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Old 01-02-2016, 17:32   #46
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

With regard to going green, like I said before, I think boat living lends itself to a smaller environmental footprint. It's a small space, with small energy demands. And even if you include the ecological impact of a fibreglass hull, the fact that they can last for many decades makes the amortized impact quite small. Buy a "good old boat" and you've got a home with a relatively small eco-footprint.

As others have said, if you go with an old boat, live mostly on the hook, stay away from marinas, mostly use solar/wind to generate needed electricity, sail most of the time, and generally limit your consumption to needs, not wants, then it's certainly possible live "green(er)".

Of course it's equally possible to achieve the same green lifestyle on land. It all comes down to choices, values, and how you live your life. Being on a boat doesn't guarantee green living, and living on land doesn't mean you have to be an eco-monster. But I agree that boat life lends itself to a lower-impact lifestyle.

When it comes to boat systems, I lean towards simple and effective, and/or highly reliable. I try and match systems with my capabilities to repair and maintain them. Either that or I purchase systems which are highly reliable and resilient. In the former case I prefer things like a manual windlass or a windvane. In the latter case, stand-alone GPS/plotter, VHF radio & depth sounder round out my electronics. If they go pffft, I have a near-zero chance of fixing them, but they are highly resilient pieces of tech that make my life easier.

My boat is very comfortable. I don't "camp", but my boat is simpler than most. I like it this way, but I don't begrudge those who live with a higher level of personal comfort. Usually they're the sundowner boat (b/c they're bigger and have a large fridge). As long as you're good, fun loving, easy going people, we'll get along handsomely .
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Old 01-02-2016, 17:39   #47
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Regarding the issue of longevity of houses....sure, some do last a long time. But many more are built, and decay due to neglect in 30 years or 40 years. Long lasting and well kempt home are the exception. Not the norm. Our throw away society and endless pusuit of the latest ensure we dont even bother to build anything to last even one life time.
Shopping malls are considered to have a life span of 20 years. Thats it.
Everything we do on land is disposable, short term and cheap.
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Old 01-02-2016, 17:40   #48
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Like many things in life, balance is key. I personally enjoy creature comforts such as solar panels and water makers. I can also see the purist point of view, just not sure my fiancÚ would agree.
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Old 01-02-2016, 21:41   #49
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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I have both, well a Dually Duramax 1 Ton and a Prius, so I don't have the typical Prius Smugness.
But how do you use less fossil fuel, do you push the thing, sails?
We live in the boat or in our RV and work from them.

Most days the truck goes less than 5miles. Many days it just sits because we are where we want to be. The idiot as I expected commutes 45miles each way.

He's burning 10-15gal per week. We are averaging 5-7gal.
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Old 01-02-2016, 22:27   #50
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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With regard to going green, like I said before, I think boat living lends itself to a smaller environmental footprint. It's a small space, with small energy demands. And even if you include the ecological impact of a fibreglass hull, the fact that they can last for many decades makes the amortized impact quite small. Buy a "good old boat" and you've got a home with a relatively small eco-footprint.
It doesn't actually have to be old. As long as the boat is of good quality and lasts for a long time, whether you are the first or the second or the third owner of it should not make much difference from an ecological perspective.
The whole life cycle of the boat needs to be considered.

The first owner of a boat gets the pleasure of having something brand new... while the second owner gets the benefit of a lower second-hand price. Maybe a third owner gets it almost for free. However, I'd say the ecological footprint is pretty much the same for them all.

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Old 01-02-2016, 23:44   #51
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

A lot of these so-called conveniences are actually the opposite. Many cruisers must work many hours or even days maintaining all these systems.

My only pump is a bilge pump, and although I have many computers (all sent to me as gifts) now including one which is completely waterproof and can actually be used under water. I rarely use more than 2 or 3 of them at the same time.

My requirements was that this boat can have no engine. I have since converted to wood/solar cooking and I am experimenting with concentrated solar pyrolitic gassification to turn human waste into cooking gas. Electricity comes from solar panels.

I am quite successful at sailing everywhere. The last passage from port elizabeth to mossel bay... Some other cruisers left before me using their motor while I tacked against the light wind. This gave them a 15 mile advantage. The next day I caught them and passed them as I was running 4 knots in 7 knots of wind and they were only going 2 knots because their boat is 20 tons. They arrived several hours after me and said they had run the engine again for 7 more hours after I passed them.

So while this confirms that engines are also quite useless to me, they will keep theirs because otherwise they would probably still be out there in that boat.

I carry 40 liters of water and have no watermaker and have never run out of water even in three cases sailing more than 4000 miles nonstop. Water makers must be for people who like to waste water and not catch rain they simply aren't needed after all.

