Hurricane Warning — Riding Out a Big Blow at Anchor (Blue Water Sailing, September 2005)

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2011 • all rights reserved

That red jacket in the center is Dave on his hands and knees, crawling forward to check our chafe gear as Hurricane Marty is about halfway to its full strength

A comprehensive guide to preparing for a hurricane at anchor — things to do before hurricane season, watching the weather, preparing for a storm, during the storm and the aftermath.

“Hurricane Warning — Riding Out a Big Blow at Anchor” was originally published in Blue Water Sailing in September 2005 as “Riding Out Marty at Anchor” and featured on the cover as “100 Tips for Weathering a Hurricane.”

At various locales in the Sea of Cortez I gave talks on hurricane preparation, and this article is really almost a condensation of those talks. It’s the most comprehensive of my hurricane articles, but the others give detailed looks at many of the topics only touched on here.

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  1. Your write-up was super helpful to make us feel prepared for a couple of hurricane scares in the Sea of Cortez a couple years ago. I use your advice for any big storm coming our way. We have adapted your list to our boat. Just wanted to say thank you!

  2. Sitting on our boat at Block Island waiting to see if the storm comes here. We have 7 on board including 3 between 4-11. So we are having an “adventure”. Hope everyone is safe.

  3. Sitting on a boat up a creek in SC really appreciate you and your site. Thank you from here as well!!

  4. Yorgos Doumas says:

    This is wonderful article. It gives me courage to live aboard, cause one of my problems is anchor draging. I need an extra strong one to cope then. Thank you so much for all you do to inform us.

  5. Thanks good info.

  6. Do you have any info on how well a Manson-Rocna anchor performs in this kind of weather?

    • I haven’t personally done any studies on them. They’re a good anchor, but the thing to remember is that it’s not just the anchor. The snubbers have to be right (bigger isn’t always better) and chafe protection is essential. Another biggie is how the snubbers attach to the boat — the best way is if you have hawse holes so they don’t chafe on a toe rail. And so on. The anchor is just one part of the equation. And the other thing is to reduce the boat’s windage as much as possible — remove all sails, bimini, grill, and so on. A friend described it as “get small.”

  7. we’ve begun the drill……………………………..

  8. Gringo Ben

  9. Kent Takacs

  10. The ocean is a deep place.

  11. Mac Maclachlan

  12. Andy Leleux

  13. Thank you so much! We printed out the information and will keep it for emergencies! Hopefully, Hurricane Matthew will stay away! 🙂

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