Safeguard your boat
Tips for protecting your boat this hurricane season
It’s the height of hurricane season, and the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico have seen a number of storms in the last week alone. When these storms hit, boat owners may arrive to find their boats in disarray if proper precautions aren’t taken when docking or storing their vessels.
Here are the best and worst ways to secure a boat during a hurricane or tropical storm:
- Strap down your boat when ashore using straps rated for the proper weight.
- Remove your boat from the water and store it on high ground.
- Use dry dock facilities that were built after Hurricane Andrew.
- Have a complete storm plan for your boat before a hurricane warning is posted.
- Move your boat inland, out of the path of the storm.
- Don’t wait until the last minute; plan ahead, and know when the storm is scheduled to hit your area.
- Dock your boat at a floating dock with short pilings.
- Dock at an overcrowded marina.
- Dock your boat on davits.
- Tie off to a dock with rotted or unsecure mooring cleats.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, “The best protection for boats is a well-prepared hurricane plan. Marine facilities, marine-related service organizations and insurance companies expect boat owners to take the time and effort to plan necessary actions to secure and protect their vessels.”
Novice boat owners storing their boats at a marina or facility should speak with a dock master or manager to obtain a hurricane checklist for proper storage techniques.
If you can help it, don’t be on the water during a hurricane or tropical storm. All boaters, both experienced and beginners, should wait out the storm in a safe location.