Apr 22, 2021
Amidst everything else that’s going on, let’s not miss Earth Day today. While the world generally is getting greener, boating has made some quite decent strides. It’s a no-brainer that boaters should be aware of the water resource and there appears to be increasing cognizance that this is not an infinite resource.
I have been admonished for throwing an apple core over the rail – I was both embarrassed and pleased to realize that the giant trashcan attitude to the waterways is happily going away. That’s just one minor anecdote; we all are increasingly aware of the plastics lining beaches, showing up in sea animals and floating around in the middle of the oceans. But at least we’re aware.
Other progress in boating closer to home: there appears to be some moves toward recyclable shrink-wrap. Engine manufacturers have cleaned up their act to a very large extent incorporating reduced emission tech, shifting to four-stroke and limiting two-stroke oil proportions. Mostly gone are the oil rings trailing outboards and the black/blue smoke that accompanied those ghastly old beasts.
Coming on strong, just like in the auto industry, is electric power. In Europe, electric outboards abound and in our pages we have profiled some solar-powered, regenerative auxiliary engines that basically run on nothing and emit zero. Plug-in docking is on the horizon and a rush of electric boats is coming to market. And then there’s sail, as there has been for centuries.
While there’s much more to accomplish, we are moving in the right direction. Boaters are leaders in touch with the water, as they should be.