Welcome back to our series of articles and tips to help sailors make simple adjustments that will make their sailing practices more sustainable. But, these efforts can’t stop when we come off the water. Instead, examine your boat maintenance practices, both in between sailing sessions and in the off-season, and see where you might be able to reduce your impact. Quantum's Director of Sustainability, Lara Poljšak, has some tips for making your time on the hard a bit greener.
Care for and Repair
It's no secret that most of the time it's much less expensive to fix a sail than it is to purchase an entirely new product. But by choosing quality products with a longer life-cycle, and repairing those products, you’ll also be reducing your waste footprint when it comes to disposing of the used materials. Regularly service your sails and extend their lives, reducing your monetary and environmental expenses. Learn more about ways to get more out of your current inventory.
Actionable Idea: Prioritize dropping sails off as soon as you take them off the boat at the end of the season. You’ll give the loft plenty of time to make repairs or suggestions — and exercise all the options — while avoiding the annual springtime service crush. Remember, your local Quantum Loft will service any brand of sails.
When it's time to purchase a new sail, look into the manufacturing processes of your sailmaker. At Quantum, we offer a full line of sails made from recycled and diverted plastic and using methods that are kinder to the environment than traditional sailmaking. We use all recycled and recyclable packing materials when we ship sails — or, if you're local to a loft, you can cut down on packaging materials and pick your sails up or have them delivered.
Proper Material Disposal
In a maritime environment, things just wear out. When this happens, it's vital to take steps for proper disposal — make sure paint, oil, and other chemical products are taken to a facility that can process these materials rather than dumping them in the trash or pouring them into drains untreated. Regular engine, generator, and other system maintenance can also avoid unintentional leaks and spillage both on the hard and in the water.
Actionable Idea: Coordinate a pick-up at your yacht club at the end of each season, or a few times a year, for hazardous boat and boat care items that need special attention.
Once they're tattered and irreparable, your old sails and canvas can have a second life — many companies, including Quantum, will accept old canvas and work with partners to manufacture bags, decor, and other upcycled items.
If you're looking into upgrading the systems on your current boat, research energy-efficient systems like engines that get better miles to the gallon or electronics that can run off of solar panels. If you're getting rid of old gear that still functions, sell it or donate to a local sailing program. If it's truly busted, dispose of everything properly — or make sure your boatyard is doing so.
What are you doing to “Go Green. Sail Green”? Send us your stories for a chance to be featured on our social media and in upcoming content! Read more about green tips for sailors in our racing edition and our cruising edition.