Now that hurricane season is heating up, you need to make double-sure that your boat is prepared for the worst. As the old saying goes – prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Here is some great advice from BoatU.S. about how to help your boat survive a hurricane, drawing on lessons learned from hurricanes dating back to 1983. Since then, BoatU.S. Marine Insurance has been collecting evidence of what worked – and what didn’t – when owners thought they were making their boats safe.
You already know to take off your Bimini and anything else that can blow around or create windage, and to add extra lines if your boat’s still in the water. But from the perspective of all the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance claims, it’s just as enlightening to learn what did not work as to learn what did. From that vantage point, BoatU.S. compiled a list of the Best things to do – and the Worst. See where your own plans fit in here.
Best: Strap down boats ashore. Jackstands can be rocked back and forth and eventually can work out of position, dropping the boat. What works best is to strap them to some sort of secure anchor, such as eyes set in concrete or helical anchors drilled into the ground. Make sure the straps have little or no stretch.
Best: Marinas with floating docks and tall pilings – 16 to 18 feet high – since floating docks let boats rise and fall with the surge.
Worst: Marinas with floating docks and shorter pilings. It’s not unusual for every dock at a marina, with all the boats tied up there, to be lifted above the pilings and carried away. Read more: