Now that hurricane season is here, it's time for some hurricane preparation tips
to make sure your boat is ready for any severe weather conditions that may arise. In addition to having a basic plan in place, there are two main factors that will determine the type of protection you need. These factors have to do with whether the boat is stored on land or in the water.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Boat Owners
In water storage
• Take into consideration where your marina is located and if there is any natural protection such as a reef or protected bay. If the marina does not have natural protection, you may want to move it to a dry dock or boatel until after the storm.
• Make sure the lines are high quality and have enough stretch to resist snapping and breaking.
• Check the cleats to make sure they are secure enough to handle constant pulling. A cleat located on the rail is best because it won’t constantly rub against the dock at an angle, which can lead to breakage.
• Don’t forget below the surface. Use chain instead of rope between the anchor and anchor line to avoid chafing underneath the water. Consider a helix anchor, which has more holding power than a traditional dead weight anchor. A sandy bottom is better than a rock bottom in case water gets blown out of the harbor and the boat ends up sitting on the bottom.
Dry land storage
• If the boat is stored on dry land, make sure it is strapped down so that it doesn’t get blown off the trailer.
• Secure boats to the ground to help minimize rocking back and forth during heavy winds.
• Store the boat as far above the anticipated storm surge level as possible.
Above all other safety suggestions and advice, never stay on board the boat during a hurricane. That is just asking for trouble. Even an advanced boater is no match for surging tides, low visibility and high winds.
The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 through November 30, but these tips can help
you stay prepared for any type of severe storm or hurricane that may occur throughout the year.