Editor’s Note: Greening Gently

Electric boating just leaves bubbles

Sept 12, 2023

By John Morris

Electric boating just leaves bubbles

Boating started out green.  Sailboats didn’t have motors and while galley slaves may have tossed their food scraps over the side, that was about it.

More recently, outboards and diesels came along and while initially they were smoggy and leaked petrochemicals into the water, they evolved into being inoffensive.  Certainly, their impact was minor compared to commercial shipping, leaking urban manufacturing and sewage and plastic detritus that people tossed into the environment.

Now we appear to be entering a completely new phase where recreational boating is showing leadership by embracing solar panels and more recently electric powering (look at the stories below on Merc and Vision Marine, for example). Our companion publication, Sailing in Canada, covered the Shark Worlds, which took place last month in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  In their report, the Shark Class reported “Our team followed the Sailor for the Sea Clean Regatta protocols and achieved the Gold Standard.” We heard the same message from the organizers of the recent edition of Chester Race Week, for example.  Environmental awareness has become a fixture of the boating mindset. Good news!

This comes as no surprise – when you’re out there on the water, you are in contact with the environment. Continuing exposure to oceans, rivers, lakes, and beaches is helping boaters to become advocates for green thinking.

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