Hurricane Matthew Alert. How to keep your boat safe during a Hurricane
Hurricane Matthew is about to hit the coast of Florida. Your safety and the integrity of your family and home should be your priority if you live on the East Coast. Make sure you take all precautions necessary to keep the ones you love safe and then take time to secure your boat, Captain.
Keep it safe: Your boat is more than just a valuable possession, it’s your lifestyle!
Ensure it survives the storm in one piece with fundamental tips for safe boat storage during a hurricane.
Hurricane Matthew is closer!
Forecasters Hurricane Alert: Sometime between Thursday evening and Sunday, Hurricane Matthew will have evolved to Category 4, with winds between 131-155 mph and it will be passing as close as 20 miles away from the East Coast.
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina residents should have emergency plans in case authorities order evacuation.
Florida Captains. Prepare for the storm
Pack an emergency “go bag”. Find waterproof bags for:
- Important documents (Passports, birth certificates)
- A map with clearly identified evacuation routes
- Extra ( charged) batteries for your cell phones
- First aid kit
- Battery powered radio
- Food and water supplies
Once you’ve got that covered remember to secure your boat.
Safe boat storage. Where should you leave your boat? In a slip or inside a warehouse?
First things first. If you are evacuating the area due to the hurricane alert, make sure you have left your boat in a safe place.
Option A: The docks
Storm-engineered floating dock systems can keep your boat safe during Category 4 hurricanes, but you should take special precautions to ensure your boats integrity during the storm.
“Protected” waters might churn into 8-foot seas, and tranquil canals might become full on rivers during a storm of this kind, so make time to secure your boat to the dock the best you can before the hurricane hits.
Reinforce dock lines:
- Attach a mate for every line. Secure them to different parts of both the boat and the dock in case a cleat, piling or line fails.
- Avoid line breakage by preventing chafing. You can use a short piece of surplus fire hose to reduce the chances of your dock lines breaking during the storm. Insert the dock lines through the inner rubber jacket of the fire hose with the help of lubricants.
Hang fenders. All of them. Yes, every fender you own! Avoid damage to your boat’s surface. When the winds increase your boat is probably going to be banging up against other boats or the dock. So, yes, you are going to need a lot of fenders.
Set an anchor across the marina. For extra security, set your anchor further away. Use the windlass to tighten the rope and make sure the hold is firm.
Option B: The warehouse
You can take your trailerable boats to a warehouse for safe storage during the storm. The cost will vary depending on the warehouse but $800 for 3 days of protection against 150mph winds and accompanying debris could be the smartest choice because you yacht or catamaran’ s integrity during Hurricane Matthew.
Option C: Run for the hills
If you have a small boat that can be attached to a trailer, and you will be evacuating the area during the hurricane alert, consider taking the boat with you. Make sure the trailer is in optimal condition.
Will you be taking your boat on the road with you? Decrease windage and preserve canvas by removing tops and enclosures.
Which option will you choose? Either is valid. But please don’t anchor your boat in open water. It’s not safe! Avoid open anchorage!
At Boatrax we are convinced you are a responsible captain: your ground tackle is probably solid, but someone else’s might fail. If a boat near yours starts drifting it can drag your boat with it. You want to be able to find your boat after the storm, so please make sure you choose adequate boat storage in order to keep your boat safe during the Hurricane.