How To Prepare Your Boat For A Hurricane

Posted by on June 20, 2012 | No Comments

When it comes to what must be done by boat owners in case there’s a hurricane approaching, every marina has different rules. In the wake of Katrina and Wilma, states are beginning to pass laws requiring boat owners to prepare their boats in certain ways. In case of a hurricane, how can boat owners protect their boats and themselves?

Most experts agree with these two basic rules that offer the most advice. The first thing you need to do is plan ahead. Check with your state for additional regulations and check your contract with your marina to see what they require. Your boat insurance company may have regulations affecting your coverage and you need to check these as well. To determine the amount of time needed to move or prepare your boat, conduct a dry run during the off-season.

Don’t try to ride out a hurricane in your boat because it’s not safe. Even though others say being on a boat in open water is safer than being on land during a hurricane, the facts don’t bear it out. Carrying boats far inland or even sink them are hurricane winds and tides. Don’t risk your life for your boat.

The best way to prevent damage is moving your boat. To do this, you need to arrange for inland storage space well ahead of time. To facilitate evacuation of people from low-lying areas, many drawbridges are locked down before a hurricane and this is something many boat owners don’t know. Moving your boat as soon as a hurricane watch is issued became even more important.

Flotilla plans in place are what some areas have to move the maximum number of boats in the shortest time. Your local emergency management office will issue flotilla information in advance of a hurricane. If you are planning on joining a flotilla, be sure that your boat is properly maintained and fueled.

There are some things you can do to minimize damage if moving your boat is not a possibility. Causing damage when blown around are portable items like electronics, oars, sun shades, etc. and should be removed from the boat. Securely lash down any remaining items. Obtain rope and other supplies to secure your boat well in advance as these items may be in short supply before a storm.

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