Article from: Sea Tow Mobile Website
Sea Tow Services International, Inc. (www.seatow.com), the nation’s leading marine assistance service provider, offers the following 15 tips from its experienced Coast Guard-licensed Captains on how boaters can prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
Boaters Get Prepared for a Hurricane
- Be sure your boat is insured. A boat that is damaged by a hurricane can wind up costing far more to fix than an insurance policy costs annually.
- Review your marine insurance policy, especially its hurricane season provisions. Boat owners whose insurance requires them to relocate their vessels out of a hurricane zone should do so by the date specified in their policy.
- Make a Storm Plan. Most insurance providers require a formal written plan detailing where and how your boat must be secured during a major storm. Designate a responsible person to execute the plan if you will be out of town.
- Check with your marina, storage facility or the owner of the private dock where your boat is moored to be sure the vessel can remain there during a hurricane. If it can stay, know the procedure for securing not only your boat, but those docked around it as well. A boat that breaks loose in a hurricane can wreak havoc on neighboring vessels.
- Pick a haul-out provider. Owners who must move their boats in the event of a storm should decide where to have it hauled before hurricane season begins. Don’t wait until a storm is imminent. Check with your local Sea Tow operator to see what pre-storm haul-out services are offered.
- Monitor local and national weather services including NOAA Weather Radio and the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
- Make an inventory, preferably by video, of all valuable fixed items such as marine electronics onboard your boat.
- Store all the boat’s important documents, including your marine insurance policy, in a secure place off the vessel.
When a major storm is forecast for your area:
- Remove all detachable items from your boat, such as canvas, sails, cushions, fishing rigging, radios, electronics and antennas. Lash down everything that you cannot remove, including booms, tillers, wheels, etc.
- Deflate your dinghy and store it and its outboard motor off the boat. If it’s a fiberglass dinghy, have it stored in an indoor facility.
- Lash your boat down securely if it is on a trailer. Use tie-downs to anchor the trailer to the ground, let the air out of its tires, and weigh down the frame.
- Disconnect your boat’s battery. If it is in a facility with shore power, be sure all power is turned off and all shore power cords are stowed securely.
- Center your boat in its slip if it is docked in a marina or in a private berth. Double-up all dock lines and make sure they are of sufficient length to compensate for excessive high water.
- Anchored boats should put out enough scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain and use only good or new gear. Set extra anchors as necessary.
- Do not stay with your boat or try to ride out a storm on board. No matter how valuable your vessel is to you—both financially and sentimentally—it’s not worth your life.