Be hurricane ready
Three ways to prep your boat for a hurricane
As September marks the peak season for hurricanes, here are three must-have pieces of hurricane prep gear for boats that you may have forgotten about but should get now in case a hurricane strikes.
For a boat stored in a slip: If you’re not in your marina’s “hurricane club” for priority haul-out service and all else fails, you may have no other option but to leave your boat in the slip. Keeping the boat safe during a storm requires a strong web of lines with plenty of chafe protection. Don’t skimp on lines or chafe protection, as they form your primary line of defense.
For a boat stored on land: In storm after storm, the BoatUS Catastrophe Team has found that boats are more likely to survive a storm out of the water. That’s because when something goes wrong during a hurricane, boats left in the water are more likely to sink. To protect your boat effectively on land, tie it down to screwed-in anchors or fixed tie-downs while on jack stands. This works especially well for large sailboats that present a tall profile to the wind. Look for a marina with hurricane storage that offers this option, or talk to your marina about whether or not you can do it yourself.
For any boat: If you don’t already have one, get a boat insurance policy that will protect you in the event of a hurricane. The policy should include full salvage coverage, meaning separate salvage coverage up to the insured value of the boat, that is in addition to any payments to fix the boat or replace equipment. A good hurricane policy also includes hurricane haul-out coverage and offers a high level of post-storm service from an insurer experienced in salvage. Learn more by talking to friends who have had experience with hurricane claims. For more on hurricanes, go to boatus.com/hurricanes/boaterprep.asp.