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10 Hurricane Tips for Boaters

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  • Boat Handling & Seamanship
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By Kevin Falvey, Boating Magazine

  1. Storm surge causes the most damage to boats, not wind. Make sure to slack your lines.
  2. Because of storm surge boats fare better at marinas with floating docks and tall pilings compared to fixed docks, or floats and short pilings.
  3. Whether battening down ashore, or afloat, reduce windage by lowering antennas and removing canvas.
  4. Make sure your batteries are charged—especially if you don’t have a generator that they will run the bilge pumps. Wiring in extras in parallel isn’t a bad idea, since if power goes out, so does shorepower.
  5. The safest dry stack marinas, generally, are those built after 1992. In the wake of hurricane Andrew, these facilities were rebuilt and reengineered.
  6. Double your dock lines, leaving the second set a bit slack of the first. This way, if the first chafes through, the doublers will be fresh for the duration.
  7. Boats stored on land should be lashed to anchors in the ground, not just blocked up or left on a trailer.
  8. Check your insurance policy now: Make sure you have “named storm coverage”—and be sure ask what happens if a storm rolls through without a name.
  9. Act early. Hauling, tying down, moving to a hurricane hole at the last minute ensures some things wont get done.
  10. Be wary of flotsam and debris lurking in the water following a storm.
 
Takeaway: “Be prepared.”
-Boy Scouts of America Motto