Sustainable Yachting.

5 Ways to Make Your Yacht More Sustainable

Written by Diane Byrne
June 26, 2023

Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Sustainability is much more than a buzzword. It’s a commitment to being more environmentally minded, upheld by individuals, corporations, and even governments. Simultaneously, it’s a commitment to being a better steward of the community.

In fact, from using recycled materials to creating jobs to lift people out of poverty, the yachting industry is doing its part to uphold sustainability. The movement may still be in its infancy, but many baby steps have already been taken.

If you’ve wondered whether your yacht can be eco-friendly, the answer is yes. Here are five ways to sustainable yachting!

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1. Employing electric or hybrid propulsion

There’s no question that emissions from gasoline and diesel engines are harmful to the environment. This is why all-electric engines and hybrid propulsion are growing sustainable yachting alternatives.

They’re aboard a number of boats and yachts, including superyachts. The batteries significantly reduce emissions, plus noise pollution from generators (noise doesn’t just impact us humans. It’s disorienting and harmful for marine life, too).

Among superyachts, shipyards and engine companies are investing in hydrogen fuel cells for even cleaner operations. The only “emissions” are water and air.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ship.

2. Using solar panels

Some yacht builders incorporate solar panels onto their craft to harness the sun’s power for air conditioning, electricity, and more onboard. Similarly, boatbuilders install solar panels on their shipyard buildings’ roofs, taking sustainable yachting even further.

3. Using sustainably certified and/or reclaimed woods

Whether it’s for teak decking or interior woodwork, builders and designers increasingly turn to sustainably certified forests. Certification comes from prominent non-governmental organizations that set standards for cutting down trees, for instance.

The same groups set standards for replanting trees and working conditions. Reclaimed woods, meanwhile, tend to be more in the realm of custom and semi-custom yachts upon customer request. Nevertheless, they’re available.

Teak Yacht Deck.

4. Researching alternatives to fiberglass

Aluminum and steel are much easier to recycle than fiberglass. Additionally, even with air scrubbers and other modern boat-building techniques, fiberglass still emits toxins into the air during the construction process.

Researchers, therefore, are exploring ways to make yacht hulls and superstructures more eco-friendly. For example, basalt fiber—from the basalt rock of volcanic lava flows—promises lightweight properties and durability.

It’s already in use in other industries. Currently, a yacht builder, a yacht-classification society, and a yachting trade group are testing it, in a collective initiative.

5. Using eco-friendly décor materials

Bamboo, vegan leather from fruit and vegetable skins (yes, food!), and similarly sustainable materials are making inroads into staterooms and salons. It’s a slow process, admittedly, but the more boaters and the industry self-educate, the more common it will be.

Yacht Charging.

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