Each hurricane season brings a threat of strong storms and potential disaster. With the threat that this precarious season brings to boaters all along the Atlantic coast, many of us may be wondering what we should be doing to prepare our boats for the threat of storms in the coming months.

The most important thing to remember is to prepare your boat for a  hurricane or strong storm ahead of time. Never let yourself procrastinate to the point where you are still on the dock when those winds start getting violent. Human life is irreplaceable, and more important than any possession, even our beloved water crafts.

Nestled in a naturally protected harbor, Harbortown Marina in Merritt Island, FL, usually has wet slips available for boaters, and can provide a ‘safe haven’ for your boat during hurricane season. The location is also not subject to mandatory evacuation.

Some Tips to Get Hurricane Ready Like a Pro:

It is recommended to start your storm prep 48-72 hours in advance to allow ample time for unforeseen problems and to get your boat hurricane ready and safe from any strong storm.

First and foremost, get your boat out of the water, or to a safe haven well before the storm approaches. If your boat is small enough to remove from the water, move it to dry storage, or a secure location above likely flood areas. Large boats should be transported to a safe haven as far from the open waterway as possible. Keep in mind drawbridges may cease operation before a storm, so make passage through these as soon as possible.

Secure your boat, and protect it from impact. Gather extra fenders and used tires to protect your boat from any vulnerable angles. Double up on mooring lines, but tie it up so there’s room to drift up and down on the tide.  Secure all hatches, and seal all openings. Remove all loose items from the vessel, and secure anything likely to shift around during a storm.

Make sure you remove all valuables and important documents from your vessel – particularly insurance information! Remember that damage to piers and other boats caused by your boat are legally your responsibility.

Other items to keep in mind during prep for a strong storm:

  • Shut off fuel lines and thru-hull fittings
  • Make an inventory of items left aboard
  • Change the batteries in your bilge pump, and make sure it works Never leave a boat on davits or a lift
  • Store trailered boats near a wall, home or another place where limbs or trees cannot fall and damage them
  • Double lines, and keep them high on pilings
  • Take photographs of your vessel for insurance purposes

The threat of a hurricane or strong storm may seem daunting, but with enough preparation ahead of time, you and your boat will be hurricane ready, and will make it through to see many more days of clear skies. For more information on severe storm preparation procedures offered by Harbortown Marina, visit http://harbortownmarina.com or call us at 321-453-0160.