As Hurricane Season is beginning to get more active we want to share some tips from our Service Department on how to keep your boat safe during Tropical Storms and Hurricanes.
Things to think about:
Tidal surge–Generally the safest place for your boat will be on high and dry land properly supported by jack stands or secured on its trailer. If your boat is to stay in the water, make sure it is in a place that it can handle potential high winds and a significant tidal surge. If your marina is not a good place to ride out a hurricane, consider moving it to one that is. Consider taking the boat to a “hurricane hole” where it can ride out the storm securely on a mooring ball or anchor. Double up dock lines or mooring lines and add protection against chafing (see note below regarding chafe). If your slip is on a fixed pier, be sure that the dock lines are tied up as high as possible on the pilings with as much slack as possible to account for the surge.
Windage–Reduce as much surface area as possible. Remove all canvas, covers, and sails. Reducing surface area where wind can push against will greatly reduce the stresses on the boat, rigging, dock lines, mooring cleats, etc. Remove or secure anything that could bang around or blow away.
Chafe–Protect all lines securing the boat with some sort of chafe protection. You can buy off the shelf anti-chafe products to help with this. A rubber hose cut to length and slid over your dock lines at chafe points also works very well.
Water Ingress–Close off all deck vents, hatch vents, engine room vents, etc. With heavy rain and high winds, it is likely that the driving rain will find its way into the boat if you let it. Remove dorade vents and install covers. If you do not have covers or your vents are not removable, consider taping them over with 3M Preservation tape or duct tape. Just be sure to remove the tape immediately after the storm to prevent tape residue sticking to the surface.
Bilge pumps–Make sure that your boat has a working bilge pump and that your batteries are up to being able to run the bilge pump should water find its way into the bilge. With the likelihood that you will not be plugged in to shore power and charging so a fully charged and strong battery is very important.
AYS Service is here for you and your boat! If we can help in any way to prep your boats please let us know.