Preparing for a Storm
If you are in the path of a storm or a hurricane always have a plan for your vessel. Whether it you should haul out the boat or leave it in the water depends on the boat and circumstances. The website boatus.com/hurricanes has some great information for securing the vessel and checklist worksheets for download. Figure out before the storm is on the way is where and what will you do with the boat? Will you haul it out or leave it in the water during the storm?
Regardless of whether the boat will be in the water or on land here are a few tips to help protect it from damage during severe weather:
- Remove as much loose boating gear onboard as possible, especially electronics and important documents. Any gear that will remain on your boat should be secured. This will help prevent it from clogging scuppers and deck drains.
- Remove sails, dinghies, bridge enclosures and cockpit coverings (Eisenglass/Isinglass, dodgers) to help reduce wind damage.
- Turn off and disconnect shore power cords, water supply hoses and propane or other gas valves.
- Secure and lock all hatches and port holes. Check for leaks, and seal them as necessary.
- Explore alternative locations that may afford better protection. Have a plan to allow for your boat to be relocated to the safer location in the case of an impending storm surge.
- Avoid staying aboard your boat during a significant storm.
- Check with your marina for any additional safety measures.
Create a written plan and checklist of the steps you intend to take when severe weather is in the forecast. Create a written plan, take some time to test it and practice implementing the procedures you have developed.
Once the weather clears, if you find your boat has sustained damage be sure to contact your insurance company in a timely fashion.