As for refrigeration.. there are many people who have this, but it's also useless. Somehow I manage to catch a lot more than most boats, so there is plenty of fish either fresh or sun dried.
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Old 02-02-2016, 00:48   #52
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Hmmmmmm......I was with you all the way until you got critical of watermakers. This may suit your circumstances but it also displays a gross misunderstanding/lack of experience/zero empathy for others. Try cruising with young children for instance. How shall you wash their nappies - or should disposable ones be used? Yes, perhaps bigger water tanks can be installed but that could mean a larger boat. The larger boat then likely results in a larger engine and larger fuel capacity. The water maker goes a long way towards resolving some issues.
You mention a 4000mile passage with just 40 litres of water. At 5 knots that is a 33 day passage - just over 1 litre per day? Really? That is obviously single handing.
1.9 litres is a suggested survival quantity and that is just direct consumption. Why would anyone wish to do this? I am also surprised that there was any need to sail 4000m without access to water - I cannot even identify a passage that dictates this.
For many cruising is an enjoyable way of traveling/life style. For us, it is not a story of bragging about how little water we consumed and living under survival conditions; that is simply lunacy. Its no wonder you sail alone.




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A lot of these so-called conveniences are actually the opposite. Many cruisers must work many hours or even days maintaining all these systems.

My only pump is a bilge pump, and although I have many computers (all sent to me as gifts) now including one which is completely waterproof and can actually be used under water. I rarely use more than 2 or 3 of them at the same time.

My requirements was that this boat can have no engine. I have since converted to wood/solar cooking and I am experimenting with concentrated solar pyrolitic gassification to turn human waste into cooking gas. Electricity comes from solar panels.

I am quite successful at sailing everywhere. The last passage from port elizabeth to mossel bay... Some other cruisers left before me using their motor while I tacked against the light wind. This gave them a 15 mile advantage. The next day I caught them and passed them as I was running 4 knots in 7 knots of wind and they were only going 2 knots because their boat is 20 tons. They arrived several hours after me and said they had run the engine again for 7 more hours after I passed them.

So while this confirms that engines are also quite useless to me, they will keep theirs because otherwise they would probably still be out there in that boat.

I carry 40 liters of water and have no watermaker and have never run out of water even in three cases sailing more than 4000 miles nonstop. Water makers must be for people who like to waste water and not catch rain they simply aren't needed after all.

As for refrigeration.. there are many people who have this, but it's also useless. Somehow I manage to catch a lot more than most boats, so there is plenty of fish either fresh or sun dried.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:29   #53
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

I might or might not be able to fix a GPS. I certainly could not fix a sextant.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:14   #54
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Come on guys, lets be nice, this is a thread about being "green" after all.

I once heard something I thought made sense, you start down a slippery slope when you decide you want refrigeration as it requires other systems to make it work.

My boat is pretty far right on the complicated scale, as frankly I want my convinces, and she who must be obeyed won't go without them. But I still think we are much more "green" on the boat than in a house, just the fuel burnt commuting to work and back is enormous, then you heat and cool the house, use water like it's free, most fertilize their yards, sewage dealt with in various ways, and an enormous amount of trash generated. It's the trash that bothers me the most as most of it is simply unnecessary and in fact has to drive the price up of the products packaged in such a manner.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:22   #55
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

People don't like to admit it, but it isn't about simple, complex, green, high impact, or low impact, bah bah bah. ....................... It's about money!
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:23   #56
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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You mention a 4000mile passage with just 40 litres of water. At 5 knots that is a 33 day passage - just over 1 litre per day? Really? That is obviously single handing.
Well he did mention "catch rain" ... :-)

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Old 02-02-2016, 06:27   #57
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Convenience is what costs a lot.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:27   #58
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I go Green every bludi trip..
But.. after 3 days I feel much better...
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:31   #59
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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People don't like to admit it, but it isn't about simple, complex, green, high impact, or low impact, bah bah bah. ....................... It's about money!

To a great extent that is true, and I think it should be that way, as very few people will really cause themselves discomfort for the benefit of others, its just the way Society is.
Want to greatly increase re-cycling? Make it so it hurts your wallet if you don't.
Remember being a kid, collecting up coke bottles to take to the store to turn in for money? What was wrong with that model?

I tuned in a Z28 Camaro we weren't using for a Prius during the "Cash for Clunkers" deal, why? Because I wanted to save money and you can drive one of those things cheaper than just about anything else.

You find a way to make being green save money, and people will line up for it.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:32   #60
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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I go Green every bludi trip..
But.. after 3 days I feel much better...

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