Earth-Friendly Tips from BoatU.S.

As the weather warms and the tarps come off the boat, the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has a few earth-friendly tips to keep in mind when out on the water this year:

Watch your wake. Be aware of your wake when traveling near a shoreline or marshy area subject to erosion. Take the time to watch it as it makes its way to the shore. Slower speeds don’t always necessarily mean small wakes.

Consider a bathroom break. Keep untreated sewage out of the water. Offer your guests a bathroom break before leaving the dock, and make sure your marine sanitation device is legal and operating properly.

Every day is take-out-the-trash day. Make it boat policy that no trash goes overboard, even food wastes. Remember that cigarette butts are made of plastic and do not degrade for centuries. Put a sturdy trash container with a lid on your boat.

Topping off won’t get you any farther. Know how much fuel your tanks hold, and don’t top off. As the weather warms, the extra fuel can heat up and leak out the side vent, dripping into the water, not your engine.

Recycle Fluids. Ask your marina if they recycle fluids. Use a drain pan to capture used engine or outdrive oil. Do the same when changing the ethylene glycol (toxic) antifreeze in a closed freshwater cooling system. And don’t forget oil filters and batteries are recyclable, too.

For more ideas, order a copy of 21 Steps To Make Your Boating Waters Cleaner by calling 1-336-BOAT-USA, by logging on to, or by e-mailing a request to