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How to Protect your Boat from a Tropical Storm or Hurricane

Boat lovers recognize that many enduring memories are created from leisure or sport time on the water. Yet, no one can deny the hazards that tropical storms and hurricanes present.

Aside of course for having already having a good insurance policy for your boat, you must know the proper protective steps to take before forecasters warn about inclement weather.

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Shielding your Boat from Storm Damages 

Inland Boat Securing:

  • If you can, the best course of action to take before a storm's occurrence is to haul your watercraft from the water as far back inland as possible. The key is in doing this immediately to avoid the lack of space caused by others at the ramp or marina.

  • When keeping your boat on land for an extended time, don’t forget to remove the drain plug so as not to have water accumulating inside.

Boat Docking or Mooring:

  • In the event it is not possible to haul your vessel out of the water, find an unexposed spot to dock or anchor.

  • Be sure to double every line while checking that they are in prime condition and sufficiently long to contain the ravages of a storm surge.

  • Check the cleats and securing dock conditions. If the situation calls for it, secure more lines around the pilings and place more chafe gear protection at spots where lines may touch sharp or jagged edges.

  • Place supplementary fenders to avoid damages to the hull.

  • Mull over using more anchors to increase mooring security. It may be best to use a 3-point anchorage to help a boat during a tidal surge, particularly when there is mooring field congestion. .

In all Boat Securing Scenarios:

  • Remove unattached boating gear from the boat  – particularly, electronics and essential documents.

  • Secure the remaining gear so that scuppers and deck drain clogging will not occur.

  • Take off sails, dinghies, bridge enclosures and cockpit covers to assist in preventing damage from the winds.

  • Turn off and disconnect your vessel’s shore power cords, water supply hoses and propane or gas.

  • Fasten and lock every hatch and port hole, while inspecting them.  If you find any leaks, seal them.

  • Never remain on-board during a severe storm.

  • Ask marina staff about other safety protocol.

Despite all efforts to spare your vessel during extreme weather, you may still discover damages. Be sure to get in touch with your insurance agent about a related claim as soon as possible.


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