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Prepare the boat

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Southwest Florida with its inland waterways and plenty of land just above sea level is particularly vulnerable to boats during tropical storms and hurricanes.

Geography here simply does not provide protection. The key to protecting your boat from hurricanes or severe weather is planning, preparing and taking timely action.

The following precautions and checklists are intended as recommendations only. Each boat owner needs a plan that is unique to the type of boat, the local boating environment, and the characteristics of safe havens and / or protection plans.

General Precautions and Damage Prevention

  • Make sure your boat is in good condition. This includes hull, deck equipment, rigging, ground gear, machinery and electronics. Make sure the batteries are charged, the bilge pumps are running, the fuel tanks are full, the fuel filters are clean, the cabin drains are free and clean, the firefighting equipment is in good condition, and the rescue equipment is available and in good condition.
  • Improve the waterproof integrity of your boat, both above and below the waterline. Seal windows, doors and hatches with duct tape.
  • Secure all items on your boat. Remove and / or secure all deck equipment, portable devices, radio antennas, portable support boats, chairs, deck boxes, pillows, bimini poems and side canvases / curtains, sails, arrows, rafts and boats.
  • Know your hurricane action plan for your ship. If you plan to move your ship and you get enough notice, do so at least 48 to 72 hours before the hurricane is expected to collapse the area. Rehearse the planned movement of the boat, including the actual visit to the alternate dock or berth / anchor location for the hurricane.
  • Inspect the boat deck equipment in light of the planned mooring arrangements. Estimate the size and design of the mounting of primary substrates, windows, nozzles, pedestals and winches. These points with high load and stress must have significant support plates and be secured with bolts of appropriate size.
  • Pay special attention not to rub the mooring. A successful rubbing device is a double neoprene hose.
  • Storm moorings, whether in the berth or otherwise, should have double lines. The second set of strings should be one size larger than the regular strings, including the spring lines on the dock.
  • Make a list of important phone numbers. These figures include your insurance agent, harbor captain, marina, Coast Guard and National Weather Service.
  • Purchase the necessary materials in advance, such as additional lengths of mooring lines, screw anchors, fenders, wing boards, pins and anchors.
  • Make sure your insurance policy is up to date. Read the policy carefully. The policy has quite a bit of useful and advisory information as to what a boat owner should do and what not to do in the event of loss or damage to a vessel as a result of a storm or hurricane.
  • Make an inventory list of all boat equipment. Pay attention to the items that need to be removed from the ship. Keep a copy of the equipment inventory both on board and on shore. Take the last photo of your boat to save all records.

Make a list

Make an inventory list of all boat equipment. Pay attention to the items that need to be removed from the ship. Keep a copy of the equipment inventory both on board and on shore. Take the last photo of your boat to save all records.





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