Protect Your Boat
Take action as soon as possible. Don't wait until a hurricane warning is declared- the storm's fringe activity will make preparation extremely difficult.
Hints for boats on trailers:
If you can, drive and store your boat outside the storm's path. It may be far, but once it's out of harm's way, you won't have to worry. Your next best option is to park your boat in a sturdy garage.
If you have to leave it outdoors, choose your location carefully. Trees and power lines are the first to fall in a hurricane.
DO NOT park your boat between two buildings. Although it seems like a good idea, it can turn into a wind funnel for flying debris.
Use a sledge to drive lengths of rebar steel reinforcing into the ground, and use those to tie your boat down in all directions.
Strip your boat of everything you possibly can. Bimini tops and other canvas will shred in the wind. Any radios, electronics, and any other gear should be put in safe storage.
Use duct tape to seal all of the boats hatches, windows, vents and ports to prevent leaks.
To reduce damage from broken glass, duct tape X's across your windshield.
For boats in the water:
Double or triple your dock lines. In case of a storm surge, use lines long enough to allow your boat to move vertically without hitting the pier. Use several spring lines in all directions to keep your boat centered. If it ends up looking like a spider web, you've done a good job.
The cleats on your boat and on the dock can be your weakest link in your moorings. Make sure to secure your boat to solid pilings on the piers. Spread the loads to as many cleats as possible. To further ease the loads on your mooring lines, you can set your anchors by dinghy.
Put out every fender you can. Remember, you are protecting your boat not only from the pier but against other boats that may break loose.
If you can, try to face your boat in the direction from which the biggest waves will be coming, but remember that the wind will shift 180 degrees as the storm passes.
Just as for boats on shore, remove all canvas and loose gear and store it securely inside or at home.
Duct tape all openings.
Fully charge the boat's batteries to have power for your bilge pumps. Make sure there is no debris in the bilge that may clog your pumps.
Be sure to thoroughly inventory your boat before the storm for insurance purposes. The best way to do this is to get it all on tape. Walk through the boat with the camera and provide an audio commentary on the equipment.
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