Hurricane season is just around the corner, but do you know what it takes to prepare your boat for a hurricane? While every boat owner should tailor their preparation and planning according to the type of boat they have, their local boating environment, local safe haven characteristics, etc., the following are some general steps every boat owner should implement to prepare your boat for a hurricane in and around Sarasota, Florida:
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Before the season begins, contact local marinas and develop a plan of action to secure your vessel in the event of impending storms.
Create a hurricane kit of needed equipment and supplies to cover and secure your boat. Keep this kit in an easily accessible location. Arrange for a friend or boating professional to carry out your hurricane plan should you be out of town when a hurricane occurs. Consolidate all of your boating records; this includes insurance policies, boat registration information, equipment and supplies inventory, any lease agreements with the marina or similar storage facility, and recent photographs of your boat (aim for a minimum of four to showcase each side).
The aforementioned tips will prepare your boat for a hurricane season, but if the hurricane is imminent, you'll also need to:
Remove all movable equipment such as dinghies, biminis, cushions, sails, etc. Unless you plan to do wet storage, shut off the electrical system and remove all batteries to reduce risks from fire or electrocution.
Remove Your Boat From the Water
If your boat is trailerable, haul it to a safe place and place blocks between the frame members. Depending upon the boat, consider filling the boat a third of the way full of water to help weigh it down and prevent high winds from dragging it away. Use heavy lines to further secure the boat to fixed objects.
If your boat is non-trailerable in dry storage, leash it to the available cradle with heavy lines and again consider adding water to at least fill the bilge and weigh it down. Never leave a non-trailerable boat on davits or hydro-lift during hurricane threats.
If your boat is non-trailerable in wet storage, you can either further secure it in the marina's berth, use a mooring in an identified safe area, or haul the boat out and implement the following tips.