How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane

June 21, 2017

Hurricane Matthew has made his path towards South Florida and the surrounding Caribbean islands clear. Here’s what you can do to keep your self and your boat safe through the storm.

What to expect: High winds, waves, rain, and surge.

Here’s what you can do:

  • REMOVE as much rigging, canvas, and deck gear as possible to reduce your boat’s windage
  • BIMNIS are sure to get shredded in a strong storm, so take off the fabric and the frames
  • STRIP OFF outriggers, antennas, running rigging, booms, life rings, and dinghies
  • TAKE DOWN headsails and mainsails
  • REMOVE heavy items from the stern if your boat is staying in the water
  • CLOSE all but cockpit seacocks and plug the engine’s exhaust port
  • USE MASKING OR DUCT TAPE to seal around hatches and ports to keep water out
  • COVER tenders
  • DOUBLE UP on docklines
  • MOVE smaller boats/tenders in land, away from trees
  • HIGH PILINGS provide more support in preventing docks from being carried away in high surge

For more detailed information on how to prepare your yacht, tenders, and marina for a storm, please visit:

BoatUS Hurricane Warning GuideBoatUS Do’s and Dont’s in Hurricane PreparationBoat Safe Nautical Know How, and USCG Storm Center.

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