The SeaKeepers DISCOVERY Yacht Program is our foremost initiative for accomplishing our mission and goals. DISCOVERY Yachts are privately owned vessels which facilitate programming by providing access to the ocean for research, scientific discovery, community outreach and artistic inspiration.
These yacht owners are dedicated to supporting ocean conservation, and many are themselves managing their environmental impact through conscious decisions of how they operate their vessels. Here we share how these Eco-Champions lead by example and put into practice what they strongly believe is needed to protect our oceans.
If you are taking strides in reducing energy, plastic, fuel, or carbon emissions in any way and would like to share your efforts, please contact [email protected] and let us know what you’re doing to protect our oceans!
According to Owner, Paul Bennett: "Living on a boat has many advantages, one of which is that you live very close to the natural world—literally, in it. So, you become very sensitive to your footprint, whether it's the amount of garbage you produce or the liters of diesel that you burn. Also, as you voyage the world, you often observe the negative impact that humans have on our environment, most often in the form of plastic floating in the water or covering a beach." As a result of this, Dafne II decided to make their boat greener in a number of ways. Firstly, they added 2.1 kilowatts of solar power and lithium batteries in order to avoid burning diesel while at anchor in tropical environments. Secondly, they have a watermaker on board that operates from battery power; and as long as they conserve water they are able to mostly live without requiring fossil fuels for stretches of time. Lastly, on top of this they have a robust waste management system where organics get thrown overboard in deep water, and plastics, metals, and glass are reserved for on-shore recycling where possible.
Dorothea III was built for modern, efficient, green cruising. Her single engine design provides excellent fuel economy saving between 30-50% compared to a similar twin engine yacht. Several years ago, the crew installed Spot Zero filtration systems and switched from buying cases and cases of single use plastic water bottles to utilizing reusable/refillable bottles on board for crew and guest alike. When provisioning, the crew always uses reusable shopping bags rather than paper or plastic options. In addition, they believe in reuse/recycle and the crew has done numerous initiatives involving collecting clothing and household items to donate around the world.
Sailboat Zephyr is very self-sufficient, featuring eco-conscious systems and products on board. The vessel holds 2 x 250 watt solar panels which gives sufficient energy during the day and night to run all electronics on board that include: navigation lights, chart plotter, fridge unit, inverter and water pumps. Another incredible feature is the spectra water maker that makes up to 25 liters an hour through reverse osmosis. It runs completely off the solar panels so there's no need for an engine or generator.
James and Natalie avoid single-use plastics and prefer biodegradable materials. They have come up with some very easy and economic solutions/substitutes:
River Queen is a taxi-style boat owned by Watersports Association that operates on Biscayne Bay. As one of our DISCOVERY Vessels, Captains Shamsha and JD often partner with SeaKeepers to host our floating classrooms, where we teach the next generation of scientists and ocean conservationists. Many of these floating classrooms include island cleanups at the small but highly polluted islands in Biscayne Bay. Watersports Association is now utilizing River Queen to host their own cleanups more frequently and are making a drastic difference in the health and preservation of one of Southern Florida’s most important and at-risk ecosystems. On board River Queen, you’ll find Shamsha and JD handing guests reusable water bottles and encouraging participants to stay away from single-use plastics. They have been learning and sharing their knowledge throughout the company by providing their employees with 5-gallon reusable water jugs and encouraging other companies on the water to do the same. They have already encouraged 10 companies to switch to reusable alternatives, and we are excited to see how far their impact reaches.