Useful tricks, tips and resources

Here we collate information for you to use, refer to and share with others!

Thank you Waikawa BC for sharing some of these tips! 

If you have any ideas for our club please email cleanclub@rpnyc.og.zn

Non-Toxic Cleaners

Many cleaning products contain phosphates and other chemicals that are toxic to aquatic ecosystems. Besides regularly rinsing your boat with freshwater, research your cleaners and consider using less harmful household products. Some examples:
  • Decks – scrub with a mixture of one part white vinegar and eight parts warm water.
  • Stainless steel – wipe with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar.
  • Fiberglass Stains – make a paste of baking soda and water. Use a sponge or soft cloth & gently rub the mix into the stain. This paste can also be used to clean onboard showers and heads. While baking soda is an excellent all-around cleaner, keep in mind that it is abrasive, so use with care. Use lemon or lime juice as a final wipe-down for a shiny, fresh-smelling finish.
  • Mildew – for stubborn mildew stains on canvas or other cloth surfaces, mix together one part lemon juice & one part salt. Scrub the mixture onto the stain, rinse thoroughly & dry outside.
  • Aluminium – using a soft cloth, clean with a solution of cream of tartar and water (but not baking soda which can oxidise aluminium).
  • Plastic Surfaces – use a mixture of one part white vinegar and two parts warm water
Have you recently shredded one of your sails, or are you upgrading your existing ones and don’t know what to do with the old ones?
Here’s an idea: Get it made into bags by Upcycled Sail Bags – AQ Bags.
Lyndal is giving your old sails a second life and turns them into great bags. And who knows, you might get a good deal from Brett Linton for a new one 🙂 And she might return your donation with a nice sail bag for you (depending on the size and state of the sail), and even your crew can get a 10% discount, if they want to have a bag made out of the sail that they have been using – how great!

Many of the popular places to go boating are also reserves or protected coastlines with strict rules around dog access and control in order to protect wildlife. While pet dogs seem harmless to many owners, they are unfortunately responsible for many kiwi deaths every year, along with those of penguins, dotterel and other coastal species.

Here’s what you can do to help keep your dog and wildlife safe around beaches.

  • Part of being a responsible dog owner means keeping your pet always under your control. The easiest way to do this is to always walk them on a lead – like the ‘Lead the Way’ leads. 
  • If you do let them off their lead, make sure you can confidently recall your dog. Especially in the event of a distraction like another dog a sleepy seal or a nesting dotterel.
Where to go on beaches:
  • Walk on the wet sand first hand

A lot of our coastal species rest or nest in the sand dunes, or driftwood high on the beach. Walk your dog on the wet sand and you’ll be more likely to avoid any sensitive shorebird nesting areas or a slumbering sea lion/pakake.

  • Feet on sand – lead in hand

It’s a legal requirement to have your lead with you in public. Even if you’re exercising in an off-lead area, have it handy in case you need close control while you walk past a distraction.

  • Keep 20 meters away from coastal creatures

If you see some wildlife up ahead, put your lead on your dog and pass at least 20 meters away from the wildlife. This will help keep your dog and the wildlife safe.

There are several things in our environment that are toxic to dogs, from the food in our kitchen to the plants in our gardens. There are also things at the beach to watch out for including:

– toxic algae
puffer fish
– sea slugs, and
– blue bottles that may have washed ashore.

  • Even ingesting too much sand or salt water in a game of ‘catch’ can be dangerous to their health.


Check out DOC’s Dogs on beaches website for more details: Dogs on beaches ( 

Lead the way: Our work ( The website leads you to a quiz checking whether you know your basics. 

Slip, slop and slap is important for us sailors, especially in the height of summer (yes, even in Welli it can get hot)! But all year round it’s important to protect our skin while we’re out on the water.

We can also protect the waters we’re  sailing/swimming/kayaking/… in by using ocean- and reef-safe sunscreen.

Most sunscreens contain oxybenzone and octinoxate amongst other harmful ingredients, and these cause damage to our marine ecosystems.

We have reviewed options for ‘reef-safe’ sunscreens (Hawaii Reef bill; these do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate) and have listed a number of them below so you can get them for the next sailing outing.

NZ made:

Goodbye – made by passionate sailing supporters and provided in reusable and recyclable packaging. Bonus: As a Yachting NZ member, you get 15% off by using the code ‘CleanOcean’!


Other brands:


Note that even the above listed sunscreens contain other ingredients that are harmful for the environment – but they are still a better option than the ones not passing the reef-safe requirements. And with more conscious consumption, we can all make a small difference and influence providers in the longer term.

 Thank you for supporting the Clean Club initiative, the environment and maybe even NZ businesses by choosing products more considerate!