While nature is still somewhat unpredictable, we can learn from the successes of others how to increase the odds of weathering the storm with minimal damage.
Head for high ground. Stats show that boats kept in the water during a hurricane or significant storm do not fare as well as those taken ashore – and out of reach of any potential surge. Many boat insurance claims are filed after boats left on lifts or hoists are damaged during severe weather conditions. It is safer to have your vessel hauled to high ground; there are even dry-dock facilities designed to withstand hurricane force winds as high as 140 miles per hour.
Secure boats taken ashore. Just because you’ve taken your yacht or boat out of the water doesn’t mean it’s safe from high winds. Even on shore boats can be blown over, so it is important to make sure that they are properly anchored to something secure. Strap them down with strong tethers that don’t have significant stretch.
Reduce windage. Whether your yacht is ashore or your boat is in the water, reducing windage is a very important preventative measure. Strip off anything that could catch the wind and up the odds that your boat will survive the storm.
Pick marinas carefully. If bringing your boat or yacht ashore is simply not an option, choose your marina with care. A marina that is well sheltered is always preferable because any marina vulnerable to surge offers little protection for boats no matter how well they are secured. Boatyard insurance analysis shows that many vessels come through hurricanes with minimal damage when kept at floating docks with tall pilings. This is likely because the floating docks permit the vessels to rise and fall with the surge whereas fixed docks or floating docks with short pilings stretch and stress the lines. It is advisable to add extra lines if the weather forecast is particularly dire.
Inspect dock lines. The reality is that old dock and mooring lines deteriorate after months and months of exposure to salt, dirt, UV rays, and general wear and tear. Be proactive and invest in new, strong lines that will be better able to withstand chafing and high winds during a hurricane or severe storm.
Whatever you do, don’t wait! Have a hurricane plan and be prepared to take action. It’s much easier to execute an existing plan during an emergency situation than it is to come up with a last minute plan.
When was the last time you reviewed your boat or yacht insurance coverage? Now is the time to ensure that you have the right coverage for your marine investment in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Be aware that when a storm is announced, many insurance carriers implement temporary bans so last-minute changes to your policy aren’t an option.
Be prepared for stormy weather. Call the marine insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your boat or yacht insurance or boat yard insurance coverage. We specialize in recreational and commercial boats and work with the best insurance carriers in the marine industry.