How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane
First of all, congratulate yourself! Just reading this article is the first step in preparing your boat for hurricane season. Preparation long before the event is key to maximizing safety and minimizing damage to your boat from a hurricane or tropical storm.
The following tips can help you prepare for and weather the storm, but always remember to consider and adapt to the characteristics that make each situation unique. Here’s where to start.
Before any storms. Get to know your marina, the storm history in the region and evacuation routes. The more familiar you are with the protocol of the area, the better equipped you will be to handle an emergency.
And be sure to document all of your boat’s equipment, both on paper and with photos or videos. Compile legal documents, registration, insurance information, marina data, etc. Keep all of this information in a secure location away from the boat for easy access.
When a hurricane is on the horizon. If it looks as if a hurricane is coming, begin securing everything possible. Close hatches, ports and windows. Pump the bilges dry and plug exhaust ports. Disconnect power and water lines. And most importantly, get yourself to safety.
After the hurricane. Once the storm has passed and authorities have given you the “all clear” to enter the region safely, you can begin documenting the damage. As before, creating a detailed inventory of damage with photos and videos will help you make appropriate repairs and file an insurance claim so you can get back to smooth sailing in no time.
As with all threatening weather, your safety should be your primary concern. By familiarizing yourself with storm protocol for your area and your boat — prior to any storms, you increase your odds of diving into action with confidence and success.