There’s nothing better for some people than getting on a boat or yacht and sailing through the waterways of the world. Sailing has a certain ‘zen’ quality to it, especially in calm waters like lakes and rivers. For others, getting on a superyacht and lazily moving through the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas is their idea of a relaxing, trouble-free cruise. But while most people acknowledge the pollution generated by yacht engines will have an effect on the environment, there are other factors that are frequently downplayed or ignored by sailors and yachting enthusiasts alike.

Water quality

Just like how soil and grass gets deformed or destroyed when people walk over it, the presence of motorboats and sailboats in bodies of water can leave a trail of algae and kicked-up sediments as they move. Algae can help spoil the overall water quality and the sediments can block sunlight from reaching the bottom of the water, encouraging development of bacteria and algae that will change the area for the worse, at least for the aquatic life that calls it home.

Chemicals can also sepp into the water through the hull, adversely affecting the quality of the water, which can affect both the life inside the water and outside, especially if people then consume food from that body of water by fishing.

Effects on Wildlife

While the effects of water quality and pollution on marine life are quite obvious nowadays, cases of direct harm to animals by unaware boats are also quite common. Perhaps the poster child for this phenomenon is the Manatee, a slow and ponderous beast that inhabits marshy areas of the Caribbean. Once motorboats began touring their habitats, the local Manatee population slowly declined as they bumped into the boats that sailed too fast for them to avoid, sometimes resulting in injury or death, especially if they hit a propellor.

There’s also the problem of contaminating the water with chemicals used to keep boats from corroding, or for cleaning them. Most animals aren’t built to tolerate these conditions brought about by these chemicals leaching into the surrounding water through boat hulls. Paint in particular can strip off into the water, and paint being what it is, causes terrible harm to whatever inhales it.

Thankfully, new technology is bring us closer to a true harmony with nature: more efficient engines, new fuel sources, water-resistant paint with less toxic chemicals inside and so on, but the onus of improving our effect on the environment is on us, as individuals. Replace old petrol-spitting motors with modern designs, use greener cleaning products, check for oil and fuel leaks before setting off and if you need a repaint, pick paint that won’t corrode and mix with the water.

If you’re looking for a green and responsible superyacht charter based in Monaco and St Barths with access to ports around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, You Charter Direct provides several cruising locations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean so you can see some of the natural beauty of these regions for yourself.

 

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