Hurricane Tips for Boaters
Ideally, you already have a hurricane plan in place for your vessel. But there are a few basic hurricane tips all boaters can use.
The most important tip for protecting your boat from hurricanes or any threatening severe weather is planning, preparation, and timely action.
Of course, each boat is different and requires a unique plan for weathering the storm, but keep in mind:
- Before a hurricane threatens, plan to remove valuable equipment from the boat (GPS, radios, etc) and determine how long it will take.
- Remove all movable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, radios, cushions, biminis, or roller-furling, lifejackets, gear, etc.
- Lash down everything you cannot remove, such as tillers, wheels, booms, etc.
- Seal all openings (use duct tape or similar) to make the boat as watertight as possible.
- Make sure the electrical system is off. However, if you plan to leave the boat in the water, leave the system on.
- If removing the boat from water, remove the battery to eliminate the risk of fire.
- If you are out of town during a hurricane, arrange for a reliable person to learn and carry out your hurricane plan.
- Check your lease or rental agreement with the marina or storage area and make sure you know your responsibilities and liabilities as well as those of the marina or storage area.
- Consolidate all pertinent documents including insurance policies, recent photos or video of your vessel, boat registration, equipment inventory, lease agreement with the marina or storage area.
- Maintain an inventory list of both the items removed and those left on board. And remember, do not stay aboard any vessel during a hurricane. You should stay in a safe, protected place and ensure your family, home, pets, and other personal property is safe. Be sure to stay tuned to news broadcasts and weather advisories.
Stay safe out there, everyone.