Hurricane Preparation For Your Boat
Are you a boater on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts? Do you have a plan for preparing your boat when a hurricane comes? Hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30, threatening US coasts from Texas to Maine. Below-average activity is predicted* for 2015, but it only takes one storm to rock your boat.
Have A Plan
Hurricane preparation begins with a plan. As you put together your hurricane plan, you'll need to take into account your location and potential conditions while keeping these things in mind:
- Know your marina/docks/storage facilities policies
- Know how you will secure your boat, at a dock or inland
- Take action: 48 – 72 hours prior to the storm, or sooner
- Remove items such as: outboard engines, sails, electronic equipment, etc.
- Choose a backup person that knows your plan in case you are unavailable
- Test your plan to ensure you can complete each task
When hurricanes are predicted, essential supplies are in high demand. Although bread and milk may be on the standard list, fellow boat owners are looking for duct tape, dock lines, fenders, chafe guards, and other supplies to help batten down the hatches. Purchasing these supplies before the hurricane season begins will prevent you the time and hassle of staring at empty shelves when a storm approaches.
Monitor The Weather
Stay alert for weather bulletins and be ready to act. Many weather and news apps available for smartphones have settings that allow for notifications that can alert you to any severe weather events, keeping your eye on the storm.
Fish Out Of Water
In the event of a hurricane, your best bet is to move your boat and trailer from the water and bring them well inland to a safe location. Storing your boat in a garage could provide added protection but this is not always an option. If not here are some tips:
- Secure the boat and trailer with heavy ropes or chains to pad eyes in pavement or solid structures; try to avoid trees
- Remove some air from the trailers tires
- Chock the wheels with cement blocks
- Remove your outboard motor if possible and store it in a safe location
Stuck In The Drink
If your boat is normally moored in a marina, get a copy of the marina's storm plan. If your boat can't be removed from the water, ask if it can be moved to a large slip. A boat centered in an oversized slip with long lines at shallow angles to the boat will be able to rise and fall with storm surge and has less chance of chafing against the sides of the slip.
It Pays To Be Insured
Insurers recognize the benefit of hauling boats out of the danger zone rather than having them ride out the storm, and offer Hurricane Haul-Out protection. If a hurricane watch or warning is issued for your area, your policy could pay up to 50% of the cost (subject to the policy maximum) to have your boat moved by professionals. Other expenses such as strapping down and re-launching the boat may be covered as well. The availability of the coverage varies by carrier. Give us a call to learn more (855) 395-1412.
The Call Before The Storm
Many insurance carriers suspend sales of insurance when a hurricane or other strong storm is predicted. Don't be left unprepared, call today to get a boat insurance quote and see how the GEICO Marine Insurance Company can help you get insurance for your boat.