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Boaters

Last edited: Aug 4, 2022, 10:56 AM

Help stop the spread of invasive plants and animals in our waters!

Invasive plants and animals block waterways, harm the environment and wildlife, and can damage your boat's engine and props. They can be small and hard to spot so are easily spread on damp equipment and clothing. Read more on plants and animals to look out for. Once established they become extremely difficult and expensive to eradicate, which is why it is so important to prevent their spread in the first place.

Protect the environment and sport you enjoy by keeping your kit free of invasive plants and animals. 

Guidance for boaters

Whenever you leave the water, remember to Check Clean Dry

Check

Check boats, equipment and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals, or plant material. Remove anything you find and leave it at the site. Reapply anti-fouling annually.

Clean

Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to ropes, bilges, trailers and areas that are damp and hard to access. Use hot water if possible.

Dry

Drain water from every part of your boat and trailer before leaving the site. Dry everything for as long as possible before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for two weeks in damp conditions.

All recreational boat owners should also:

  • Avoid sailing or paddling through patches of weed (which could contain invasive species). This can chop up plants and can spread them further.
  • Be aware of the increased risk of bringing boats, trailers and equipment into GB from abroad.
  • Be aware of the increased risk when placing a boat into a water body with particularly sensitive ecology, such as a nature reserve, Special Area of Conservation, or Marine Protected Area.
  • Be familiar with local by-laws pertaining to biosecurity.

View more detailed guidance in the Recreational Boating Pathway Action Plan for Great Britain on the following:

Going abroad?

It's even more important to Check Clean Dry if you're taking your kit abroad to make sure you don't bring any plants or animals back with you. Make sure everything is clean and has been dried thoroughly before you use it again at home.

Check Clean Dry materials

Download free materials below to remind yourself and other water users to Check Clean Dry. Contact us to order free hard copies of materials.

Signs / posters
Leaflets
Other materials

Find a full list of Check Clean Dry materials

Guidance for clubs

There are lots of actions for clubs to help protect the waters they use, why not share these with your boating club?

Guidance for events

The risk of spreading invasive plants and animals to new water bodies is even higher at events and competitions, where participants could be unknowingly introducing them on their boat and kit, or taking them away to their usual boating spots. View the Boating Sustainable Event Toolkit and read more on actions for event managers

Other ways to help stop the spread

If you would like to get more involved in protecting your watercourses from invasive non-native species you could:

Video guides

View handy videos guides from the RYA (external link) and the Green Blue.

Introduction to invasive species and biosecurity

Check Clean Dry for dinghy sailors

Check Clean Dry for windsurfers

Check Clean Dry for PWC

Check Clean Dry for powerboats

Check Clean Dry for narrowboats

Our partners:

Check Clean Dry is supported by the Aquatic Biosecurity Partnership with funding from water companies.

Visit the websites of our campaign partners for more information on boating: