How to Keep Your Boat Trailer Safe During a Hurricane

How to Keep Your Boat Trailer Safe During a Hurricane in Florida

Happy Trailer Rentals Miami would like to remind boaters that just because we’re halfway through the 2014 Hurricane Season doesn’t mean we’re out of the choppy waters yet. Hurricane Season runs from June 1st through November 30th with most of the activity happening in the month of September.

In the last few decades, South Floridians have seen our share of storms, from Hurricane Andrew to Hurricane Wilma and every Hurricane, Tropical Storm and Depression in between. There has been major damage and sometimes just inconveniences, but we all know that no matter what Mother Nature throws at us, it’s best to be prepared.

During Hurricane Season, you stock up on canned food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, and other supplies to keep you and your home safe, but, what about your boat? How will your boat weather a storm?

Hurricanes are inevitable when you live in South Florida but there are strategies to help mitigate the damage caused to your boat during a hurricane. Below we have compiled a list of tips that can help you protect your boat this Hurricane Season and also included some resources for more thorough information.

Small Boat Trailer Storage Tips for Hurricane Season:

If you have a smaller boat, under 35’ feet, it is safest for the boat (and for your mental well-being) to get it out of the water completely. Whether the boat is on a trailer next to your house or at a dry storage marina, the boats that are stored dry typically see less damage than those left in the water during a hurricane.

  • Leave the cover off of the boat, especially if it is expensive or custom made. The cover on the boat will collect rainwater and strain the cover, tearing it in the process. If the cover comes loose during a storm, it will fall victim to the wind, and more than likely get ruined. Your boat was made to get wet, so let it, leave it uncovered during a storm.
  • We recommend that you take anything off the boat that’s not supposed to get wet, or that is light enough to fly away in a heavy wind. This includes (but is definitely not limited to) cushions, dock lines, flags, Bimini tops, and GPS/Radios. Make sure to secure anything else that cannot be removed from the boat.
  • Seal all openings on the boat to keep it watertight (hatches, cabinets, doors, etc.). To help keep things secure during a storm, use duct tape for an easy remedy.
  • Keeping the drain plugs out of your boat is also a good idea. If the boat fills up with water, the added weight can negatively affect the way it sits on your trailer or dry-rack. Marinas typically keep the drain plugs out, however, if your boat is on a trailer, it’s a good practice to keep the drain plug out. Just remember to put the plug back in before using the boat next!

Keeping Your Boat in the Water

If you have no choice but to leave your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to find a safe harbor to anchor. Once you find a safe place, hopefully, off of the wide water, look around. Are there rocks? Are you near a seawall? Is your boat anchored on a sandy bottom or a rocky ledge? What obstacles can the boat come into contact with during violent winds, storm surges, or in the event that the boat breaks loose from its anchor?

Final Tips For Keeping Your Boat and Trailer Safe During Hurricane Season

Finally, it is wise to make sure that you have all of your boat documents in an easily accessible location and that the insurance is up to date. Also, to help with insurance claims, keep receipts and take photos or video of your boat and trailer.

You can take all the precautions in the world to secure your boat, however, Mother Nature sometimes gets the best of us. Make sure you are prepared and stay safe.

Important Hurricane Resources for Boaters: 

To learn more about hurricane preparedness tips for boats and dry boat storage in Miami, Florida call us at 786-728-9988.

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