70% Of the Earth’s surface is covered in water that is used intensively for transport, seafood harvesting and leisure, significantly impacting marine sustainability. While most ocean users support the goal of cleaner oceans, you may feel that you as an individual can’t turn the tide. 

Yet our collective efforts can add up to a groundswell of change. As we mark Earth Day on 22 April here are some ways you can support marine sustainability, by taking practical steps to reduce pollution – and by drawing on technology to reduce the carbon emissions of your seagoing vessel.

Pollution: Preventive practices


1685430149346 Plastic waste makes up 80% of all marine pollution


  • Reduce liquid pollutants by avoiding using automotive antifreeze in your boat engines – opt instead for environmentally-sensitive marine coolants – and always dispose of used coolant responsibly on land. Whenever cleaning your boat, use eco-friendly boat cleaning products that are non-toxic and biodegradable.
  • Cut the plastic by moving away from single-use plastics onboard (non-reusable water bottles, take-out packaging, plastic bags and straws) as well as any cosmetic products containing microbeads. Avoid throwing refuse overboard – rather store it away until you’re back on land.
  • Fish responsibly by avoiding bycatch, using sustainable fishing techniques and practicing safe anchorage to prevent disturbing sensitive marine flora and fauna. Always adhere to the WWF SASSI species list to avoid impacting red-listed species.

Click here for more green boating tips.

Decarbonisation: Proactive power

While the global shipping industry actively pursues the goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, builders and owners of smaller vessels can also play a role in decarbonising our oceans.

As a  leading distributor to the marine industry, committed to sustainability, Southern Power enables boat builders and owners to repower their vessels with propulsion, power and freshwater solutions that deliver a reduced environmental impact.

Southern Power achieves this by partnering with forward-thinking Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) globally, to bring new  innovations into the South African market that have been proven to reduce carbon emissions in other parts of the world. 

Who are these OEMs – and what are some of their standout solutions for the marine industry?

Boat engines in transition: Gasoline > Diesel > Hybrid > Electric

OXE Marine 

OXE Marine is on a journey to change the marine market. Its popular range of diesel engines reduce fuel consumption by over 42% compared to traditional gasoline outboards, setting new standards for internal combustion engines within the global outboard engine industry.

OXE is leading in the marine industry with the lowest fuel consumption levels, as well as the lowest emission levels on the market for outboard combustion engines, with significant reduction of
not only CO2 but also CO, HC and NOx emissions.

Southern Power carries a range of OXE Marine diesel outboards ranging from 125 to 300 HP – and recently unveiled the powerful OXE 450 HP hybrid engine to the South African market, which combines 300 HP of diesel power with an extra 150 HP provided by electric means. See the OXE Marine range here.

Volvo Penta 

Volvo Penta is dedicated to helping ocean users take the next step towards truly sustainable marine engine systems and solutions. As of 2016, all Volvo Penta diesel engines can be run safely and efficiently on HVO (hydro-treated vegetable oil) – a renewable, paraffinic fuel. HVO can reduce fossil CO2 emissions by 90% and is suitable for most marine power systems.

On average, only around 15% of components of marine engines need to be replaced, meaning that 80% less energy is needed compared to the production of new products. Volvo Penta places an emphasis on remanufacturing to minimize waste by recycling materials and reusing parts – while keeping the cost of ownership down for owners. 

With a focus on equipping powerboats, motor yachts and sailboats, Volvo Penta provides boat owners with all the required power while ensuring the lowest possible fumes and emissions. Through the application of advanced technology it leads the way with its Inboard Performance System (IPS) and Easy Boating experience.  See Southern Power’s Volvo Penta range here


Humphree AB develops, manufactures, and delivers high-quality trim and stabilisation systems for both leisure and workboats in the global marine market. As a leader in smart vessel stabilization, Humphree builds stabiliser and interceptor systems whose basic principle is to create energy savings when propelling planing hulls of any size. The universal result is a smoother ride, lower fuel consumption and lower emissions.

By way of example, Humphree uses interceptors to assist steering in water jet applications. In tests with a 1 100 ton fast passenger catamaran, this effectively saved  430 tons of CO2, corresponding to an installation of 4 000 m2 of solar panels in northern Europe, translating to fuel savings of 80 000 EUR per annum. Click here to see Southern Power’s Humphree range


As pioneers in the field of electric mobility, Torqeedo has set many standards since its founding, reinforcing the lead of its electric boat motors over other solutions available on the market. Torqeedo engineers both outboard and inboard electric engines and hybrid drive systems ranging from 05 to 100 kW on motor level (up to 200 kW on system level). 

