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Old 02-02-2016, 06:51   #61
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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!
Yup. You got that right. Poor folks go green; rich go to St. Bart's.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:42   #62
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

I think you are 100% to assume that the poor man goes green. The poor man pollutes this planet as much as the rich man does. Actually, I would risk a proposition that the poor pollute more.

We have spent time in harbours of the 1st "" and of the 3rd "" world. It was nice and clean where we are rich, it was filthy and smelly where we are poor.

The poor man does NOT go green. They go as they can, mostly going cheap - that 1 EUR teeshirt is 1 EUR here ... and 1 EUR worth of untreated sewage dumped into the rivers of China, Bangladesh or Ucrania.

Do not fool yourself, and do not fool others.

Green non green is like the global warming effect and causes - there is money, there is politicks, there is our ever present acceptance of getting snowed by those who sell us an illusion or order and safety.

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Old 02-02-2016, 08:40   #63
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

It's easy to sidetrack this topic with money as the key relationship between the boater and ecological impact or responsibility; however, it's also apparent that two cruisers with the same funds can have vastly different consumption of materials and production of wastes.

This thread can not be of service to cruisers if the focus is a negative attack on people by their economic status. Certainly we can identify most behaviors and trends that impact our environment whether rich of poor.
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:23   #64
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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It's easy to sidetrack this topic with money as the key relationship between the boater and ecological impact or responsibility; however, it's also apparent that two cruisers with the same funds can have vastly different consumption of materials and production of wastes.

This thread can not be of service to cruisers if the focus is a negative attack on people by their economic status. Certainly we can identify most behaviors and trends that impact our environment whether rich of poor.
I am 100% with you.

My post was not meant as an attack on any people, whatever they status, financial or otherwise.

But it was, in an intended way, an attack on our recurring tendency to forget the factors like cost externalization, myth creation and our overlooking of base rates in choosing our vision of this world.

I think the VISION of this world must be as close to the reality as we can get, if we want our ACTIONS to be effective and adequate.

We cannot get cleaner, more eco friendly, more 'alternative' if we start with myths, biases and theories that can be found untrue in a five minute online research of who pollutes, where and why.

Cruising is NOT and eco friendly undertaking. It starts with buying an object that we do not really know how to properly dispose off and loading it up with more objects that we do not really need. This is all production, consumption and pollution.

A truly green eco friendly alternative cruiser will simply go to the park, sit on a rock, look and breathe, while imagining being out there doing all the cruising things.

We cannot have both worlds. We either refrain from doing or we do. Doing equals using up. At least this is the way in the Western societies in the 21st century. And no rescue in sight.

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Old 02-02-2016, 10:05   #65
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Just a clarification on wants and needs.
We all want a boat, not one of us needs one.
There is certainly a new class of sailors arriving in the past few years. Many of them that have more disposable income than most. These people are going to have far more toys and conveniences than are needed to sail around the world. It is about comfort to them. When they plop down 800K+ on a new Cat or Hylas The Green thing for the most part won't even cross their minds. Telling them about such things as compositing toilets or using a five gallon bucket instead is likely going to get you tossed off the boat. They are not going to be impressed with stories of getting by on spritzer bottles, hank on sails, manual winches, etc. and a finely polished sextant is just a decorative table piece. That's just the nature of the beast and an industry that is going to clamor to cater to this breed of sailors. But there are still plenty of the simple guys left, they are not disappearing at all and there are plenty in between. When I hear on the docks the disparaging comments about these bigger all toys included boats then the Green thing does come into play. Usually it's just that little green monster that lives in all of us.


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Old 02-02-2016, 11:21   #66
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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I am 100% with you. ...................
...............
'and I'm about 90% with you. My earlier post was directed to a couple posts before yours as well and with the intention of having us focus on the content of the forum as cruisers. Certainly, I agree that large fiberglass boats are not ecologically sound items by themselves; however, they are also consumed and disposed of at different rates. They are provisioned and equipped differently.

