Securing Your Boat for a Hurricane

It has been a while since Florida was targeted by a major hurricane. The dangerous Category 4 storm, hurricane Matthew provided a true wakeup call to residents along the east coast in early October. Whether you live in the path of this particular storm or not, any time a named hurricane threatens it’s a great time to make sure you are hurricane ready. Make sure your home insurance policy, commercial business insurance policy, and Boat Insurance policy are up to date and in force. Make sure you know how to protect your property to mitigate storm damage. If you own a boat, securing your boat for a hurricane takes time. You should know how the steps you’ll take well in advance of realizing you need to take them.

Enclose dock lines with a sturdy material to prevent chafing as your boat is thrashed by wind and waves. Consider using surplus fire hose (cut it and use a handle or pliers to pull dock lines through the inner rubber jacket.)

When your boat will ride out the storm in a slip, assume that something (a cleat, piling, or dock line) will fail. Use double lines (going in the same direction but attached to different places on the boat and dock) and don’t tie up to the nearest cleat or piling. Choose one farther away so your boat will be able to rise and fall with the rising and lowering tides.

If your boat will be riding out the storm on a trailer, surround each wheel with blocks or beams and let the air out of your trailer tires. Attach your trailer to anchors that are secured deep into the ground.

If your boat will remain on a lift, lower the lift then tie up your boat as you would if it was in a slip. Then, once the boat is secured, raise the lift again. This will maximize the line tension to prevent it from moving around. Make sure the boat is attached securely to the lift.

If your boat will be exposed to the elements (and not stored inside a shed or garage), cover it securely with a tarp and cover all instrumentation and electrical components with plastic and duct tape to keep water out.

When a hurricane is bearing down on your location, nothing short of evacuating will protect you and your boat 100%. When that is simply not an option, your only recourse is to secure your boat as early and as effectively as possible and hope for the best. Hopefully, your efforts will pay off and your boat will emerge from the storm unscathed. If it does suffer damage, you’ll be glad you have an outstanding boat insurance policy. You can get one at Mariners Insurance. Contact us at 800-992-4443 for details.

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