Preparing for a hurricane? Don't forget the boats around you. Helping them might be as important as prepping your own boat.

Help Your Neighbor, Help Yourself

One of the biggest things I’ve learned about hurricane prep is that, by and large, groups of boats — in an anchorage, marina or hauled out — tend to fare similarly. If one boat breaks free, it’s likely to hit another and a chain reaction ensues.

Which brings me to the point of this post: one of the best things that you can do for your boat is to help your neighbor prep their boat.

If you see someone struggling or uncertain, taking an hour to help them remove sails, set anchors, add snubbers (and backups) or docklines or tie into mangroves may make the difference for their boat staying in place. In addition to helping save their boat, it just might make a difference for yours.

  • Older and younger cruisers — perhaps a more experienced cruiser isn’t as physically strong as they once were, but has a lot of experience and useful information. A new and younger cruiser may be able to help with muscle and learn some of the other’s tested techniques.
  • Singlehanders — many times, a couple of singlehanders will team up to prep both boats. So many tasks are easier with two!
  • Unattended boats — if there is an unattended boat nearby, see if you can find contact info and ask permission to remove sails. Getting the sails off — particularly roller-furling sails — is huge, as I describe in this post.

And really, just helping anyone. Don’t assume people will ask for help. If you have a bit of time, go by other boats or ask on the radio: “What can I do to help you?”

Yeah, it feels good to help others and it’s part of the cruising lifestyle. And if it helps you too? Definitely a win-win.

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