If we assume to be speaking of cruising in boats and not sitting on the rock in the park, then we have these different actions in cruising that are relevant. I'm far from the best cruiser by being "green", but I have kept my same chunk of toxic fiberglass for 35 years. I do use far less energy and resources while cruising than many others and far less than those in the typical house ashore.

I have not owned a car for many years and my live-aboard cruising time consumes less than half of my income, but I lose my green credibility by traveling long distances to windward in on commercial airlines as vacations from cruising.

I guess that my concern here is that the thread remains focused on the ecological actions of cruising on boats and not drift off toward social/economic/cultural/political debates.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:36   #67
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
It's easy to sidetrack this topic with money as the key relationship between the boater and ecological impact or responsibility; however, it's also apparent that two cruisers with the same funds can have vastly different consumption of materials and production of wastes.

This thread can not be of service to cruisers if the focus is a negative attack on people by their economic status. Certainly we can identify most behaviors and trends that impact our environment whether rich of poor.
Plus one more for this post!!!

It's not always as simple as "this person has money and that person doesn't," because you can take two people with the same financial resources and chances are they will make vastly different choices about what to do with their money. Of course there are those who go simple out of necessity who would gladly have a big boat with all the bells and whistles if they could afford it. (I personally would probably have a big trawler or long range cruiser. How's that for green?) But that is not necessarily true of everyone. Some people are willing to carry debt in order to have more convenience, other people feel more comfortable with everything being debt free. Some people are perfectly fine blowing the bank on the boat, others would rather have the money sitting in the bank and live with less. For every generalized statement you can make like this there are going to be some people who fit your assumptions and some who don't.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:00   #68
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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But there are still plenty of the simple guys left, they are not disappearing at all and there are plenty in between.
I'm pretty simple ............................................ minded.

Does this count?
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:17   #69
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

This is an interesting topic, and one that I've found is of more interest to me now that I am sailing around on a 'big' boat.

Here's how I see it. Our boat is our only home, by the way.

I did my first long-distance cruising in 1989-90. It was on a 41' leaky Taiwanese ketch that couldn't sail out of it's own way. Yes, we did it very simply. No GPS, no radar, no refrigeration, manual winches all around, if there even were winches for the job at hand. A Magellan 3000 gps didn't work that well back then, and it cost over $3k for one. We used a sextant and DR.

We also had no solar power, no wind generator, no LED lights. No way to produce power other than running the engine with a small, inefficient alternator.

The choices that were available then left us with no alternative but to sail this way. Wind generators were in their infancy-fragile, noisy, and low-power production. Solar was inefficient and expensive.

It was all a great adventure, and it was more 'pure' than what we're doing today.

It was also a hell of a lot harder, a lot less comfortable, and considering the uncertainty of our navigation, a lot less safe.

Fast forward nearly 30 years, and 4 boats, and we're currently running around on our 55 footer.

Yes, we have a watermaker, GPS, big pilot, roller furling, etc.

We also have a big solar array and a wind generator.

Our fossil fuel consumption (which is probably the best metric of 'green') is now far lower than it was back then. Never mind the conveniences. This is due to using renewables, and also thanks to the fact that our new, modern boat will actually sail in light air. We motor FAR less than we did on the old, heavy boats. Of course, we could have chosen to bob around going nowhere for days when the wind got light, as some are willing to do, but that was not our style, then nor now. The 4 knot rule is generally in effect for engine use for us. Then and now. Call me wasteful.

And our quality of life aboard has improved TREMENDOUSLY over the past decades.

This is one guy who will never go back to the way it was. And, with responsible power generation and a boat which doesn't need to motor to maintain speed in lighter air, there is really no reason to do so if one doesn't wish to do so. Sure, the boat uses more material in the original construction, but with the longevity of the boat, I see this as less of an issue than consumption day to day.

Just my two cents.

TJ
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:40   #70
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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We cannot get cleaner, more eco friendly, more 'alternative' if we start with myths, biases and theories that can be found untrue in a five minute online research of who pollutes, where and why.
Most people consider me an environmentalist. I've crewed with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society twice.

