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Old 05-11-2018, 09:36   #1
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Environmental impact of sailing activities

I am interested in your experiences and thoughts on environmental impact of non-professional sailing activities.


I have just finished an article on this problem and would be glad to receive feedback on it. See https://www.erol.at/logbook/index.ph...t_type=message
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Old 05-11-2018, 13:09   #2
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

I think you have a number of valid points. What I would be interested in is a comparison between the cruising and shore-based lifestyles. I have the non-scientific feeling that cruisers consume far less and generate far less trash than land-dwellers, on average.
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Old 05-11-2018, 14:01   #3
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

Serol:

I cannot raise you link. I am not computer savvy enuff to deduce why that may be. Could you kindly do whatever it takes :-)?

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Old 05-11-2018, 14:10   #4
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

Had the same problem as TP. How about posting the main points here, that way we donít have to go somewhere else.

One of the specific reasons for me and my spouse to go cruising is to reduce our impact on this planet.

Living on a smallish sailboat lends itself it a lifestyle that is more modest, environmental speaking. It doesnít have to be so, but simply living in a small space forces a certain level of frugality, even on those who donít care about such things.
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Old 05-11-2018, 14:18   #5
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

That looks quite interesting. The real conclusion to me is that sailing/cruising itself is quite a green activity because 86% of the carbon pollution in your example involved travelling by land just to arrive at the dock. The moral of the story is:
Don't just do a one week cruise... do it permanently!
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Old 05-11-2018, 14:31   #6
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

This is something I've been interested in for a while, but I've never settled down to figure it out in any comprehensive way, and I have to admit I am a prolific user of my outboard. One thing I never though of is emissions from my heater during the winter months, it cranks through about 8 to 10 gallons a week depending on how cold it gets, if it gets really cold I can use up to 12 gallons .
So I'm sure there's a difference between higher latitude and ones that keep more to warmer locals...
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Old 05-11-2018, 17:43   #7
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

As far as our footprint, I don't even know how to assess it. Here's why:

Our boat was constructed of timber, epoxy, and fiberglass. I do not really know the impact of all the epoxy used in boats.

Our boat makes use of stainless steel: so we have mining, and smelting and manufacturing pollution.

Some of our cordage comes from petroleum, drilling, spill pollution, etc. And of course all the manufacturing and mining for the stuff to create the drill rigs.

Solar panels.

A diesel fired heater.

And this is just to HAVE the boat.

*************

Some cruisers have smaller footprints than others, just like people in general. Some are home owners of large homes with large boats that are used mainly on weekends.

In the overall picture of pollution and cruising, the few cruisers who live aboard and cruise full time is vanishingly small. As a result, our pollution is also small.

However, we still generate a lot of trash, only some of which is biodegradable. We own no real estate property at this time, and haven't owned a car for quite a while. So we don't have to support that superstructure.

Ann
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Old 05-11-2018, 17:56   #8
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Environmental impact of sailing activities

See, I think the average full time cruiserís impact compared to the average US land dweller is vanishingly small.
Just start with a full size SUV for her and a pickup truck for him, each on average burning 650 gls of fuel per year, then add 100 gls of water a day for each person, and the level of garbage is phenomenal.
We generate trash, but nothing compared to what we did in a house, largely cause itís such a PIA to get rid of it, where used to be just put the can by the curb each week.

How many gallons of fuel a yr do you think the average cruiser burns?
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Old 05-11-2018, 18:49   #9
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

How many gallons of fuel a yr do you think the average cruiser burns?
Average, no idea. We use around 500 - 600 litres of fuel per year.
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Old 05-11-2018, 22:27   #10
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

Quote: "How many gallons of fuel a yr do you think the average cruiser burns? "

Dunno about the average. But TrentePieds uses about 8 gallons a season.

Now, to get to 'er we have a two hour trip on a twenty thousand ton ferry. No idea how much she burns. And a car trip taking about five gallons of gasoline. Maybe 8 return trips a year.

Ashore we recycle every scrap we can, and our contribution to the landfill is down to about a 10 litre bag of compostables per week. This goes in the bin contained in a "compostable" plastic bag. We eschew "single use" plastics UNLESS we know that our recycling depot will take them.

Our heating and lighting ashore comes from hydro power as does power for the stove hot water and refrigeration, as does the shore power for the boat.

In our little town of 5K souls we process the municipal blackwater and compost the slurry with agricultural waste turning the mix into compost sold by the sack to gardeners and farmers. Again, the power to run the treatment plant comes from hydro-power.

