Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially runs from June 1 – November 30. The threat of a strong storm or hurricane could develop at any moment during this time, requiring action on your part to get your family and your boat ready for high wind speeds, rapidly changing tides, and potential evacuation.
Here are some tips to help you get your boat ready in the case of a hurricane:
1. Have a plan in place ahead of time.
This is really the best thing you can do to prepare for a storm. With a plan in place, you can spend the 48-72 hours of notice that’s usually given before a storm hits as efficiently as possible, minimizing the risk that your boat or surrounding property will suffer damage. Having a plan in place for a hurricane situation will also help you avoid long lines in stores and chaos on the roads, saving you both time and peace of mind.
2. Get your boat to a safe haven, or out of the water.
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.
Harbortown Marina is located in a protected harbor with minimal tidal changes, even during storms. If your boat is stored here, either in our dry rack storage, or a wet slip, there is no need to move your boat.
3. 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 them up high and leave enough slack for your boat to move with the tide. Secure all hatches, and seal all openings. Remove all loose items from the vessel, and lash down anything likely to shift around during a storm.
4. Remove all valuables and documents from your vessel – especially insurance information!
Damage to piers and other boats caused by your vessel is legally your responsibility, so you’ll want to make sure that you have all of your insurance information handy after the storm, just in case. Other important documents and valuables should also be removed from your boat.
5. Other items to keep in mind as you prepare for a hurricane:
- 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
- Turn off all other devices that use electricity
- 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
- DON’T STAY ON YOUR BOAT!
Moving Your Boat to a Safe Location Ahead of Time:
For a limited time, Harbortown is offering a Hurricane Special for new boaters looking for a safe place to store their boat during hurricane season. View our current specials for more information.