When inclement weather hits, will your boat weather the storm? If you’re not sure, follow the advice shared below to ensure your vessel is properly secured. A lack of foresight can prove disastrous, but it doesn’t take an extensive amount of preparation to keep that boat ship-shape throughout nature’s fury.
Marina Emergency Storm Preparation Guidelines
Here’s what to do:
- Are sails and biminis onboard?
- It’s time for them to disembark. Any object that creates windage is a no-go.
- Engage more lines than usual to keep the vessel securely fastened.
- If possible, consider taking the boat ashore.
- Locate an anchoring agent such as eyes in concrete, check that it is secure, and tie the boat to it with lines that do not allow for slack or stretch.
- Search out the double perk: a floating dock and high pilings. The ‘give’ that a floating dock presents can make a huge difference in how a boat is damaged (or not) during a storm. Check that the marina offers plenty of shelter; one with floating docks and high pilings in such a situation can prove invaluable. Beware shorter pilings – they can negate the benefit of the floating dock and instead expose the vessel to more damage.
- During a flood, people head to high ground. Your boat fares well when you extend this advice to it as well. Can you place the vessel out of reach of punishing waves and storm surges? Docking it above the expected storm surge is an obvious plus.
- Check the dock and lines. If the dock is old and crumbling, it just stands to reason that it will not be as effective in protecting your vessel as a newly constructed one. Additionally, old lines may snap, rendering them useless.
- It may seem like a sound idea to put a boat on a lift before a storm hits – after all, lifting it out of the water must be safe, right? Resist the impulse to do so. A creative variety of outcomes can ensue, including (but not limited to) a boat blowing completely off the lift, broken bunk boards dumping the boat, and heavy rainwater collection forcing the boat downward. Instead, utilize the boat-saving helical anchor to keep that vessel steady.
- If you select dry-stack anchoring, make sure that the facility was constructed AFTER Hurricane Andrew. The newer dry stacks tend to be hardier.
Before a storm hits, take a look at that dock contract. What does it require of you? Track down the marina manager and inquire as to whether there is a specific hurricane plan for the location. Damage to a vessel is very preventable – with preparation. Start planning your marina emergency preparation now to protect your vessel. Call your marine insurance agent for answers to any additional questions.