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How to Protect Your Boat from a Hurricane: 6 Tips from Sea Tow Captains to Help Boaters Prepare

Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 1:43 am

Sea Tow Captains are among the most experienced marine professionals on the water. They have seen the damage that can happen to boats and gear when a hurricane passes through, and they know how to prevent it. With this in mind, leading on-water assistance provider Sea Tow Services International, Inc. offers boaters the following six tips from its experienced Coast Guard-licensed Captains on how to prepare your vessel for a hurricane.
1. Remove all detachable items from your boat, such as sails, canvas, cushions, fishing rigging and gear, electronics, and antennas. Lash down everything you cannot remove, including booms, tillers, wheels, etc. Store your dinghy and its outboard motor away from the boat and inside, if possible. Don’t leave important documents like the boat’s registration on board.
2. Disconnect the shore power. If your boat is in a slip with shore power, be sure all power is turned off and all shore power cords are stowed securely. This could prevent electrical fires.
3. If your boat is on a trailer, lash it down. Use tie-downs to anchor the trailer to the ground, let the air out of its tires, and weigh down the frame.
4. If your boat is on a lift, remove it. If possible, store the boat in a less vulnerable location on land.
5. If your boat is in a marina, center it in its slip. Double up all dock lines and make sure they are of sufficient length to compensate for extreme high water. Check that the boats docked near yours also are securely double-tied. A boat that breaks loose in a hurricane could wind up damaging your boat and others.
6. If your boat is at anchor, put out extra scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain and use only good or new gear. Set extra anchors as necessary.
The most important advice is to resist the urge to stay with your boat or try to ride out a storm on board. No matter how valuable your vessel may be to you, it’s not worth risking your life.
About Sea Tow: Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider for boaters. Established in 1983 by Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow serves members inland to the coast throughout the United States, Europe, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member, please visit seatow.com. Sea Tow also offers free boating safety information including the Sea Tow App for smartphones, Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check Service, and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Station program. For more information, visit seatow.com and boatingsafety.com.
Serving Boaters Since 1983
© 2105 Sea Tow Foundation