Tips + Tactics
factor, orient the bow facing them. For
ideas on tying the boat off, see the “At A
Dock” section in “A Guide to Preparing
Marinas and Boats for Hurricanes” (www.
PREPARE FOR WIND: This means
removing absolutely everything you can:
biminis, cushions, chairs, tables, outriggers, dinghies, motors, sails. If your boat
will be in a slip, position the bow toward
the likeliest direction of storm winds – but
give precedence to the direction of waves.
Tie the boat as far from the dock as you
can. Each dockline should be long enough
to its own strongpoint to allow for surge.
PREPARE FOR RAIN: Ensure that your
scuppers and bilge are free of debris,
sludge, and obstructions. Remove electronics or equipment that’s sensitive to
moisture. Tape over hatches and dorades
to keep wind-driven rain out. Check that
bilge pumps are working. Top off batteries that will run the pumps and turn off
unneeded items that will drain those batteries. If you have a low-freeboard boat or
one with inadequate drains, it will need to
be hauled out or trailered to avoid sinking.
PREPARE FOR SURGE: The spider
web of extra-long docklines recommended in “At A Dock” should allow for a rise
and fall of water level that may be unprecedented for your area.
Time is now getting tight. Secure any
items that you might have missed; remove
any valuable items from the boat. Take
photos of your storm preparation in case
your insurance company needs them later.
A hurricane watch indicates that hurricane conditions may pose a threat within
36 hours. By this time, you should have
done all you can to secure your boat. The
focus now should be on getting yourself
and your family somewhere safe.
A hurricane warning for your area indicates that sustained winds of 74 mph are
expected within 24 hours. Hopefully, by
now, you and your family are safely away
from the coastline – and your boat is just
about the last thing on your mind.
Tim Murphy is a BoatU.S. contributing
editor, and the coauthor of Fundamentals
of Marine Service Technology
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