Caring for the Environment @ LTSC

Caring for the Environment @ LTSC – The Dinghy Park and single use plastics.

In this piece I would like to tackle an environmental issue relating directly to the Dinghy Park.

I am sure that anyone who knows me, particularly those who follow me online, will know I am rather passionate about protecting our environment. We are all developing an awareness of the damage single use plastics cause, much of that resulting from the tireless work done by Sir David Attenborough and many others.

As sailors we are all have a fervent interest in protecting the oceans, which raises the question of “can we do more” to be sustainable and less polluting everyday. A quick five minute trawl of the stones in our dinghy park I quickly found the contents of the above photo. A mix of rope offcuts, Electrical tape and a few other bits of broken dinghy fittings, shown in the image above.

There are many different reasons we use PVC Electrical tape on our boats and, as we all know sometimes it is a single use and may last a few months before the UV degrades it and we have to replace it.

On my Merlin Rocket I wrap electrical tape around the base of the shrouds, the adjustable tips of the spreaders, the base and the top of the forestay. Mainly to stop split rings from coming undone and protecting from damaging my spinnaker.

As an alternative I am testing out using Heat Shrink, which we can buy at all our local chandleries, slide it over a fitting then warm it up with a lighter or heat gun to shrink it to the fitting. So far this seems to work well,  or you can buy ready made shroud covers from our local chandleries and examples of both are shown below.

We all need to reduce the amount of Electrical tape we use. Particularly as it seems to often fall out of our pockets on the way to the bin and litter the stones on the ground of our dinghy park. This does not disappear, it breaks down into microscopic pieces and pollutes our sea and soil.

So I put a challenge to all of us that we try to reduce the amount of single use plastics on our boats.

Most importantly the plastics such as electrical tape and rope/elastic offcuts, always go in the rubbish bins provided by our Sailing Club and not on the ground in the dinghy park. Please help everyone keep our dinghy park clean, tidy and un-polluted from plastics.

To provide an additional incentive Nick Cox Chandellery have agreed to apply a discount of 10% on the above items and will be happy to order if not in stock. Please ensure you mention LTSC discount when purchasing.