“Hurricane season” isn’t really anyone’s favorite phrase, let alone a boat owner’s. Unfortunately many of us have seen the damage that can come from these storms when they come through the area, but that means we also have tips for protecting your boat when they do. We’ve borrowed a few below from Sea Tow Services International, Inc., which offers boaters a few pieces of advice for preparing your vessel for a hurricane:

1. Remove all loose items from your boat, especially any items that clouds fly and cause more damage–sails, poles, electronics, even cushions. High winds can create dangerous conditions for flying items and debris. Anything you can’t remove should be lashed down, and in case the worst comes to pass, don’t leave any essential documents on board.

2. Disconnect the shore power. If your boat is in a slip, be sure all power is turned off, all power cords are wrapped and stowed securely, and again, that all electronics possible are removed.

3. If your boat is on a trailer, secure it. Lashing the trailer to solid ground and letting air out of the tires to prevent rolling is essential, and you can also weigh down the trailer or boat itself with sand bags. If your boat is on a lift, remove it prior to the storm. If possible, move the boat to a safer location on land such as a storage shed or garage.

4. If your boat is in a marina, center it on the slip. Check the ties and security of boats docked near yours as well. Much the way your boat coming loose can damage others, another, vessels around yours can move and shift during the storm and pose risk of severe damage.

5. If your boat is at anchor, put out extra scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain, and use only good gear. Plan ahead, set extra anchors as necessary, and replace any outdated security items.

6. Do not stay with your boat. The temptation to protect your boat from damage is high, but no matter how valuable your vessel may be to you, risking your life is never worth it.

If you haven’t been by the marina yet and are looking to extra protection this season, we recommend visiting our website to browse our available slips. Riviera Dunes Marina is one of the most protected marinas in the state, and though the weather may be unpredictable, planning ahead can be the difference between severe damage and smooth sailing.