Good stewardship of the sea and our coastline makes sense to us, after all, we earn our living from it. However our respect for the environment doesn't stop here and we're keen to do everything possible to help to protect our fragile world.
We have attempted to look at every aspect of our business with a critcal eye, reducing waste and harmful emissions in every feasible way. We know we're not perfect, as a small business looking to establish ourselves we do not have endless money, but we take the view that anything we can achieve is a step closer to a happier planet.
Listed here are the ways that we have looked to make Topsail Adventures a greener company. If you have any observations on how we could improve, please let us know - by email preferably!
- Amelie Rose is primarily built from a renewable resource, wood. She was built by hand by a team of craftsmen in Cornwall, not on a production line using highly toxic oil based epoxies cured in large ovens.
- Unlike many Charter Companies who utilise mass-produced yachts, often replacing their fleets as often as every 5 years, we aim to keep using Amelie Rose, maintaining her and refitting her as necessary, for as long as we can continue to find guests to sail her.
- Amelie Rose is a sailing boat and wherever possible we aim to sail her. As a charter business we sometimes have to ensure that we keep to a schedule for the convenience of our guests. However we endeavour to choose itineraries (or with agreement from the crew, change itineraries) based on the likelihood of being able to sail rather than use the engine.
- Amelie Rose is fitted with a top opening keel-cooled fridge, using on average 30% less power than a conventional air-cooled model.
- The engine is fitted with dual alternators, with the secondary configured to provide maximum power at low revs. This way when we are using the engine we raise the efficiency of battery charging and don't waste the engine's output.
- The engine's cooling system is used to provide hot water water for the boat (for washing up etc.) and is also rigged to be used as part of her heating system. Again this means that we are using a much of the energy generated by the engine as possible.
- We never need to use the engine simply to charge the batteries. Amelie Rose is equipped with Solar Panels and a Hydrogen Fuel Cell to keep her batteries topped up. The Fuel Cell uses a non-fossil fuel (Methanol), is setup only to operate when the batteries run low and stops if another power source (solar panels or engine) becomes available.
- Amelie's heating system runs either from the waste heat of the engine cooling system or from her wood burning stove, which can also heat hot water for washing etc.
- We have fitted a holding tank to the sea toilet and can therefore avoid pumping sewage directly into the sea in coastal areas.
- Amelie Rose is equipped with a modern fast setting "Rocna" bower anchor. The speed of set of this anchor and it's resistance to draging minimises any damage done to the seabed.
Policies when sailing
- Fill kettle from the hot tap - as the hot and cold water is sourced from the same tanks it's possible to reduce usage of gas when boiling water for tea, coffee etc.
- Use the minimum amount of water when washing up, cleaning teeth etc. Water-awareness is going to become more common ashore in the future and aboard a boat with limited supply is a great place to practice conservation techniques.
- Ensure that there is a working oil boom in the engine bilge in order to remove hydrocarbons from the bilge water before it is discharged at sea.
- Take extra care to avoid spillages of diesel when filling the tanks. Ensure that adequate kitchen roll etc is available to soak up any spills and that this is disposed of ashore in an approved place.
- Don't discharge hydrocarbons or any other toxic substances (e.g. wood oil, paint, white spirit) overboard.
- Bag all rubbish, log removal from the boat in the ships log, only place rubbish from the boat in approved waste disposal facilities.
- Ensure that two bin bags are available at all times, one for recyclable waste and the other for general rubbish. Encourage all guests to recycle as much as possible. Recycled waste to be disposed of at recycling centres or returned to Topsail HQ for disposal.
- When cruising under Engine set the throttle to keep the engine at 1500 revs - at this speed it delivers maximum torque for minimum fuel consumption.
- Do not use the engine to charge the batteries. If necessary you can manually start the fuel cell to top the batteries up. Always ensure that a spare fuel canister for the fuel cell is aboard.
- Observe any "no-anchor" zones (e.g. Studland Bay).
- We based Amelie Rose in Poole partly due to the excellent public transport links to the area, and we encourage our guests to use public transport where possible by providing them with details in their joining instructions.
- We aim to buy locally-sourced organically produced food where possible. We try to avoid out-of-season vegetables and fruit, and, when operating from our base, purchase all of our meat from local free-range organic farms.
- We aim to throw away as little food as possible - e.g. reusing leftovers in the next meal.
- We generally cook all of our own food either at our base before a trip or on board Amelie Rose. We avoid precooked and packaged meals and ingredients.
- When cooking at our base we compost any food waste and off-cuts.
- In the office we turn off computers, printers etc. when not in use, remove chargers etc. from their power sockets and avoid use of the "standby" option on devices.
- We recycle all of our waste paper and use recycled office products where possible.
- We try to avoid sending out unneccessary paperwork, using email and PDFs for most of our communication and promotional material.
- We don't replace equipment unless absolutely necessary (e.g. mobile phones).
- Although impossible to operate our business without using a car we keep the number of trips to a minimum, and drive gently, using the trip computer on avg mpg and aiming for every trip to yeild > 50 mpg.