Green Yachting – Co2 Emissions From Yachting And How To Reduce Them


About Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Carbon Credits

Whenever you use a motor on a yacht, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide has been scientifically linked to Global Climate Change and Warming. With the worldwide concern about Carbon Emissions, it’s important to understand how the activity of pleasure boating and yachting impacts global warming and what can be done about it.

Measuring Carbon Emissions

Carbon emissions are directly proportional to the amount of fuel burned by a yacht’s motor. In general, burning a gallon of gasoline produces 19.564 pounds of carbon dioxide. You might be surprised that a gallon of gasoline that weighs 6.3 pounds produces such an enormous amount of CO2 – the reason being that the process of burning combines the gasoline with many times its weight in Oxygen.

Knowing this, we can easily and accurately predict or measure carbon emissions from boats and yachts. Virtually all boat and engine manufacturers provide information on the amount of fuel the boats burn per hour. That number, multiplied by the number of hours you cruise, will predict your carbon emissions. Alternatively, at the end of a trip, you can just add up the number of gallons or liters of fuel burned and do the same calculation for an exact figure.

Offsetting CO2 Emissions

There are a variety of organizations that allow you to buy “carbon credits” to offset the emissions you create while chartering. The United Nations works with many charities and NPOs to certify projects that will reduce carbon emissions (more about this below).

To get an idea of what this might all cost, here’s a simple example. Consuming 100 liters of fuel will produce 516 pounds of CO2 emissions, which will cost approximately £1.76/EUR2.51 or $3.52 to purchase carbon offsets. Similarly 50 gallons of fuel burned will create 978 pounds of emissions, costing £3.33 or EUR4.75 or $6.66. A small cost to do your part to reduce Climate Change!

What are the Credits used for?

When you purchase a carbon credit you are generally investing in a project that will reduce carbon emissions. For instance, credits are often used to build wind generation plants, replant rainforests, create bioenergy, and install efficient lighting, among many others. Each project creates real reductions in CO2 that would not have happened otherwise. Projects are funded around the world, wherever funding goes farthest and has the greatest impact.

Low Carbon Emissions Chartering

The best way to charter with low carbon emissions is to charter a sailboat – monohull or catamaran! While the motor will create a small amount of CO2, you will generally be using the best renewable source of energy known to man, the wind!

Beyond using wind as your sole propulsion, certain engines pollute less than others. 4 stroke engines, because the gasoline does not need to be mixed with oil, produce much lower emissions than 2 stroke engines. Fuel injected engines produce fewer emissions than carburetors. And wind assisted yachts, that run on both sail and motor, emit less than pure motor boats.

There is a new class of sailboat emerging that act similar to hybrid cars to reduce emissions. These boats use electric motors instead of diesel or gasoline, run by powerful batteries. These batteries can be regenerated by the spinning propellers while the boat is moving under sail, similar to a hybrid car. So they effectively are “Green” boats that produce almost no carbon emissions at all! Some are even efficient enough to offer air-conditioning, so you can have comfort with no negative environmental impact. The leading production boat is the Lagoon 420 Hybrid.

But these are just first steps – the majority of boats and yachts still emit large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. The best thing to do right now is to purchase Carbon Offsets that have immediate impact. Click here if you’d like more information about how to calculate and purchase carbon credits for your yacht emissions.


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