In my opinion, the most environmentally impactful decisions cruisers make are (from most impactful to least impactful):
1) whether or not to eat meat.
2) sailboat or stinkpot.
3) lead-acid or LiFePO4 batteries.
4) miles flown each year during hurricane/cyclone seasons.
5) solar/wind generating capacity.

Questions like LED or incandescent bulbs, propane or electric cooking, composting toilets, etc. are all very nice but negligible compared to the five above.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:47   #71
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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............................
........................ Our boat is our only home, by the way. ...
This comment reminds me that I often don't the the "big picture". I spend a lot of time around people who have their boat as their only home or at least the only one they have besides some rental property. We don't own anything that's not on our boat and I tend to think of that as normal, though we do rent a car sometimes or travel and rent rooms.

We also have two modes of living on the boat. We've spent our time at marinas since Thanksgiving (late November) near family and we're waiting until after the winter northers reduce before poking our way down to the Bahamas. We use more diesel fuel away from the dock, but not the utility company's 110V or the amenities of the marina. We're not utilizing our solar panel or wind generator energy at the dock either. 'using the washer and dryer, eating out more, etc.

I'm not sure, but I think we have less energy consumption, waste and more environmental impact at the dock.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:57   #72
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pirate Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

More money would not influence what I have on boats.. just the size of boat... maybe..
It'd still just be a TP/WP, Laptop CP and H/H GPS, VHF Ship + H/H, Depth/Speed, Wind/Solar, Fridge and over 200L water tankage..
Anything more than this takes me away from my intrinsically lazy KISS lifestyle..
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Old 02-02-2016, 13:36   #73
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

High everybody,

We were cruising in the late 70's and 80's, on two boats--a Yankee 30 and a Palmer Johnson 36. On our 36 footer, bought in '83, we had a trolling generator that could also be used as a wind generator. It kept our incandescent lights alive at night while sailing. There was nothing at all "green" in the intent, for us, it was about meeting out power wants. We also had two solar panels mounted on the pushpit, and they could be aimed up or down, but not side to side.

In '89, Jim installed refrigeration, after we'd been out for a year without it. We, too, cruised using the sextant only, but the boat we bought in '83 had a sat/nav on it already. We used to joke that if Capt. Cook had had access to sat/navs, he'd have been delighted to trial them! A forward looking man, our James Cook.

To me, I am not "camping". However, we do not have a freezer, or a hot water system throughout the boat (just a propane burning flash heater and a dedicated pressure water pump that gives us warm showers below and cold on the transom.) No watermaker. We carry 800 l. and that does us for 3 months. All manual pumps. By today's standards, a pretty simple boat. But frighteningly complex compared to our friends who circumnavigated with only an electronic depth sounder, and they had electric nav. lights, iirc.

None of our little savings are for green reasons. And the green things I've done in my life have been for other reasons: the money from re-cycling; the vegetable garden grown by recycling and changing the acidity of the wash water during the drought; buying the kids' milk from the indepent dairyman and recycling the bottles... The smaller than land based footprint is merely a consequence of our chosen lifestyle, and perhaps a pleasant side effect.

There are small things yachties can do that "help," but we mostly just spread our work and wastes to other superstructures that have environmental impacts. IMHO, we should not go around patting ourselves on the back for being green: everything, from shoreside facilities to our boats, to our beloved s/s for *stuff*, and including our fuels has environmental costs.

Ann
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:15   #74
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
.................................................. ......
.................................
In my opinion, the most environmentally impactful decisions cruisers make are (from most impactful to least impactful):
1) whether or not to eat meat.
2) sailboat or stinkpot.
3) lead-acid or LiFePO4 batteries.
4) miles flown each year during hurricane/cyclone seasons.
5) solar/wind generating capacity.
.....................
I want to share some thoughts about this list. I can see the importance of each item to a degree, but not always clear factors in impact.

