Storm & Hurricane PreparationSeptember 5, 2017
Preparation for a direct hit from a hurricane is different from prepping for a wind/ rain event. Until the storms path is more certain, the prudent mariner will prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Preparing your boat is YOUR responsibility.Consider hauling your boat. It may well be safer ashore. Tie it down. If on a trailer, tie the trailer to a tree or building.Remove all sails (Roller Furling & Mainsail) canvas, covers and biminis. Roll up / remove plastic windows and doors. Put all loose items below so they don't become projectiles. Double your docklines (don't tie to the pilings!!). Consider tying to the dock framing or piling hoops in addition to the cleats. Tie to the boat next door so you can keep both boats off the fingers and split / share the loads. Add serious chafe protection - lines part because of chafe, not loading! Double your fenders and allow for stretch in the lines. Consider putting your outboard engine in the down position to keep from hitting the dock. Remove important papers and valuables / electronics from the boat. Charge your batteries early and remove your dock cords. Turn boat circuits (other than your bilge pump) off. Close all ports, vents and through hulls (not deck drains or bilge pump exits)
Get OFF the boat - don't try to be a hero. Be VERY careful walking on bouncing docks. Be ready for the marina to shut off electricity, water and evacuate the docks. Move your car to high ground. Put the drain plug back in the hull if you are stored on land or trailer (assuming your cockpit is self bailing).
Finally, charge your cellphone and flashlights, have a car charger handy in case power goes out. Imagine a world without the Internet...
A few storm & hurricane links and videos:
Prep guide from BoatUS
Hurricane Prep Worksheet
Boat Protection for Hurricane Season - Video
Wet Berths - Boat Protection
More info on preparation from a marine insurance company...
By Capt. Rick Delfosse 203-216-7800
Rick is a Coast Guard captain, National Safe Boating Council close-quarters boat-handling
and open water boat handling instructor, Connecticut and New York certified safe boating
instructor and a US Sailing-certified instructor. He also conducts on-the-water courses
and classroom seminars on coastal cruising and boating skills. The owner of a 43-foot
pilothouse cutter and an Aquasport powerboat, he has extensive cruising and one-design,
coastal and offshore racing experience