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If blue is the new green, then sail is the truest blue!

by Alex Blackwell

Aleria "powering" down Long Island Sound. It's thrilling to harness the power of the wind...and it's free and clear!

Okay all you power boaters, this month we’re going to spark controversy.  We're going to suggest that sailing is a first step toward protecting the waters we all enjoy so much. In fact, sailing is the answer to ethanol eating up tanks, high fuel prices, and global warming.  Yep, free power is the way to go in our opinion.  Don’t get us wrong. We have plenty of boats that partake of the dinosaur legacy of petroleum and our boat is made of “plastics” of which those of you old enough to have seen the Graduate are more than cognizant.  Okay, let’s back up.

The ocean is the final wilderness that we must protect. It may already be too late, so let's do what we can right now. Global warming is due to greenhouse gas emissions which as causing the breakdown of the ozone layer.  Sailboats for the most part are environmentally friendly, using wind power whenever possible and using diesel fuel at the rate about one gallon an hour to go 6 nautical miles or so.  Powerboats are gluttons in comparison.  We were actually offered free fuel one time at a fueling station that catered to large power yachts.  They said it wasn’t worth their while to issue an invoice for 7 gallons of fuel. 

Interestingly, when everyone is complaining about high automobile fuel prices, no one is arguing seriously against boating fuel prices. We hear some controversy over the additives but nothing like we would expect with all kinds of problems due to the addition (or dilution) with ethanol.  Problems that range from gunking of lines to dissolution of fuel tanks, not to mention adding to the starvation problem in places like South America where the farmers are replacing food crops with feed corn to supply the ethanol demand.  Not a good situation in either case.  So what are we boaters to do?  Why go sailing of course.

‘Balderdash,’ you say? What do you mean?  You can’t tell me all those ropes and wires and flappy things intimidate you!  No way, you guys are used to going fast and dealing with engine breakdown.  Dealing with a broken rope is no big deal in comparison.  Just think, you can harness the power of the wind and your wife won’t even have to know you went out on the boat cause there won’t be a fuel charge to show for it.  Hey, she might even be happy about it.  For that matter, so might the husband.

Just think about Kevin Costner in Waterworld.  Here he was, the absolute hero figure battling the evil ‘smokers’ who were using up the remaining fuel supplies driving dreaded jet skis after innocent sailors.  And it was the sailors who could eventually get far enough afield away from their fuel source to actually locate Dry Land. 

We do like our power boats including our classic Century Black Demon.  But we love to sail.  The moment the engine is silenced is the beginning of the journey to peace.  We say more power (or should we say sail) to sailing the ocean blue as the new green way to go! Hey, just a thought. 

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