Your safety and the safety of your family and others is most important, so develop
a hurricane preparedness plan before a hurricane strikes. While the following tips
are intended to help you protect your boat, your first consideration should always
be to protect yourself and others.
Long before a hurricane approaches, experts recommend the following:
Make sure you have everything you need to secure your boat, including extra lines,
chafe protection, fenders, anchors, port plugs, duct tape and extra batteries. These
items may be hard to find once a hurricane is imminent.
Decide where you’ll keep your boat in the event of a hurricane and how you’ll get
it there. Move your boat before a hurricane watch is posted, or you may find that
bridges are closed or the place that you wanted to keep your boat is too crowded
or inaccessible. Also, keep in mind that marinas get very busy prior to a hurricane
and may not be able to store your boat.
Some other things to think about:
A study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology following Hurricane
Gloria (1985) found that boats stored ashore were far more likely to survive than
boats in the water. If you store your boat ashore, store it well above the anticipated
storm surge and move it out of high-rise storage racks, which are vulnerable in
high wind. If you store your boat on davits or a lift, move it ashore.
If you anchor your boat during a storm, be aware that a seawall or sandy spit that
normally protects a snug harbor can be washed out by the storm surge. The best anchoring
is usually found in sand, followed by clay, hard mud, shells, broken shells and
Hurricanes can pose a number of threats to boats:
Storm surges can raise water levels far above normal high tide.
Winds can range from 70 to 200 mph.
Waves, even in protected harbors, can build to surprising heights.
Hurricanes can bring 6 to 12 inches of rain in 24 hours.