Securing your boat during a hurricane

Huntington Park in Newport News, Va. during Hurricane Sandy (Facebook/Grant Perry)
Huntington Park in Newport News, Va. during Hurricane Sandy (Facebook/Grant Perry)

Securing A Boat Ashore

Boats stored ashore are far more likely to be saved than boats stored in the water. For many boat owners and marinas, hauling boats is the foundation of their hurricane plan. Some marinas and yacht clubs have evacuation plans to pull as many boats out of the water as possible whenever a storm is approaching and secure the rest. Smaller, open boats and high performance powerboats with low freeboard, will almost always be overcome by waves, spray, and rain. Fortunately, most of these boats can be placed on trailers and transported inland.

Securing Boat In Water

Any boat in the water should be secured in a snug harbor, don’t even think about riding out the storm at sea! The trick is deciding which harbors will be still be snug if a hurricane comes ashore and which will be vulnerable. A storm surge of 10’ or more is common in a hurricane, so a seawall or sandy spit that normally protects a harbor may not offer any protection in a hurricane.

Before You Leave Your Boat 

If you own a boat, you know how important it is to keep it as safe as possible before, during or after a hurricane. If you’re unsure what to do when faced with a major storm, ask yourself these questions before leaving your boat:

Have I safeguarded against environmental or sewage concerns?
Have I removed or secured all projective items and safeguarded against loss or theft?
Have I provided enough line and chafing gear to secure my vessel from wind, waves and surge?
Have I protected my vessel from taking on water?
Have I chosen the best location that appears to be the best option for my vessel?

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