Consequently, our "carbon footprint" is smaller than most people's and has attempts to reduce it further have reached the point of diminishing returns.

But being "environmentally conscious" is a fool's errand, and strictly a "feel good" activity, as long as we cannot get a solid grip on reducing planet Earth's load of the H.Sapiens virus that infects it.

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Old 06-11-2018, 00:24   #11
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

Reality is if you want to have no footprint, you have to find yourself a nice pre-existing cave and starve yourself to death...or more realistically, find the smallest studio apartment you can find, each a basic vegetarian diet and don't use the heat/cooling or other power unless it's an emergency (flush every dozen or so uses).

I can guarantee you, I consume far less without a house and daily commute.

Example: I had a Prius owner start to berate me one time over my F250 in a parking lot. How I was destroying the environment with my big gas guzzling truck. My response was to ask her how much fuel she used per year. I then explained how I use about 1/4 of what she does because we've arranged our lives so we aren't commuting on a daily basis. She still was angry but it really took the wind out of her sails.
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Old 06-11-2018, 00:48   #12
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Serol:

I cannot raise you link. I am not computer savvy enuff to deduce why that may be. Could you kindly do whatever it takes :-)?

TrentePieds

Ok. Here again.

https://www.erol.at/logbook/index.ph...t_type=message


Hope it works now for you!
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:03   #13
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
As far as our footprint, I don't even know how to assess it. Here's why:

Our boat was constructed of timber, epoxy, and fiberglass. I do not really know the impact of all the epoxy used in boats.

Our boat makes use of stainless steel: so we have mining, and smelting and manufacturing pollution.

Some of our cordage comes from petroleum, drilling, spill pollution, etc. And of course all the manufacturing and mining for the stuff to create the drill rigs.

Solar panels.

A diesel fired heater.

And this is just to HAVE the boat.
I was arguing with a friend about this.

We were talking about the "La Vagabonde" video rant about Cruise Boats.
I was pointing out that, while it is very likely that cruise boats pollute more per capita than sailboats, you cannot attack someone else way of cruising without presenting any evidence that it is, indeed, worse.

The average cruise boat has 5.000 cruisers on board.
If someone has an honest and comprehensive comparison of a cruise ship environmental impact vs 2500 outremer 45, I would be happy to finally have an answer to give my friend.

Comparison should include :

- Environmental production costs, including the whole supply chain down to ore/oil mining as Ann points out.
- Operating environmental costs, fuel, plastic particles going in the water, anti-fouling, chemicals used, maintenance, waste disposal etc...
- Anchoring / grounding / wrecking environmental costs, impact from physical contacts, hurricanes and incident risks etc

I am probably forgetting some but you get the point.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:12   #14
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

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We were talking about the "La Vagabonde" video rant about Cruise Boats.
I was pointing out that, while it is very likely that cruise boats pollute more per capita than sailboats, you cannot attack someone else way of cruising without presenting any evidence that it is, indeed, worse.

The average cruise boat has 5.000 cruisers on board.
If someone has an honest and comprehensive comparison of a cruise ship environmental impact vs 2500 outremer 45, I would be happy to finally have an answer to give my friend.
On a per person night basis, I bet the cruise ship wins out easily over the average cruising boat.
- Yeah, the ship has a lot more total impact but 5000 cruisers at 365 days per year by 80% occupancy = 1.46million passenger nights per year.
- Your average cruising boat is more like 2 passengers at 5% occupancy.= 36 passenger nights per year.

The cruise ship can have over 400,000 times the foot print and still be less per passenger night.

Even if you assume a full time liveaboard (very rare), the cruise ship can still have a 20,000 times impact and still be less per person.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:31   #15
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Re: Environmental impact of sailing activities

Except on a cruise ship and I do like cruising on a ship, there is a life of gluttony. I do wonder what happens to the packaging and waste food.

Life on board: after the full cooked breakfast there is just time for some shopping before mid morning tea and biscuits. Then lunch on the aft deck followed by a snooze and swim around the pool. High tea with cream cakes will be about 3pm and then evening meal 3 or 4 courses between 7-8pm. Finally if you are a little peckish before bed there is fish and chips at mid night.

I have been watching the you tubers recently to see what they are eating. It's rice and beans, pasta, fresh fish, veggies, omelettes. Simple tasty foods foods with local bought ingredients and minimal packaging for veg because they know they know they will have to dispose of it later if it goes on board.
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