If you live in a hurricane-prone area, checking your boat before a storm is part of proper boat care and maintenance. Your boat is a significant investment, which means you need to do what you can to minimize the potential for damage in the event of a strong storm, even if your boat is on land. Here’s a brief guide to teach you how to prepare and protect your boat during a hurricane.
Move the boat
One of the most commonsense steps you need to take to protect your boat in the event of a hurricane is to move it if possible. Haul the boat out of the water and transport it to a safe location as far away from tidal waters as you can, and make sure to keep it away from trees that could fall due to strong winds. Remove electronics on board and pull the drain plug.
If you need to keep the boat in a marina berth, double all lines and rig-cross spring lines fore and aft. Try to secure your vessel on the offshore side as best as possible and make sure all attachment points are strong. If you must keep your boat moored, make sure all mooring can handle the maximum load placed on it by your vessel. Double up on the mooring pendant and inspect all chains and swivels.
Make sure the boat is watertight
There are several ways you can ensure your boat won’t be damaged by the wind and rain of a hurricane. The best way is by shrink wrapping it or covering it with a canvas cover. You should always examine all portholes and hatches for leaks or corrosion, making sure they’re watertight and properly secured.
Prevent chafing by covering all lines
Protect your lines with tape, rags or leather at the points where they feed through chocks. If the boat is staying in the water, install fenders, fender boards or tires. This will prevent the boat from receiving damage, keeping it from rubbing against the pier, pilings or other boats nearby.
Maintain an inventory of all items
Keep a detailed list of everything you leave on board during a storm, including all personal items. Make sure any valuable items on your list are easy to find, and keep a video or photographic record of contents whenever possible.
Keep important documents handy
Last but not least, securing your insurance documents and all records is the final step you need to take when checking your boat before a storm. Make sure all records—including boat registration, equipment inventory and lease agreements with your marina or storage facility—are in a safe spot on dry land. Understand your responsibilities and liabilities, as well as what the marina will cover in the event your boat takes damage (or causes damage) due to the conditions of the storm.
If you keep a boat in a hurricane-prone region, it’s important to be proactive to minimize damage when a strong storm is approaching. Learning how to prepare and protect your boat during a hurricane will save you money and major headaches after the storm passes. Contact Trinity Alps Marina today to learn more about proper boat maintenance and care, in both fair and stormy weather.
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