The key to protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe, threatening weather is planning, preparation, and timely action.
The following precautions and checklists are meant as guidelines only.
Each boat owner needs a plan unique to the type of boat, local boating environment, the severe weather conditions likely to occur in that region, and the characteristics of safe havens and/or plans for protection.
- Lines of adequate length and size are vital. Nylon is typically preferred due to its strength and ability to stretch.
- Add chafing gear on your lines to protect them from wear at contact points. Old water hoses work well.
- Put out fenders of adequate size and strength to protect your boat from other boats and from the docks.
- Consider installing a spare battery to keep bilge pumps working if shore power is lost.
- Secure the boat from all sides as wind directions may change in a large storm. Double all lines. If you’re in the Boat Yard, ask the office about upgrading to use our hurricane tie down system.
- Reduce windage and strip the boat of everything possible, including canvas, sails, dinghies, radios, and cushions. Secure anything down that you cannot remove.
- Seal all openings to make sure the boat is as watertight as possible.
- Remove valuables from vessel.
Prior to Departure:
- Take photos of your vessel and document your hurricane prep in case you must make an insurance or FEMA claim. Show that you followed your hurricane plan.
- Make sure the Dock Office has a copy of your keys in case emergency access is required.
- Help your neighbors and inspect how well they have prepared their boat. If their boat breaks free, your vessel may be damaged.
- Ask the Marina if there are any openings for their Hurricane Haul Out Program.