All of Torqeedo’s drive systems operate at record overall efficiency levels. This is the most important factor for any boat owner considering a move to electric propulsion – because it determines potential power and range for a limited battery supply.

At the same time, Torqeedo is spearheading the quest to build smaller, more powerful Lithium batteries, a key evolution in ensuring higher take-up of electric propulsion solutions.

Torqeedo offers one of the most powerful electric saildrives on the market as well as the world’s first fully integrated hybrid propulsion and energy management system from industrial production. See the Torqeedo range here.

Founded in 2016 and a Southern Power OEM Partner since 2023,  award winning Molabo’s mission is to provide safe-to-touch low-voltage e-solutions to enable sustainable mobility worldwide. This led it to develop and manufacture the world’s first high power electric drive at safe-to-touch voltages of 48V; setting new standards for the safety, reliability, maintainability and plug & play installation of a powerful electric propulsion system.

Key offerings from Molabo include the ARIES i50 electric inboard boat motor system and the Aries R50 outboard system. See the Molabo range here

Whisper Power

Whisper Power is a leader in the production of silent and vibration-free generators and electrical systems. Its flagship OctoPower systems provide electrical power that is silent, efficient and the ideal solution for boat owners looking to replace traditional diesel generators. They are equipped with WhisperCare smart monitoring, which keeps the user up-to-date about the real-time status of their system, the gain of energy from sun or wind and the reduction of CO₂.

A wide variety of Whisper Power products and systems can be supplied by Southern Power, from small 120/230/380 VAC diesel generators, DC generators to charge 12, 24 or 48 VDC batteries, up to sine wave inverters, battery chargers and long-life batteries. 

Together with Molabo’s electric engines, Whisper Power’s power generation technology proved central to the realisation of the Earthling E40, a 12-metre catamaran that has set a new milestone for marine emobility with its full-system epropulsion capabilities

See Southern Power’s Whisper Power range here

An international systems partner to the mobility industry, Webasto switched to entirely renewable power at all of its German sites in 2021. A long-time partner to the automotive industry, now enabling the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), Webasto also makes durable, long-lasting batteries for vessels using electric propulsion. In addition it engineers highly efficient heating/cooling and marine roof solutions for boats. Find out more about Webasto’s marine solutions here.

FCI Watermakers

For over three decades, FCI Watermakers has been at the forefront of pioneering fresh, clean, and pure reverse osmosis (RO) water solutions. Instead of relying on bottled water, which can contribute to plastic waste, you can now install an FCI Watermakers system to produce your own clean water on board. Additionally, you won’t have to rely on sources of fresh water that may be scarce or limited, which helps to conserve water resources in such locations. 

A reverse osmosis watermaker of this nature allows any vessel to have an independent, constant source of high-quality potable water. The risk of contaminated water consumption, which can occur when bunkering water in various parts of the world, is also prevented completely. See the FCI Watermakers range here.


What has become mainstream in the bicycle market (electric assistance) has now found its way into the water sports market. Kahe, a Southern Power OEM Partner since 2023, caters to the fun side of marine emobility, by applying electrical power to a range of small watercraft, from SUPs to dinghies. 

Its flagship product, the Kahe Pod 600, is more than just a versatile marine propeller: it’s a giant step towards sustainable marine mobility. Using sophisticated technologies to reduce energy consumption and minimize environmental impact, the Pod 600 ushers in a new era of smart, green navigation. 

A key sustainability achievement for Kahe is its battery technology: The batteries use an innovative architecture in which the lithium cells are not welded together, making each battery easy to dismantle, recycle and repair. It can be removed in a matter of seconds and can be supplied with recycled lithium cells. See the Kahe range.

Be part of the next wave in marine sustainability

These are just some of the inspiring sustainability-driven solutions available from Southern Power. Our team can advise you on where best to complement, transform or replace your vessel’s existing technology, in order to reduce environmental impact while maximising performance and efficiency. Call us on 021 511 0653 | 021 510 3049 or email sales@southernpower.co.za