Hurricane or Windstorm Preparation

Best Practices Guideline

The Marine Community knows, boats suffer less damage during Heavy Weather or Windstorms if they are properly prepared using the suggested methods and recommendations below.  Insurance underwriters favour yachtsmen who are diligent in protecting their property to the best of their ability by following proven practices and preventative measures. 😊

BOATS KEPT IN WATER FOR HURRICANES

  • Lines should be set in a spider web formation. Use the minimum size and number of lines listed.
  • Anchors or ground tackle should be set to keep hulls away from solid objects, obstructions, or other boats.
  • Strip all loose or removeable gear, sails, outboard motors, canvas, Bimini tops, dodgers, awnings, enclosures, Isinglas®, cushions, booms, poles, covers and similar items and valuables and valuable equipment including detachable electronics be removed and stowed in a secure location. Secure chafe gear on all lines.
  • Ports, hatches, and other above-the-waterline openings into the hull should be sealed with Duct tape to reduce or prevent water ingress from wind-driven rain and spray.
  • Duct tape covers over non-removeable electronics.
  • Scuppers & drains free and clear to prevent water accumulation.
  • Moorings must be kept in storm-worthy conditions ensuring lines are less than 12 months old, free of chafe and structural rust. Hardware should be sound; shackles should be tight and moused to prevent failure. Many underwriters require regular inspections, particularly during storm season.

Suggested Minimum Line sizes

LOA # of Diameter Circumference
Feet Metres* Lines* Inches MM* Inches MM**
<30 <9.5 4-6 1/2” 12mm 1-5/8” 40mm
30-45 9.5-14 6-8 5/8” 16mm 2” 50mm
45-60 14-18 10 3/4” 19mm 2-3/8” 60mm
60-80 18-25 10 3/4” 19mm 2-3/8” 60mm
80+ 25+ 12 1” 25mm 3-1/8” 80mm
*Double for Hurricanes **Metric sizes are approximate

 

BOATS NOT KEPT IN WATER FOR HURRICANES

  • Strip all loose or removeable gear, outboard motors, sails, canvas, Bimini tops, dodgers, awnings, enclosures, Isinglas®, cushions, outriggers, booms, poles, covers and similar items and valuables and valuable equipment including detachable electronics be removed and stowed in a secure location.
  • Ports, hatches and other above-the-waterline openings into the hull should be sealed with Duct tape to reduce or prevent water ingress from wind-driven rain and spray.
  • Duct tape covers over non-removeable electronics.
  • Scuppers & drains free and clear to prevent water accumulation.
  • Garboard/Bilge drain plugs removed. Remember to reinstall before launch!
  • If possible, store above the anticipated Storm Surge.
  • Straps, when required, should be placed midships. A minimum of two (2) straps are required or four (4) tie-down lines.

Layup methods by preference

  1. Stored in a hurricane-rated building.
  2. Stored on a rack, strapped securely.
  3. Stored in a cradle, strapped securely to padeyes or augers.
  4. Stored in a Hurricane Pit, strapped securely to padeyes or augers.
  5. Stored on Jackstands or Jackscrews, chained together with chains welded, safety wired or otherwise secured to prevent removal of chains. Jackstands not on concrete should be set on minimum 3/4-inch (19mm) Plywood pads. Boats on Jackstands should be strapped securely to padeyes or augers.

BOATS KEPT ON DAVITS OR LIFTS FOR HURRICANES

  • Strip all loose or removeable gear, outboard motors, sails, canvas, Bimini tops, dodgers, awnings, enclosures, Isinglas®, cushions, outriggers, booms, poles, covers and similar items and valuables and valuable equipment including detachable electronics be removed and stowed in a secure location.
  • Ports, hatches and other above-the-waterline openings into the hull should be sealed with Duct tape to reduce or prevent water ingress from wind-driven rain and spray.
  • Duct tape covers over non-removeable electronics.
  • Scuppers & drains free and clear to prevent water accumulation.
  • Garboard/Bilge drain plugs removed. Remember to reinstall before launch!
  • Lift outboard motors
  • Strap or otherwise secure your boat to the lifting apparatus.
  • Secure your boat from swinging or drifting away.
  • Use fenders where your boat could contact pilings, seawalls, decks or other objects.

BOATS KEPT ON TRAILERS FOR HURRICANES

  • If possible store your boat in a robust building.

Otherwise-

  • Strip all loose or removeable gear, outboard motors, sails, canvas, Bimini tops, dodgers, awnings, enclosures, Isinglas®, cushions, outriggers, booms, poles, covers and similar items and valuables and valuable equipment including detachable electronics be removed and stowed in a secure location.
  • Ports, hatches and other above-the-waterline openings into the hull should be sealed with Duct tape to reduce or prevent water ingress from wind-driven rain and spray.
  • Duct tape covers over non-removeable electronics.
  • Scuppers & drains free and clear to prevent water accumulation.
  • Garboard/Bilge drain plugs removed. Remember to reinstall before launch!
  • Lift outboard motors that cannot be removed.
  • Block trailer wheels.
  • Boats on trailers should secured to trees, buildings or strapped to padeyes or augers.
  • Place wood or equivalent solid material blocks between trailer frame and springs to support any additional rainwater load weight.

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM

When the storm has subsided, and it is safe to return to your boat you or your caretaker or other responsible person must

  • Keep personal safety at the forefront when accessing or working around your post-storm boat. Be wary if storm surge or flooding has destabilized or otherwise affected your boat.
  • Quickly mitigate further damage. Some suggestions are below.
  • Preserve &/or pickle machinery affected by water intrusion, immersion, or other introduction for foreign material.
  • Wash down or otherwise make a diligent effort to clean, shampoo, dry, or otherwise preserve surfaces, upholstery, previously disconnected electrical apparatus. Ensure electric shock hazard is eliminated by disconnecting them from a power source prior to doing work.
  • List damaged or missing items. Photographic &/or video records could speed your claim settlement.
  • Call us for assistance 305-743-7711 or contact us via our website www.offshorerisk.com

During active storms, we actively monitor our website and eMails to render assistance.

Preparing for a hurricane is serious business.
Think about preventing damage to your boat and neighbouring boats or property.
If you fail to plan properly for a Named Windstorm you may be liable for damages your boat causes.
Draft a hurricane plan prior to hurricane season. We can help you prepare a plan of action to protect your boat, yacht or marine property.

DISCLAIMER

You are responsible for protecting your assets.
Using the Best Practices in this informative brochure are not guaranteed to reduce or prevent damage or keep your boat or yacht from suffering damage.
This Knowledge Base article is for informative purposes only. It does not modify or other influence any insurance coverage and is not meant to be professional advice.

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