4 tips for taking care of your boat after a hurricane
Hurricane Harvey has left damaged recreational boats in its wake, and salvage operations have begun. If you’re one of these affected boat owners or your boat is damaged in a future hurricane, follow these tips to protect and preserve the value of any boat harmed by the storm.
- Remove valuables. If your boat has washed ashore, remove as much equipment as possible and move it to a safe place to protect it from looters and vandals. It’s a good idea to put your contact information on the boat in a conspicuous location along with a “No Trespassing” sign. For your safety, never climb in or on boats that have piled up together or are dangling precariously from dock pilings or other obstructions. And never try to enter a storm-affected marina or boat storage facility without permission.
- Minimize further damage. Protect your boat from further water damage resulting from exposure to the weather. This could include covering it with a tarp or boarding up broken windows or hatches. As soon as possible, start drying out the boat, either by taking advantage of sunny weather or using electric air handlers. All wet materials, such as cushions, must be removed and saved for a potential insurance claim. The storm may be gone, but the clock is ticking on mold growth.
- “Pickle” wet machinery. Engines and other machinery that were submerged or have gotten wet should be “pickled” by flushing with freshwater and then filled with diesel fuel or kerosene. Learn how to pickle a boat motor.
- Consult your insurance provider. If your boat is sunk or must be moved by a salvage company, don’t sign any salvage or wreck-removal contract without first getting approval from your insurance company. Proceeding without your insurer’s knowledge may jeopardize your coverage.
The BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Team is currently operating in areas affected by Harvey. All BoatUS insurance customers have assistance available for post-storm recovery and are urged to file a claim online.