Sailing News

Boaters Need Legislators To Act Quickly On Newly-Introduced “Clean Boating Act Of 2008”

Bi-Partisan Legislation Would Permanently Restore Clean Water Act Exemption for Recreational Boats

A newly introduced Senate bill, “The Clean Boating Act of 2008” (S. 2766) promises to be practical solution to a looming permit deadline for recreational boaters, anglers, and charter boats.

Because of a lawsuit targeting ocean-going commercial vessels carrying ballast water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to implement an “operational discharge permit” for all vessels in the United States - including recreational boats - by September 30, 2008. Without a change in law, all boaters will need to obtain this permit, as early as this summer.

However, with a possible Senate vote in the next few months, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) is urging recreational boaters to quickly contact their Senate and House legislators to support The Clean Boating Act of 2008.

 S. 2766 was introduced on Thursday, March 13 by Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). It follows two bills originally introduced in the spring and fall of 2007 as “The Recreational Boating Act of 2007” (H.R. 2550/S. 2067) by Representatives Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Candice Miller (R-Mich.) and Senator Mel Martinez (R-Fla.).

 “Sens. Boxer and Nelson’s bill now has the best chance of gaining widespread political support. As a result, we need every boater, every angler, and anyone who uses a boat to contact their senators and representatives to ask for their support of this bill,” said BoatU.S. Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich.

“S. 2766 recognizes the fact that normal operational discharges from recreational boats, such as engine cooling water or deck runoff from rain, should not be viewed under the Clean Water Act as being similar to a commercial ship’s ballast water,” said Podlich. “This bill does not weaken any existing environmental laws restricting the overboard discharge of oil, fuel, garbage, or sewage.”

S. 2766 also requires the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard to investigate the need for potential management practices for some recreational boat discharges over the next three years. Each step in this development process will include a public comment period and be subject to “reasonable and practical” criterion.

“BoatU.S. has been working with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and other groups to seek a viable recreational boating solution to the upcoming September permit deadline. We appreciate the leadership shown by members of Congress who understand that applying a new permit to recreational boating will not accomplish anything tangible, and will only create a new unnecessary bureaucracy, “ added Podlich.

To help boaters contact their federal legislators or learn more about the issue, go to or

BoatU.S. is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters with over 650,000 members.

8th Annual Summer Sailstice Holiday Launches June 21 & 22

Inviting All Sailors to Join A Global Celebration of Sailing

Since 2001, sailors from around the world have come together on the summer solstice to create a global celebration of sailing called Summer Sailstice. This year's event will be celebrated on the weekend of June 21st and 22nd by over 10,000 sailors worldwide. Founded as a way to unite the diverse and dispersed community of sailors, Summer Sailstice is now used by numerous sailing clubs, classes and organizations as a way to launch the summer sailing season and connect with others locally and globally.

Summer Sailstice is structured so any sailor can participate regardless of what or where they sail. Sailors register on the Summer Sailstice website ( to tell others about their weekend sailing plans, find and organize events in their local areas, and become eligible to win one of over 300 sailing industry prizes.

Founder John Arndt has seen this annual event attract participation from every sort of sailing craft; from windsurfers and kite boards, to tall ships and multihulls. Sailors have registered to participate on from 49 states and 20 countries. Arndt said, “The goal of the global event is to empty all the berths and harbors in the Northern Hemisphere, getting all sailors, friends and family out on the water on the first two days of summer. Summer Sailstice is rooted in participation. Whether it’s a yacht club cruise, a one-design regatta or on a solo sail, Summer Sailstice was created to allow all sailors to come together on one weekend a year to celebrate and demonstrate the whole spectrum of the sailing lifestyle.”

As for this year’s event, Arndt continued, “The time is right for the world to see what sailing has to offer. With the price of gas over $4 per gallon and increasing concerns about global warming and protecting the environment, it’s time for sailing to bring attention to this more earth friendly way of enjoying life on the water.” One of Summer Sailstice’s key messages in 2008 is promoting the natural harnessing of windpower for recreational enjoyment with negligible impact on the environment. Towards this end, Summer Sailstice is affiliated with the Ocean Conservancy, supported by global circumnavigator Jimmy Cornell, and is hosting for the second year, a virtual Summer Sailstice circumnavigation of the globe. Participating sailors are asked to pledge funds to the Ocean Conservancy for every mile sailed during the Summer Sailstice weekend with the goal of everyone sailing a combined 26,000 miles, equivalent to one circumnavigation of the planet. All funds raised by the circumnavigation will go towards the Ocean Conservancy’s on-going ocean preservation programs.

On a final note Arndt added, “As Summer Sailstice grows we want people to recognize the solstice not as the first day of the summer season but as the first day of the sailing season!”

For more information and to sign up visit

About Summer Sailstice
Summer Sailstice is the global holiday celebrating sailing, held annually on the summer solstice and the weekend closest to it, the longest sailing days of the year. This international event was founded in 2001 to connect the global sailing community in a fun, creative, and participative sailing holiday. Every year, Summer Sailstice connects over 10,000 sailors all over the world-from cruisers to racers to recreational-to celebrate the joy they experience on the water under sail. Summer Sailstice has expanded to include participants from Japan, across the Americas to Europe. For more info, please visit