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Ten "Blue" Boating Tips

Ten “Blue” Boating Tip

We all want to do what we can to keep our oceans, lakes and rivers clean. New technology makes it easy to have the fun we want on the water while reducing pollution and lowering fuel consumption.

1. Update your Engines - Lightweight, quiet on the water, cheap to operate - AND friendly for the environment. There’s a lot to like about the new LEHR propane and Torqeedo electric engines.

2. Clean & Green - Eliminate smelly bilge odors and swab the decks with biodegradable citrus-based cleaners that break down noxious oil and grease. Look for Pure Oceans products that clean and deodorize without phosphates, petroleum distillates or other harmful components and have a refreshing citrus scent.

3. Harness the Sun - Solar technology is perfect for life on the water. New solar panels made of flexible material fold and roll up for easy storage when not in use. Goal Zero generators harness enough energy to run laptops, lighting, TVs-even mini fridges.

4. Lighten the Heavy Metals - Traditional antifouling bottom paint keeps off slime through ablation. New paints use metal-free Econea biocide for multi-season protection, with a water-based formula that replaces volatile solvents.

5. Paddles (and Sails) Up! - Capitalize on free energy. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and sailboats give you a new view of the water-and are excellent exercise too.

6. Take the (Auto) Helm - Save the Earth’s energy, and yours too, with automatic steering devices that make it more direct to get from A to B. Modern autopilots can steer better than most helmspersons and they don't have a limited attention span.

7. Don’t Push Water - Proper trim is essential to good fuel economy. Plowing, kiting and porpoising all result in higher fuel consumption. If your boat doesn’t trim properly, invest in trim tabs. Outboard-powered boats can benefit from bolt-on hydrofoils.

8. Go with the Flow - Install a fuel flow meter. A flow meter tells you in real time exactly how much fuel your engine is consuming. This information allows you to accurately adjust both throttles and trim for maximum economy even as wind and sea conditions change.

9. Recycle Your Lead-Acid Batteries - 12V batteries are among the most recycled products in the world. Get up to a $10.00 credit* on a new battery when you return your core to any West Marine store.(*Amount varies by State.)

10. Mind your Menus - Oceans may be vast, but many fish species are seriously depleted. To choose sustainable seafood at restaurants and grocery stores download a Seafood Watch pocket guides(seafoodwatch.org)or the Seafood Watch app for iPhone and Android.