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Energy Saving Tips

Whether you are plugged into the mains at a marina or running your engine to charge the boat battery at sea, your boat will be using energy, costing you money and producing emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), that effect the environment.

There are a number of things you can do to reduce this impact without having to change much at all.

Use natural light and wrap up warm!

The temptation when down below is to turn on all the lights even if they are not really necessary. Make sure you keep you windows and hatches clean and free of salty residue to make the most of the light that does come in through them during the day. If you need a light then use one and make sure it is turned off afterwards. This will help towards saving precious battery power and in turn the fuel bills.

Wrap up warm and try to refrain from turning on the boats heating (if it has some). When on board the boat try and prevent getting cold in the first place by wearing suitable clothes and having enough extra layers to put on if it gets chilly. Check over the boat for drafts coming in through hatches or windows and fix any old or worn out seals to keep warmth in and water and cold drafts out.

Tips Out on Deck

  • A running hose pipe uses 540 litres of water an hour. When washing down boats, sails or equipment gather everything you need to wash together before the tap goes on and remember to turn the tap off when you have finished.
  • Trigger nozzles on hoses in marinas, sailing clubs and your gardens can save water by using it only when needed. This can save up to 225 litres a week.
  • We're more likely to notice leaky taps indoors, but don't forget to check outdoor taps, pipes and hoses for leaks at your sailing club or marina.
  • When washing down your boat or filling your water tank, try not to leave the hose pipe on pouring water over the side. An easy alternative is to fill buckets for the cleaning and scrubbing instead.

Tips In the Galley

  • A dripping tap on your boat, either in the galley or the heads, could waste as much as 90 litres a week. If you are away from the mains supply cruising for a while and relying on your tanks that is quite a considerable amount of your water that is wasted!
  • Kettles should be filled with enough water for your needs but not to the brim. This will reduce your fuel bills too!
  • Whilst cruising or at home try to get into the habit of keeping a container of water (a jug or a bottle) in the fridge so that you don't need to run the water down the sink until it's cool enough to drink.
  • Select the proper size pans for cooking whilst out cruising. Large pans require more cooking water than may be necessary.
  • The most water efficient methods for cooking vegetables are microwaving, steaming or using a pressure cooker. Using lids that actually fit the saucepan also cuts down on the amount of water that just evaporates into thin air.
  • Use a washing up bowl rather than the sink for the washing up and don't rinse the dishes under a running tap, all you have to do is use another bowl full of clean water to rinse.
  • Check fridge seal regularly, if it is damaged then cold air will be escaping and wasting all the energy used to keep it cool.

Tips In the Head

  • Brushing your teeth on board with the tap running, wastes almost 6 litres a minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off only uses an average of 1 litre.
  • Whether you are onboard your boat, using shore side facilities or at home, just taking a five minute shower a day, instead of a bath, will use a third of the water, saving up to 400 litres a week but be careful as a swish power shower can use more water.
  • If your shower can fill a 4 litre bucket in less than 20 seconds, then replace it with a water-efficient showerhead it s probably worth checking.
  • Remember - you use less water by turning the hot tap down, rather than the cold tap up, if you require cooler water.
  • Turn the water off while you shampoo and condition your hair and you can save more than 200 litres a week.

Live Weather

Current temp: 24.2 C
Wind direction: 208°
Wind speed: 19.27 km/h
Barometer: 1017.2 hPa

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Sailtime - the best way to have a boat

I first came across the concept of Sailtime when I had the option of buying a sizeable powered boat second hand at about 60% of its value and did some research on the annual costs of having such a boat.

Darrell at Soldiers Point Marina was wonderfully helpful in providing the information I needed and when he sensed my concern over the costs of holding a boat, he asked whether I had my heart set on a powered boat or whether I would be interested in a sailboat and explained to me the concept of Sailtime.

Very soon afterwards, my friends and I were on a “test sail” with Darrell at the wheel. The size of the boat, its creature comforts and beautiful finish were very impressive and soon my friends were urging me to take a more detailed investigation of the arrangement as they could see how much I enjoyed the experience.

I chose the more expensive option when joining the club because I felt it gave me more options to suit my lifestyle, however, if I lived close to or in Port Stephens, then this option would be without a doubt the best option because of its flexibility providing more options to use the boat.

After joining the club, I was given excellent training on how to take the boat out and bring it back without damaging it, as well as anchoring and navigating around the bay so that I could feel confident. This was so successful, I was able to be confident sufficiently to take the boat out myself with some friends the next day.

It is now over a year since I have been a member of club Sailtime and I look forward to each time I have the opportunity to go for a sail around the beautiful Port Stephens and improve my sailing ability and for the feel of the wind through the sails. My favourite anchorage is at Shoal Bay for lunch and a swim as well as cruising along being in the situation where I used to see others with envy.

The Port Stephens staff have been wonderfully helpful at all times and willing to help with the boat every time they are available.  Nothing seems to be too much trouble for them.