Hurricane Season Tips For Boat Owners
The hurricane season in Miami runs from June 1st – November 30th. There is no better time than now to prepare your boat!
Hurricane Season in officially started June first and runs through November 30th. 2016 was the most active season since 2012. For the 2017 Hurricane Season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an active year, with up 17 named storms and 9 hurricanes. No matter how many storms we see this season; it only takes one to cause major destruction to your vessel. We are especially reminded of this as we mark the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew on August 24th. With the 2017 Hurricane Season here, there’s no better time than now to prepare your boat to make sure it is ready to withstand a major storm.
Hurricane Season Boat Preparation Tips
The first step in preparing for a hurricane is to create a hurricane plan. When formulating a hurricane plan, you must always keep in mind that “life comes before property”. At North Beach Marina, we strongly encourage that you heed all evacuation notices issued by your local county emergency management office regardless of the vulnerability of your boat.
REVIEW BOAT INSURANCE
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, take photos and video of your boat before and after to show proof of damages.
Dry Boat Storage Tips
REMOVE BOAT FROM THE WATER
If you have a smaller boat, somewhere 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.
If you leave the boat outside during a storm it is best to 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.
REMOVE NONWATERPROOF ITEMS
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 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.
REMOVE DRAIN PLUGS
If you are storing your boat on dry land, remove the drain plugs out of your boat can be 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!
Boat Storage Tips for the Water
FIND A SAFE HARBOR
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 deep 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 if the boat breaks loose from its anchor?
INSPECT THE BILGE PUMPS & FLOAT SWITCHES
Make sure your bilge pumps and bilge float switches are working and are hard wired to your batteries. If your boat is on a lift, make sure the lift is in good working order and lift your boat higher than then normal.
INSPECT DOCK/ BOAT LIFT
If you are docking your boat make sure your dock is in good shape -make any needed improvements to ensure the dock holds up during the storm.
ADJUST BOAT LINES
As crunch time approaches, double tie or triple tie your boat to the dock. Also, adjust all lines for the tide surges, the wind, and rain. Also use buoys to protect from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.
Final Tips for Hurricane Season
Most importantly, don’t wait until 3 days before the storm to make your hurricane plan. Call your local marinas and Happy Trailer Rentals to see how we can help before the hurricane season hits
You can take all the precautions in the world to secure your boat, but Mother Nature sometimes gets the best of us. Make sure you to prepare and stay safe.
Should you need assistance preparing your boat for hurricane season call us at (786) 728-9988.Tags: hurricane season