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Eco Friendly Sailing –
The Three R’s


  • Reduce the amount of waste you make. Remove packaging and recycle it before you go onboard. Smokers should not throw their cigarette butts overboard but keep them in a tin until they can be disposed of correctly on shore.

  • Reduce your speed. Navigate carefully around marine life and go slow when sailing or motoring past sensitive areas. Make sure your wash does not disturb the natural habitat. Check your charts so you are aware of any marine protected areas.

  • Reduce your sewage. Don’t put paper and other items down the head and use holding tanks if you have them installed. Empty your holding tanks at least 3 miles from shore.

  • Reduce pollution by avoiding products with bleach or chlorine and using ones that are environmentally friendly. Make sure your engine is well maintained and not leaking fuel or oil. Consider using a drip tray or absorbent bilge mat to prevent leakage. When refuelling be careful not to spill any fuel in the water. If scraping antifouling in the water, make sure to capture it and dispose of it on shore.

  • Reduce your impact on the seabed by anchoring with care. Make sure you are not disturbing areas where there are vulnerable species. If there are secure mooring balls then use them instead.



  • Buy reusable plastic glasses and bottles for drinks.

  • Reuse products or items as much as possible – Sailors For The Sea have good

    ideas to help reduce plastic pollution in our seas.

  • Do not use plastic bags – there are some great bags made from recycled sails and

    material around!



  • If you do have non-reusable items then store them onboard until you can dispose of them at a recycling centre.

  • It may depend where are you are sailing in the world as to how much you can recycle. Some countries do not have proper facilities for this. Research a destination before you go so you have all the facts.

  • Make sure you prevent rubbish from blowing overboard.

  • Never dump waste at sea.



    It’s pretty easy to be a ‘green’ sailor. Harness the forces of nature and take advantage of wind, solar, and hydro power – you have it all at your fingertips! Remember the three R’s to achieve more eco friendly sailing. 

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