1) Certainly, eating higher on the food chain represents a much lager use of biomass for the amount of nutrients gained, but there does seem to be a case for moderation. Fishing for the individual meal takes far less than the comparable volume of biomass & energy required to raise, process, transport, package, refrigerate and retail beef for the cruiser. I've participated and known others that have collected flying fish on their decks. 'not my favorite for I'm a great fan of fried slices of canned spam in the morning. The source of meat and moderation is a huge factor. The total exclusion of meat may often be for reasons beyond environmental concerns.

2) Sailboat or Motor vessel - Here again it's a factor of type and degree of use. My daughter's family lives full time on a 36' Gulfstar Trawler with two small 90hp Perkins diesels and they are underway for relatively few days compared to our travel. Some LRC (long range cruiser) power boats have great efficiency. I won't deny the presence of those with ridiculously poor gallons/mile, but there are huge differences here.

3) I agree with the battery category, but there are some moderating factors with longevity by manner of use, recycling, sealed, AGMs, etc

4) I've already admitted to my lack of "green" compliance with commercial flights, but I don't understand the relation to hurricane season. I actually always stay with my boat during the season when tropical storms threaten. In addition, where are these people flying to? If they are going home to a house, this second residence might be the more wasteful factor.

5) 'totally agree here, especially with a source that allows energy independence. I'd move this up the list.

Even though I've found reasons for me to think differently, I like the idea of this type of list. I think it can be altered by variations in individual behaviors.
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Old 02-02-2016, 15:33   #75
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

I haven't read all the replies yet, but I'm going to chime in on the OP.

Things rings true for me. We looked at all the moderns boats with all the mod cons etc. We're probably younger than the avg cruiser in that we're in our mid 30's.

Our thinking was that we're living in a seriously complex world. We see glampers when we're out on camping trips and always ask, what's the point? If you want to take your house with you, just stay home. Then again we both enjoy the same camp ground. We just take 15 mins to setup camp and tear it down, they take a whole day. You could say that we get to enjoy more time relaxing, but they get to spend their time in more "comfort". There are glass half full people and glass half empty people. I'm the smartass getting a smaller glass.

While living and cruising on a boat is a different thing all together, we like the idea of taking a step back from the complexity. I should say that I'm more than capable of dealing with the complex electronics etc, I'm a software developer (20 years, miss spent youth or something) and turned cyber security specialist a few years ago (read hacker for the layman). The thought of having to burn my life energy on computers that will break and will require fiddling just doesn't appeal. I'd much rather spend my time doing without, learning skills that will soon be a lost art and using my body instead of sitting on my behind like I do at work all day everyday.

I totally get that there's not many people who share our point of view, that's perfectly ok. But for us the whole point behind getting out on the yacht is to get away from this crazy world we live in and just enjoy life. More things have certainly not made us happy, we've gotten rid of half our possessions already, and we're just going to keep going till we only have the absolute essentials left. The things we own has ended up owning us. We spend a fortune insuring and storing stuff that we hardly use.

As for the eco foot print. Annie is very conscious of her eco footprint, she loves he idea of having a small footprint and not being part of the problem we're happily creating with over consumption.

Spending time aboard without electricity and only the bare essentials is like a breath of fresh air. We gave up broadcast TV almost a year ago, and not being bombarded with the adds on TV has made a huge improvement to our quality of life.

We think simpler is better, it works for us. We've been so caught up in the crazy world we've nearly lost sight of what's actually important. Working to get more money to pay for more things that ends up in the land fill just seems a little crazy after I've had time to reflect upon my life.

A lot of people will disagree with this, that's fine. Everybody has a different idea about what life should be. At the end of the day we'll all be sharing the same anchorage, some of us will just have less to maintain. While I might have to spend time lugging water back and forth I wont have to fix the water maker when it goes wrong. I'd like to think of this as keeping me in shape. People are like boats, you have to use them or they will deteriorate.

Sorry I may have ranted and gotten off topic a bit there...
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