to your neighbor’s boat as well. Mainsails are
bulky and should be removed also.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR RAIN
Rainfall of six to 12 inches in 24 hours is
common during a hurricane, and as much as
two feet can fall in a day. Cockpit scuppers
can be overwhelmed by such torrents, and
even boats stored ashore can suffer damage
if rainwater overflows into the cabin. Boats
stored in the water can be sunk when rainwater backs up in the cockpit and the weight
forces deck drains underwater, causing them
Make certain cockpit drains are free-running. If your boat is staying in the water,
remove heavy items from the stern area,
such as anchors, extra fuel tanks, and kicker
motors, so that the cockpit scuppers are
higher above the water. Close all but cockpit drain seacocks and plug the engine’s
exhaust port. Use masking or duct tape to
seal around hatches, ports, and lockers to
keep water from getting below. Seal exposed
electronics. Make sure the bilge pump and
switch work, and that the battery is topped
up; shore power is not likely to remain on
throughout the storm. Keep in mind that the
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ability of the pump and battery to remove
water is usually greatly overestimated. Small
boats should be covered if possible.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR WAVES
Tropical storms build up surprisingly large
waves quickly, even in relatively small har-
bors, bays, and lakes. The longer the distance
over which the wind can build up waves, the
bigger the waves. Waves make boats bounce
in their slips, displacing fenders and increas-
ing strain on docklines.
Double up on docklines and make sure
all are well-protected from chafe. While fenders and fender boards won’t compensate for
poor docking arrangements, if the boat is
well-secured, they may offer some additional
protection, especially if they are heavy duty.
Smaller boats can be overwhelmed, especially if they are stern-to to the waves. The bow
is strongest and least likely to be overcome by
water and should face into the waves.
Exposure to waves can pound a boat against the dock. Small boats should
be trailered inland.