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RE: Recreational Boat Maintenance


The sailing community, as a rule, tends to be pretty conservation 
minded.  You might want to look through back issues of Sail magazine,
especially the spring getting-your-boat-ready articles.  Tarps and
vacuum sanders are standard at boatyards for sanding and reapplying 
bottom paint, which by design is toxic to the sea life that might want to
attach to your boat.  For wooden boats, you might want to replace VOC-laden
varnish with water-based polyurethane.  For small boats that's about it, other than the gas you burn getting to the water.

Once you scale up and add a motor, then you've got motor maintenance issues, 
such as disposal of used oil.  But the main issue hear is two-cycle vs.
four stroke.  Two-cycle gives more power per unit weight, which explains 
its dominance.  However, 25% of the gas/oil mix is expelled into the air 
and water on the exhaust stroke.  In a busy water body this adds up to a 
significant oil slick.  Some places have outlawed two-cycles.  Honda has 
been making a four stroke marine engine for years.  Other manufacturers 
are entering the market.

In a global context, you might want to consider if all that teak and 
mahogany is harvested sustainably, but I've already digressed from your 
question about maintenance.  

Bruce Herrick