We’re right smack dab in the middle of hurricane season, and although we recently touched on hurricane safety tips at home, we wanted to write a separate post about boat safety during severe, inclement weather. Florida boaters in hurricane-prone areas need to take several steps to keep their vessels safe from harm. Here are a few safety tips to follow.
1. Move the boat, if possible. If you can’t, secure it.
If you’re able, use a trailer to haul your boat out of the water and move it to a safe location away from tidal waters and trees. Remove electronics onboard, and pull the drain plug. If you can’t move your boat from the marina, double all lines, rig-cross spring lines, and attach lines high on pilings to allow for tidal surge. Make sure all attachment points are strong so your boat is safe and secure.
2. Don’t stay onboard.
It might be tempting to stay with your beloved boat, but it’s not safe. During a hurricane, winds can exceed 100mph, and tornadoes are often a real threat. If you stay onboard, you’re risking your life. Take precautions, and keep yourself safe.
3. Charge batteries.
Consider investing in back-up batteries, and shut off all devices that use electricity.
4. Monitor the weather frequently.
Preparation is key during bad weather, so stay ahead of the forecast. You’ll need all the time you can get if you need to move your boat.
5. Create an inventory of all items.
Consider taking photos or a video of the contents of your boat. Mark valuable items so they’re easy to find. If necessary, you can later put together a spreadsheet of all of your items, how much they cost you, and any other necessary details.
6. Keep documents nearby.
Store all your boat records in a safe place. This includes insurance policies, recent photos, boat registration, equipment inventory, and your lease agreement with the marina.
7. Be careful after a hurricane is over.
Electrical wires could be down but still “hot” due to generators. There could also be stray electrical current from submerged outlets or cords in the water. Do not, for any reason, enter the water after a bad storm.