Sustainability special – is the future of yachting pollution-free? We explore the boom in zero-emissions technology and meet the organisations pushing to protect our oceans. Also inside: exclusive interview with Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson; the success of the Seychelles as a poster child for marine conservation; our guide to Asia’s most exclusive resort charter experiences; Hong Kong’s best dive sites; and much more!
| 6 May 2021
Yacht owners have a special part to play in the protection of the oceans.
We decided to theme this issue on sustainability, boating and the sea. There is an enormous amount of activity and plenty of issues to be addressed, and it is difficult to touch on them all.
Sustainability is a pressing topic in almost every sphere of yachting, whether it is the technology we use to power boats, how we build and dispose of vessels, or what we get to see when we go for a swim in the ocean. Shipyards are beginning to explore alternative energy sources and all-electric concepts, while plucky startups and crazy projects aimed at zero-emissions boating are popping up worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia.
Our cover shows the proposed nuclear-powered Earth 300 concept, an idea that emerged out of Singapore. Right now, it is impossible to say if this idea will ever make it out onto the water. But the audacity of the project is, by itself, noteworthy.
Michael and Frances Howorth take a look at how decades’ worth of old, discarded fibreglass boats are piling up along the shores and estuaries of Europe and the US. They argue that it is time for places like Hong Kong, which appears to have no system for dealing with such boats, to look at solutions.
Rose Martin tells us how the Seychelles is trying to transform itself into a haven for marine life and the oceans. The country partnered with The Nature Conservancy on a unique plan to fund ocean protection and is now held up as a positive example. But the Indian Ocean itself requires such protection, and it doesn’t have it yet.
In Hong Kong, local dive leader Simon Lorenz tells of his favourite scuba sites in the SAR. It may surprise local boaters, but there are some amazing sights in Hong Kong’s seas. Hong Kong was once brimming with sea life, and despite decades of overfishing and coastal development, there is still much to enjoy. It is also a new way for Hong Kong yacht owners to enjoy their boats.
We also profile Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson. Over the past 40 years, he and his organisation have become famous as the radicals of the sea, accused of piracy and terrorism for ramming whaling ships or cutting fishing nets. They are evolving into something more akin to a UN agency, helping impoverished governments police coastal waters against illegal fishing. Whether you agree with Watson or not, the issues raised by Sea Shepherd cannot be dismissed.
There is a role for yacht owners to play, whether it is supporting a cause that helps the ocean (of which there are many), buying a greener yacht (or a sailboat), or even just eating less fish. And, if you are wondering whether you want to buy a yacht, you are in luck. This issue features some of Asia’s best resorts with their own charter yachts for guests.
It may be the easiest way to find out if the yachting lifestyle is for you. Just check into your room, and then check out a yacht for a day or two. You may come away a believer!
One of the great privileges of owning a yacht is being able to enjoy pristine oceans. It is in the interest of yacht owners to keep our oceans healthy.