Hurricane Warning — Riding Out a Big Blow at Anchor

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.”

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 . . . and it was “only” a Category 1 storm when it hit us.

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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A detailed guide to preparing your boat and yourself to ride out a hurricane at anchor, published in Blue Water Sailing (cover feature).

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  • Kyra Crouzat
    Posted at 02 July 2014 Reply

    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!

  • Linda Pedersen
    Posted at 02 July 2014 Reply

    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.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 02 July 2014 Reply

      Hope it doesn’t hit there — I keep watching the NOAA updates and forecast track :/

  • Barbara Brower
    Posted at 03 July 2014 Reply

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

  • Yorgos Doumas
    Posted at 19 December 2014 Reply

    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.

  • Bruce Comeau
    Posted at 10 April 2015 Reply

    Thanks good info.

  • Kathy Pease
    Posted at 10 April 2015 Reply

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

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 10 April 2015 Reply

      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.”

  • Jan Bogart
    Posted at 19 August 2015 Reply

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

  • Kimberly Krause
    Posted at 19 August 2015 Reply

    Gringo Ben

  • Jason Sutton
    Posted at 20 August 2015 Reply

    The ocean is a deep place.

  • Cheryll Beck-Maclachlan
    Posted at 20 August 2015 Reply

    Mac Maclachlan

  • Matt Turnbull
    Posted at 20 August 2015 Reply

    Andy Leleux

  • Bart Trish Masker
    Posted at 29 September 2016 Reply

    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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