Hurricane Preparation Seminar
What My Boat Did While I Was On Summer Vacation:
Adventures In Leaving Your Boat While You Escape The Heat
From a Club Cruceros 2013 Seminar - by Dennis & Susan Ross
When Does “Summer in the Sea” Begin?
Where is My Boat Safest — Baja Vs. Mainland vs. Hurricane Hole?
Preparation of the Boat - It Pays to Plan Ahead
- Remove Sails, Dodgers, Biminis, and Other Windage
- Tie Down Everything!
- Extra Lines, Chafe Gear, and Fenders
- Fuel and Water (Including Watermakers)
- Close Thru Hull Fittings—Except Cockpit/Deck Drains
- Lighting and Electrical/Electronics
- Bilge Pumps and Alarms
- Engines, Generators, Pumps, and Impellers
- Halyards and Lines Aloft
- Wind Generators and Solar Panels
- Outboards, Dinghies/Tenders, and Kayaks
Preparation of the Crew and Belongings
- Interior Temperatures Can Be Over 100°F (150°F On The Hard)
- Important Papers—Originals/Copies -- Ashore or Digital Vault
- Mask/Snorkel/Foul Weather Gear
- Medications and Perishable Provisions
- Flammables and Propellants
Anchor vs. Marina Berth vs. Hauling Out
- Ground Tackle
- My Boat Was Fine—It Was The Unattended Boat That Hit Me.
- Unsupported Supposition—Many (Most?) Boats Left Unattended At Anchor Will Have Problems (Ask Anyone In Puerto Escondido.)
- Bail-Out Plan
Marina Berth Issues
- Advance Reservations and Back-Up Plans
- Who’s Watching My Boat?
- Fenders, Lines, and Chafe Gear
- Marina Readiness and Coordination With The Marina Staff
- Who’s Next To You and Are They Ready As Well?
- To Stay Aboard Or Not To Stay Aboard
Dry Storage Issues
- Making Advance Reservations for Haul Out
- Yard Readiness and Coordination With The Yard
- Securing The Stands
- Dirt Or Concrete?
- Who’s Watching My Boat?
- Rain = Interior Flooding (LEAVE YOUR BILGE PUMPS ACTIVE!)
- Who Is Going To Pick Up My Boat When It Falls Over?
- Back-Up Plan If The Yard Cannot Haul Your Boat
Storm, What Storm? - Where To Find Information While "Up North"
- National Hurricane Center
- Weather Underground – Tropical Weather Page
- Joint Typhoon Warning Center
- EEB Mike
- Storm Pulse - This is a subscription, but very good
- Mexican Meteorology Service
I'm Insured So I'm Not Worried
(Assuming You Have More Than Liability Insurance)
- Read Your Policy—Including The Fine Print
- Remember The Terms “Acts of God” and “Named Storm”
- The Other Guy’s Insurance Covers His Boat—Not Yours!
- The Marina’s/Yard’s Insurance Covers Them—Not Your Boat
- Take Pictures Of Boat Exterior, Interior, and Expensive Equipment
- List Of Equipment and Gear
- Recent Marine Survey
- Policy In Safe Place
- The Race Against The Storm—Can I Get Back Before The Storm Hits?
- Driving – Check Road Conditions Before You Start
- Flying – Many Flights Are Canceled or Diverted With Hurricane Threats.
- Burro – May Be The Only Choice So Reserve Early
- Visiting Hours—When Can I Get To My Boat? (i.e. Jimena 2009 in San Carlos)
Repair and Recovery Issues
- Securing The Boat Against Theft and Further Damage
- Do-It-Yourself Or Authorization For Someone To Act On Your Behalf?
- Pre-Arranged Haul-Out For Repairs
- Photographs, Videos, Documentation, and Damage Surveys
- Duct Tape and Blue Tape – Be Careful -- Glue Hardens and Color Bleeds
- Fuel Stabilizers
- Storage of Outboards and Gas Generators
- Flexible Vane Impellers
- “Hurricane Plan” – See Attached
- Boat US Brochure
- Hurricane Archive Maps
- NHC Mariners Guide
- NOAA Lightning Fact Sheet for Mariners
- NOAA Marine Weather Services Guide
- The Boat Galley Articles on Surviving Hurricane Marty in the Sea of Cortez
- Article by Gwen and Don on S/V Tackless II about Hurricane Preparation in Baja
The following is a Heavy Weather Plan that has been accepted by several insurance underwriters who asked for a “hurricane plan.” Feel free to plagiarize/modify as desired to meet your needs.
Heavy Weather Plan
- Check weather on hourly basis if named storm is predicted for general cruising area
- If feasible, make arrangements to move inland as far as possible to reduce exposure to wind and storm surge
- Find a location protected from direct wind and wave action if possible
- If available, locate in a basin or harbor with quality docks and breakwaters
- Consider negotiating a Hurricane Haul-Out Storage Agreement to reserve a protected location in advance
- Charge all rechargeable flashlights and handheld communication devices
- Top off fuel and water tanks 24 hours prior to storm, if possible, and remove diesel and gas jerry jugs from rail mounts
Securing the Boat
- Batten down all hatches and ports to protect interior
- Utilize spring, bow, stern, and breast lines as appropriate with proper slack and leads
- Double up all lines and place extra fenders
- Protect lines w/neoprene or fire hose at chafing points
- Clear cockpit drains and bilges
- Check batteries and primary and secondary bilge pumps and set to auto
- Close all non-essential through hull fittings
- Stow or secure all loose articles
- If at anchor or mooring, set all available anchors with additional chafe gear and snubbers
- Dive anchors and or moorings, if safe to do so, to assure they are secure
- Obtain extra lines, fenders, chafe guards as necessary
- Remove Vulnerable Equipment and Important Documents:
- Remove sails and secure booms with extra lines to provide additional support
- Consider removing canvas covers, dodger, bimini tops, BBQ, and other non-permanently attached items to streamline the vessel’s profile and minimize wind damage
- Secure tender on davits with additional lines or secure tender on board or remove to shore, as feasible
- Secure or cover exterior electronics and other items that may attract thieves and vandals following the storm. Consider removing interior electronics if vessel will be inaccessible for several days
- Remove personal valuables (i.e. jewelry, computers, etc.) from vessel, if possible
- Remove vessel documentation, logs, insurance policies, and other important papers