We’re watching yet another hurricane in an already active season. Ever since we were in Hurricane Marty in 2003, I’ve been studying hurricane prep and talking about it in seminars, courses, and articles. And I have some quick tips for hurricane season you should remember.
Fast and Dirty Advice
My top 8 bits of advice for hurricane season:
- Watch the weather! Have a plan for how you will get in-depth tropical weather information, particularly to have advance warning of what may be brewing.
- Know where you’ll go if a storm is headed your way.
- Prepare early – don’t wait until it’s a certainty that it will hit you. Get supplies (such as new line! – [affiliate]) before there is even a hint of a storm.
- The first priority is to get to your chosen spot.
- Second priority is to have NEW nylon 3-strand line (affiliate) securing your boat in your spot, whether as dock lines, mooring lines, or anchor snubbers, protected by the best chafe gear (affiliate) you have (old fire hose, given away by many fire departments, is fantastic). Tie the chafe gear to the boat or dock, NOT to the line, so it stays in place as the line stretches.
- Almost equally important as your lines is getting sails down, particularly roller-furling ones. Just tying them is NOT sufficient.
- Have a checklist of everything you need to do to prepare your boat. When the time comes, you just want to DO, not think about what you need to do.
- Plan your evacuation. Do not stay on your boat unless there truly is no safer place for you to go.
More Comprehensive Hurricane Info
Want more info on any – or all – of these? Check out my online course, Comprehensive Hurricane Prep for Boaters.
It’s an expanded version of the 3-hour class I teach at Cruisers University – all text and photos, go through it at your own pace and on your own schedule. And it includes a special section on what to know immediately if there is a storm bearing down on you.
Just $49 and includes a Certificate of Completion to show your insurance company that you’re serious about giving your boat its best possible chance.
Hurricanes are a fact of life in so many places where we cruise or keep our boats. This summer marks the sixteenth hurricane season that our boat has been in hurricane waters. We’ve taken two direct hits (including one by Cat 4 Irma), prepped for numerous other storms, and had less than $100 damage to our two cruising boats (we also lost one outboard when the building where it was stored was flooded with storm surge).
A storm heading your way doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to lose your boat. Decisions you make and how you prepare play a huge part in helping it survive.
I truly hope that no hurricanes head your way. But if one does, remember that it’s up to you to give it its best chance of survival. And hopefully these quick tips for hurricane season will help.