best for you entitled How to Select an Alternative Hull Paint, which includes consideration for racing sailboats.

For more information on the different brands that offer environmentally friendly options, click here for an article from Windcheck magazine.

As part of our Clean Regattas program we encourage sailing organizations to switch over to environmentally friendly bottom paints. Tell us: Do you use an environmentally friendly bottom paint?

What to do with all that shrink wrap?

Spring has sprung here in New England, and while there is still a chill in the water that keeps most of us on land for another month, many are getting their boats ready for the first day on the water!

With this in mind we wanted to share the the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation and the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) instructions for proper recycling of Marine Shrink Wrap.

RITMA notes: “This effort was started by RIMTA was one of the first in the Country to begin a recycling program for shrink-wrap. This Program has saved RIMTA member marinas, thousands of dollars in landfill tipping fees as well as saving the environment for the future generations. Since the inception over 500,000 pounds of shrink-wrap was recycled.”

The instructions pictured below, should be helpful for any state. However each states program is slightly different. The easiest way to find your is to google your state and marine shrink wrap recycling. Many of these programs are often run through NOAA. If you are having trouble find a resource in your state comment below and we will do our best to help! Another great pamphlet about recycling shrink is available online from Ohio State Sea Grant (PDF).

Also worth noting – a reusable cover can be another great way to protect your boat, and can save money over time.

Non toxic cleaning products – for my boat?

Drainage basin of the Mississippi River, and dead zone it creates.

Drainage basin of the Mississippi River, and dead zone it creates.

Nutrient runoff is killing coastal ecosystems around the word. The dead zone that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the best (or worst) example of this problem. Support the health of your local and national waters by using non-toxic cleaning products on your boat.

Why does it matter?
When you wash your boat, wax it, or use a spray solvent to clean off a spot, traces of these chemicals will more than likely make it into the water you use for recreation. If you haul your boat out to clean it, only some marina’s have proper filtration for runoff before it goes back into the water. If you clean your boat while in the water, nothing is stopping the soap from going in the water. The reason so many cleaners are good at Boat out of water.getting rid of stains, bacteria and the like is because they are rife with toxic and petroleum-based ingredients-ingredients that persist and damage our oceans, environment and even our own health.

You might be putting more that just your boat in the water.

Fortunately, there are some simple solutions like making your own cleaners or buying non-toxic products. Click here for ways to make your own green cleaning products.  If you prefer store bought products, there are many non-toxic cleaning products being made for the home and boating industry. You want a product that does not contain chlorine, phosphate, petroleum surfactants, bleach, solvents, VOC and optical brighteners. Check out Seventh Generation, Simple Green Naturals line, and Clorox Green Works for your cleaning needs. Also check out ecomarineproducts.com, this website is till growing, but it allows for one stop shopping for environmentally friendly cleaning products specifically made for boats. If you work at a marina or shipyard, now is a great time to transition to non-toxic cleaning products.

The best way to reduce runoff is eliminate the problem! Give your boat a water only wash down. This gets the job done for most cleanings and creates the least impact.

What products do you prefer to use on your boat? Would you make a commitment to give water only wash downs every 3 out of 4 times you wash your boat?

Welcome to the Sailors for the Sea blog!

If you are new to our organization or a long time follower, thank you for checking out our new blog. Sailors for the Sea educates and engages the boating community in the worldwide protection of the oceans.

We have created this blog to share news that will allow us to share news focused on sailing and ocean conservation. We look forward to engaging with the boating community through this blog and would like to encourage comments and appreciate your feedback. If you have an idea for a post, or would like to submit an article for posting please contact us via email: info@sailorsforthesea.org.