Chris Edmonston: I am Chris Edmonston, President of the BoatUS Foundation. Keeping your boat well-maintained ensures that it's in tiptop shape and ready to go out. Good maintenance practices can also help protect the environment. One good practice is to always choose a certified Clean Marina for your heavy maintenance items.
When servicing your boat you want to make sure they recycle used oil and zincs. You want to scrub your decks often with fresh water and a brush to reduce the need to use heavy cleaners. Try to do large cleaning and maintenance jobs while the boat is out of the water. Ask your marina about less or even nontoxic bottom paint options that are effective in your area.
Try to perform all maintenance in areas designated by your marina. If they do not have a designated maintenance area, stay away from the water's edge. And finally, use vacuum sanders if possible, but always wear protection and use drop cloths and tarps to contain debris. By following these tips you will not only help protect your boat, you will also help protect the local waterways.