Nothing can be more frightening to a boat owner than to hear that a hurricane warning has been issued for the area where your boat is located. Being prepared can limit uncertainty and reduce damage.
Here are some tips to help protect your boat prior to the storm’s arrival.
- If possible, haul the vessel from the water on its own trailer or in collaboration with your marina.
- If you are unable to check the vessel, have a plan in place to ensure that the vessel can be secured.
- If the boat remains in the water, remove as much boating gear as possible including electronics and important documents.
- Double up all lines and check that the lines are long enough to accommodate the expected storm surge. Add chafe gear and extra fenders to prevent damage.
- If the boat is staying on its mooring, add chafe gear to the anchor rode and if feasible, add additional anchors in a three point position.
- Reduce wind damage by removing sails, dodgers, dinghies, bridge enclosures and eisenglass.
- Disconnect shore power cords, water supply hoses and close off any propane or other valves.
- If possible & prudent, navigate the vessel inland to a secure location away from possible storm surge damage and from boats that could break away from their mooring or slip.
- Secure and lock all hatches and port lights. Double check for leaks and seal as necessary if a leak is found.
- Secure all loose gear and any item that may clog scuppers and deck drains.
When in doubt “Haul her out.”
- Never stay aboard during the storm.
- If the vessel sustains damage from a storm, report the claim in a timely fashion!