HOW TO PROTECT YOUR YACHT FROM A HURRICANE
TOP 8 TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR YACHT FOR A HURRICANE.
If you keep your boat on the Atlantic or Gulf Coasts of the US, you face the possibility of a hurricane striking during the second half of the year. If you're a yacht owner and cannot easily secure or move it, the stakes become even higher. Anyone in doubt of the severity of the damage done to boats need only look back to Hurricane Sandy, which damaged more than 65,000 vessels.
The Climate Prediction Center, a part of the NOAA, announced that there is a 65% chance for a more active hurricane season this year from June 1st through November 30th. If and when a hurricane strikes, proper preparation is the best way to help ensure that your boat survives.
The following 8 tips were developed using information from experts in hurricane preparation.
1. Have a Plan—Devise a comprehensive plan in advance: the sooner the better. Use the comprehensive guide at the BoatUS Resource Center to get you started.
2. Know Your Insurance Coverage—It’s imperative that you review your insurance policy and know your marina contract. Some policies require the boat to be hauled out of the water and put on hard land. Many policies have a haul-out reimbursement coverage that will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of hauling or moving your boat prior to a hurricane. Some marinas require that you haul your boat in advance of a storm to protect your boat and the marina.
3. Move it on Land—If you plan on hauling your boat, make a plan for where you’re going to move it ahead of time. Evidence shows that boats stored on land fare better on average in a hurricane compared to boats kept in the water. When you haul, locate jack stands along the hull in areas reinforced by a bulkhead to withstand the pushing force of the wind. You should also chain the jack stands together to keep them from spreading apart.
4. Moor Safely—If you must moor your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to locate it in an area where waves have the least distance to build up. Ensure mooring is designed to withstand the load that will be placed on it by the vessel. Canals are ideal, because lines can be run from both sides so the boat does not pound against the dock. Make sure your boat is protected from a wide range of wind angles.
5. Use Longer Lines—If your boat will be moored to a fixed dock or piling that does not ride up as the water level rises, you will need to use longer lines so your boat can float up as the water level goes up. Lines that are too short can break. Tie up your boat with the bow facing the anticipated wind direction. This may be different from how you normally tie up. If you moor your boat to a floating dock, take note of the height of the pilings, which must be higher than the anticipated storm surge. If they are not, the entire dock will become a raft and take your boat with it. So if you think the pilings might be too short, get your boat out of the water.
6. Strengthen Your Mooring—Boats on moorings face special challenges. Most moorings can withstand storms and squalls, but hurricanes place an extraordinary load on the anchor. The best mooring anchors are helix types, which screw into the seabed. They hold much better than mushroom or deadweight anchors. According to tests, mushroom anchors hold about 2 ½ times their dry weight while concrete anchors hold about ½ of their dry weight. Helix anchors however, hold between 12,000 and 20,000 pounds and usually can’t be pulled free. Also, if your boat will be on a mooring, or anchor, now is the time to replace or upgrade your mooring pennant, making sure that it has chafe protection.
7. Set Multiple Anchors —If you must anchor out, select your location so there is as little fetch as possible, to reduce the size of the waves. Two or even three anchors can be used. One approach is to set two anchors in linear formation connected by chain or in multiple directions at 90 degrees to the anticipated direction of the wind. Three anchors can be set in an array of 120 degrees and led to a single swivel and line leading to the boat’s bow. This can be especially effective where the boat has little room to swing.
8. Reduce Wind Resistance—You can do this by removing all canvas, including dodgers and biminis. Mainsail covers and mainsails should be removed. Cockpit covers for powerboats should be removed. Even if the storm does not damage your boat, it is likely that your canvas will be damaged or destroyed by wind or debris in the air.
During the storm stay in the know and follow the storm tracker. Monitor the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, TV, website, and social media profiles for storm status updates
After the Storm Passes - Just as important as everything that happens before and during a storm, you’re going to want to do a few important things after the hurricane. These will help you protect your yacht and make sure there hasn’t been any major damage.
• After you make sure the storm has completely passed, check that it is safe to leave and go check on your boat
• Inspect your boat to see if there is any damage
• If there is damage, make an itemized list of the affected areas to include in your insurance claim
For more information about how Tampa Yacht Sales can help you find the boat of your dreams contact Shane Faunce at (727) 513-7615 for more information or view our current listings.
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