Since the 70th when I was educated in sailing and shortly after I started cruising in Mediterranean Sea I was told by experienced sailors very pessimistic prognoses about the future of our oceans. Water pollution, drifting plastic particles in the oceans and climate change already had been “hot topics” in the 80ths.
Did anything change positively ? – Seriously I have my doubts.. as we can see increasing amounts of plastic drifting in the oceans.. and new sailing boats are still equipped with Diesel mashines. Yachts became heavily hungry over last 2 1/2 decades for lots of electricity (not only for washing mashines and hot showers on after deck bathing platforms) using different and increasing numbers of electric units (e.g. water makers, diving compressors, electric winches) and electronic devices (ProGo Cameras, Drones (hexacopters), laptops/tablets/smartphones, TV screens, CD/DVD players, Chart plotters, Radar, VHF with AIF etc. etc. etc. …).
The sailing communities I know mostly keep silent about such aspects… and many sailors so it looks for me pretend to enjoy and proclaim their hobby as “green sport”. It’s a big falseness and self lying going on as we can see an increasing fascination for light weighted, speedy carbon boats… instead we all know that Carbon cannot be recycled.
- What with all the dying glas fibre composite / epoxy hulls rotting on land over decades ?
- What with all the plastic sails (either 3D high tech Kevlar laminated or made of Dacron)?
- What with the toxity of antifouling paintings ?
- What with the recycling of hightech textiles sailors are wearing ?
- What with the impact of big marinas onto the eco system ?
… and do exist speedy Trimarans which are cruising or even racing as “Eco-Solutions” giving good examples, that sailors and boat crews can be “green” and follow a life style of sustainability ? – Lets try to find some answers around the globe… and have the confidence we find some.